Dan Holt (Left) and Jamie Place, co-owners of Mill Services, are proud that their EASTERN brand finger joint boards offer one of the most environmentally friendly options on the market today.
MILL SERVICES: Greenest Finger Joint Product on the Market?
Cobleskill, N.Y.—What is the “greenest” finger joint board on the market? Jamie Place and Dan Holt, co-owners of Mill Services, Inc. in Cobleskill, N.Y., say it must be the Eastern White Pine boards that their company produces.
“Our wood is locally grown and harvested just a short distance from our facility, and we manufacture the boards from start to finish under one roof. Right off the bat, we’re slashing our emissions because we don’t need to ship materials from overseas or even from outside the northeast,” Place explains.
Holt points out that the Eastern White Pine that Mill Services uses also offers significant environmental advantages. “Eastern White Pine is one of the world’s most renewable resources. More wood fiber is being grown in New England now than ever before,” he comments. Holt adds that Eastern White Pine’s natural resistance to decay means that no chemicals are needed to enhance durability. “Just look around New England and you’ll see lots of 200-year-old buildings, many of which have some of their original Eastern White Pine trim boards. It’s a proven product with a long history of durability.”
Mill Services in Cobleskill, N. Y. uses locally grown and harvested Eastern White Pine for its finger joint boards.
Mill Services warranties its finger joint boards for 15 years if proper installation and maintenance guidelines are followed.
According to Holt, however, the “real warranty” is the 200-year-old farmhouses with Eastern White Pine boards that have lasted through generations. “Other products come and go, but we know that Eastern White Pine is a fiber that lasts,” he said.
When Place and Holt acquired Mill Services in 2007, they were committed to a long-range plan to operate an environmentally friendly company that minimized waste and used environmentally sensitive glues and finishes. They point with pride to the fact that zero wood fiber leaves the manufacturing plant in the form of waste. “We use every bit of the lumber that comes to us. Wood fiber waste is either bagged and sold as shavings or burned to provide heat for the facility. We heat entirely with wood,” explained Place.
The manufacturing process begins as the lumber is sent to the Luxscan scanner to identify defects. Six separate cameras scan each board and record the information.
Company management continues to explore options for new products and manufacturing technologies that deliver superior results in an even more environmentally sensitive manner. A significant investment has already been made in technologically advanced equipment such as the Luxscan Scanner and the Weinig 450 OptiCut optimizing system.
“Our state-of-the-art equipment has helped us increase accuracy, quality and yields, which enables us to better utilize our natural resources. We also maintain our own grinding room to insure that equipment is as accurate as possible to minimize waste,” Place said.
Mill Services manufactures its EASTERN brand and other finger joint boards in a streamlined process at its Cobleskill plant. When a truckload of lumber comes in, it is immediately put under cover. The material is scanned for defects, then optimized with the Weinig machine. Blocks are then graded again, removing any defects as they are manually fed into a Conception CRP finger jointer. From there, the product goes through one of two Watkins moulders, where it is once again graded for imperfections. Finally, the product is coated with a specially formulated oil or latex primer that is applied to all sides of the boards using either a vacuum coater for latex or a flow coat system for oil.
A Weining 450 Opti-cut, known as “the fastest saw in the world,” carries out the cutting solution provided by the Luxscan scanner.
“Our wholesale distribution customers appreciate having a single point of contact, from the start to the finish of a job,” said Holt. Since Mill Services has total control over schedules and quality standards, the company has the flexibility to expedite orders and customize jobs toexact specifications. “The marketing of all our finger jointed products are handled by our parent company, Eastern Forest Products, which is a member of the North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA) and the North Eastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA),” he said.
Mill Services’ products are delivered by commercial carrier, as well as the company’s own trucks. “You don’t need to place orders six to eight weeks in advance, the way you do with our foreign competitors,” said Place. “We warehouse inventory to provide fast service to our customers. If you need a product quickly, we can do it.”
Mill Services has the capacity to manufacture up to 750,000 board feet per month and deliver to customers all over the U.S. Specializing in NeLMA patterns, the company inventories about 2 million board feet of product accessible for edge and center bead, bevel siding and v match applications, as well as fascia boards.
Blocks are carefully inspected at multiple points before they are fed into the CRP 2000 finger jointer.
Established in 1993, Mill Services has become the largest producer of Eastern White Pine finger joint boards in the northeastern United States. “We’re proud of our product and our commitment to the environment, but we’re constantly looking for ways to improve.
We’re very open to new technology, processes and materials that deliver superior results in more environmentally sensitive ways. I guess you could say that we’re green, but getting greener,” Place summed up.
For more information about Mill Services Inc. and their products visit them on the web www.millservicesinc.com or contact them by telephone at 603-654-6509 or 603-654-6508.
Mill Services’ finger joint boards are coated with a specially formulated latex primer. Oil primers are also available.
Mill Services uses one of two Watkins moulders to create a smooth, high quality finish.
Finger joint blanks are stacked on custom milled stickers to hold them perfectly straight during the overnight drying process.