(Left) Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture; and Ron Andrews, HDC member and President of Deer Park Lumber.
DEER PARK LUMBER INC.—Dedicated to Sustainable Forestry
By Paul Miller Jr.
Tunkhannock, Pa.—Second generation family-owned and operated Deer Park Lumber Inc. is located here. The hardwood sawmill produces kiln dried Northern Appalachian hardwood lumber. Hardwoods including Red and White Oak; Cherry; Ash; Hard and Soft Maple; Birch and Poplar are available in 4/4 through 8/4 thicknesses.
Offering customer pick up at the mill, flatbed delivery and/or container loading for both railcars and export shipping, Deer Park Lumber ships globally. “We’re marketing to distribution yards and direct to furniture and kitchen cabinet manufacturers both domestically and internationally,” Domestic Sales Representative and President of Deer Park’s international sales, Joe Zona said. “We’re shipping into China, Italy, Germany, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, mostly in Pacific Rim countries.”
For more than twenty years, the firm has been striving to produce the highest quality hardwoods possible. “We are constantly looking to improve and stay on top of an ever-changing global market,” Zona explained. “We understand that ownership of forest property brings with it many rewards and responsibilities, which is why we have a staff of professional foresters to help from the beginning to the end.”
Deer Park’s sales team (L to R): Cam Koons, Joe Zona and Steve Fox.
The company recently installed two American Wood Dryers kilns. Adding to the five kilns they already had, Deer Park now has a total dry kiln capacity of 410,000 board feet and an annual production of approximately 12 million board feet. The average lumber inventory available is 2.5 million board feet, log inventory is approximately 800-950,000 board feet to allow about a three week turn around to prevent defects and staining in log form. The kiln-dried warehouse will hold about 3.5 million board feet.
Sales and Purchasing Representative Cam Koons said the company also installed a new dry grading line. “After entirely removing our old line, we installed a grading line that grades from the end of the board, with two graders versus our old waterfall system which had one grader. With this new line our goal is to process 50 to 60,000 board feet of lumber daily.”
Koons explained how the new grading line operates. “The first thing it does is the lumber goes through a reader to measure the board footage, so the graders have a LED right in front of them telling them the surface measure of each board so they don’t have to worry about surface measure, all they have to think about is grade. Next they push the button for grade and it has the shark fin turners so they don’t have to turn the boards, they are automatically turned for them to look at both sides. It’s set up so if the first grader misses a board, it flips it for the second grader to grade. If it doesn’t get graded it’s printed with an error message so it’s brought back around and re-graded.”
A partial view of kiln dried lumber stored in the firm’s warehouse.
“It also helps train our new graders,” Zona added. “Our most experienced grader is the second grader on the line and this equipment helps him identify the grading mistakes of the junior grader and he can stop and explain what the mistake is.” Manufactured by Kincaid Automated Rough Mill Systems Inc., Hudson, N.C., Koons said Weinig installed the software used to run the equipment. “Control Logics is the software package. Weinig has tied it right into our lumber track system, so as a pack is finished, it goes right into our inventory, so when the pack is complete, it prints the pack with a barcode and automatically updates our inventory system online.”
At the firm’s air drying yard 6-inch steel rods reinforced cement tops are placed on the lumber, which follows the lumber through into the kilns keeping the top two layers from twisting and warping. “It keeps the lumber nice and flat,” Koons noted.
Deer Park’s history of providing quality lumber dates back to 1965 when John Davenport and Henry Kalinowski established D & K Lumber Co. on Deer Park’s current mill site. Cutting 8,000 board feet per day, a second sawmill was installed in 1972, which increased production to 10,000 board feet per day.
The company recently installed two American Wood Dryers kilns. Adding to the five kilns they already had, Deer Park now has a total dry kiln capacity of 410,000 board feet and an annual production of approximately 12 million board feet.
The Deer Park Lumber Construction Company purchased D & K in August of 1972. The partnership incorporated in 1978 and became Deer Park Lumber Inc. By 1982 the firm was purchased by Ronald Andrews, who, according to the company history section of Deer Park’s website, would forever change the dynamics of the operation by leading the way for it to become the prosperous business it is today.
Andrews and his family manage the business today by promoting self-growth, customer service and quality. Because of his dedication to sustainable forestry for both the state of Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, Andrews purchased and donated a truck and trailer for the WoodMobile, which travels Pennsylvania as an educational exhibit.
The company also added a forestry division that helps individuals make informed decisions where their woodlot is concerned thereby preventing the total destruction of forestry resources. Notably Deer Park Lumber is also one of the few companies that has an educational coordinator who hosts school tours of the sawmill and presents a forest products educational program to students in their classrooms.
Kiln dried lumber on Deer Park’s green chain.
“We are focused on keeping up with technology in our equipment and sawing practices to insure full utilization of all the logs processed,” Zona explained. Attention to detail and changeable specifications are an example of what we offer, for example, our 4/4 lumber end sawn on the plump side of 1 and 1/8-inch to give our customers more to work with when machining. We are focused on building lasting relationships and will work hard to insure our customer’s needs are met. We know our success depends on our customer’s success!”
Deer Park Lumber Inc. is a member of the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA), Penn-York, Northern Tier Keystone Wood Products Assoc., Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Assoc. (IHLA) and Northern Tier Hardwoods Assoc. For more information visit www.deerparklumberinc.com.
An employee at Deer Park Lumber scaling logs.
The firm’s merry-go-round deck with cants feeding the line-bar resaw.
At the firm’s air drying yard 6-inch steel rods reinforced cement tops are placed on the lumber, which follows the lumber through into the kilns keeping the top two layers from twisting and warping.