Mill Spotlight: Softwood Veneer in Yreka, Calif.

Our facility in Yreka, California manufacturers softwood veneers that are the building blocks for products manufactured at other Timber Products Company locations. The state-of-the-art facility can process up to 55 truckloads of logs each day, utilizing every part of the log.

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When a log arrives in Yreka, it is conditioned using high-pressure steam. Next, the log is trimmed and debarked. Shasta Forest Products, our facility’s next door neighbor, buys the castoff bark pieces for landscape and agricultural applications. Finally, the log is peeled by a lathe to produce softwood veneer in four-, eight-, nine- and ten-foot lengths.

“In the process of peeling veneer we generate about 750,000 peeler cores each year off our ten-foot lathe line,” said plant manager Michael Don. “About 96% go to a mill in White City, Oregon that produces low-grade lumber. The smaller peeler cores that come off our four-foot lathe are chipped.”

Some of the chips are used as fuel for Yreka’s boiler. The machine generates the steam used to heat logs prior to peeling. Most of the chips are sent to other facilities to be turned into particle boardMDF (medium density fiberboard), paper pulp, and even electricity. “Burning the wood chips generates steam, which turns turbines that generate electricity,” explained Don.

For every 55 truckloads of raw timber received, Yreka produces 35-40 truckloads of veneer. The remainder is turned into peeler cores and wood chips. Nothing is wasted; 100% of every log that enters the plant is utilized in one way or another.

Our facility in Yreka utilizes Douglas fir, white fir and a combination of ponderosa and sugar pine to make its softwood veneer. Historically, the plant consumed equal amounts of Douglas fir and white fir. Recent wildfires, a wet winter and market demand have limited Douglas fir log resources. Because of this, the facility has shifted to roughly 55% white fir, 30% Douglas fir and 15% pine.

“Laminated veneer lumber, which is a veneer-based product, is very strong. Only Douglas fir lumber can be used to make it, so that puts a lot of pressure on that resource,” said Don.

Approximately 73 employees work at our Yreka facility, a combination of full time and temporary team workers. The facility is actively recruiting technicians to support and maintain the technology at the plant in addition to seeking workers for entry-level positions on the production side. “We’re always interested in hiring people interested in working in the timber products industry,” said Don.

Learn more about job opportunities with Timber Products Company on our website, or contact Yreka to schedule a tour. To discover what happens to veneer after it leaves Yreka, read about Timber Products Grants Pass manufacturing facility.

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