King Forest Industries Inc. is a leading provider of Eastern White Pine lumber.
King Forest Doubles Production With Mill Expansion
By Terry Miller
Wentworth, N.H.—King Forest Industries has been a leading provider of Eastern White Pine lumber for many years. Recent modernization and expansion of the planing mill, which more than doubled the mill’s size, will allow greater production and flexibility. KFI produces about 30 million board feet annually. The increased capability will allow many more patterns and services.
Most of that production is comprised of 4/4 boards in all grades certified by the Northeastern Lumbermen’s Manufacturing Assoc. (NELMA), as well as 4/4 shop, 5/4 and 6/4 heavy shop, 8/4 shop, 6x8, 8x8 and 6x12 log cabin blanks.
The company’s recent expansion affords King Forest “a much bigger piece of the market,” according to Bob Davison, sales manager. “When the market is healthy, everybody is looking for extra lumber to turn into pattern. We’re taking the bull by the horns by building a large new facility, and we’ve got cutting edge machinery for it. We’re looking forward to producing patterns for years to come in our new planer m
Anita LaTulippe, controller, Kerri Drake, receptionist and Barbara Davis, purchasing, are among key personnel at King Forest Industries, located in Wentworth, N.H.
Davison noted that King Forest now plans to specialize in approximately a dozen patterns that have proven most popular with customers.
“We aren’t all things to all people,” Davison said, “but we can offer specific products and services to a significant market and make quite an impact doing so.”
King Forest’s kilns can easily accommodate the increase in pattern production since the company’s drying capacity is 1.3 million board feet. Davison noted that the firm “gently dries” its lumber, which minimizes down grade, splitting and cupping problems.
“Problems occur within the wood if it’s dried too fast,” said Davison. “Slow, gentle drying avoids a lot of problems, such as wet spots. With Pine, we can’t avoid all wet spots, but the drying process we use drastically diminishes their appearance.”
King Forest’s production requires large kiln capacity because, “we do a lot of 5/4 and 6/4 heavy shop, as w
Bob Vincelette oversees shipping, receiving and inventory management at King Forest.
ell as 8/4 shop,” added Davison, “and it takes a long time to dry those boards, so we must be able to consistently maintain high kiln capacity. Most of our lumber is dried to between 10- to 12- percent, even though NeLMA rules allow the lumber to be wetter than that. We’ve found that our customers want lumber quality that’s dry and consistent. So drying is a very critical part of production of our shop and Pine lumber. We also kiln-dry the industrial lumber, which some mills don’t.”
The kilns at King Forest are fueled by wood waste, and a 600-horsepower steam boiler produces steam and electricity for the kilns, in addition to heat for the building.
The bulk of the company’s customers are comprised of wholesalers and wholesale distributors, as well as many major door and window manufacturers, which are located across the United States.
King Forest wraps all lumber in a high quality, fitted paper cover prior to transport at no additional charge to customers, and prides itself on its ability to ship well-packaged lumber on time.
Davison said, “When the product arrives at the customers’ locations, the load is very u
Scott Hamilton is a planer operator and Jerry Bixby serves as planer mill supervisor at the firm
niform, very well packaged and protected, and that speaks well of the pride we take in the products we make. And, we stamp ‘Made In USA’ on all our shipment covers, because we believe people in this country should take pride in the production of American lumber.”
Several key personnel, in addition to Davison and owner/president John King, lead the 100-person staff at King Forest. They are: Jerry Bixby, planer mill supervisor; Kevin Godfrey, sawmill supervisor; Anita LaTullipe, controller; Scott O’Meara, computer technology; Ken Sutherland, head forester; and Jim Gowen, maintenance.
King Forest is an active member of the North American Wholesale Lumber Assoc. and NELMA.
“All of us at King Forest enjoy producing quality lumber that someone can use in their home or office, for example,” Davison said. “It’s rewarding to know that we play a part in guiding and further developing wood products.
“As for the future of King Forest Industries, we will continually look for ways to expand and improve. John (King) provides excellent vision for the company as a leader and he is committed to employing good
Laurie Linhares is in shipping and Scott Hamilton is a planer operator at King Forest Industries.
people to implement his plans, as well as the freedom to do that work to the best of their ability. It’s a team effort here.”
Steve Albaugh works as a chemist, Jim Gowan is in maintenance and Kevin Goofrey is sawmill supervisor at the company.
Bruce Alsop handles quality control at the operation.