Sawmilling and drying have been trialled on small and commercial scales, including developing suitable kiln schedules for the tōtara timber (traditionally airdried). The aim is to de-risk the processing of this farm-tōtara and test the ability of existing processing facilities in Northland to handle these more variable-sized logs.
STAGE ONE – 100 m³ OF LOGS
The timber from Stage One was milled at a training sawmill in Rotorua. Grade recoveries for Stage One harvest were good.
Accelerated kiln-drying studies on green timber were undertaken at Scion in Rotorua. The results of the kiln drying will be compared with the traditional air-drying approach. It currently appears feasible for boards.
STAGE TWO – 200 m³ OF LOGS
The timber from Stage Two was milled at Northpine, a commercial radiata sawmill in Waipu. One kiln charge (60 m³) of
25 mm boards was successfully dried with little drying degrade.
The 50 mm and other-sized boards were taken to Scion in Rotorua for air, or slower kiln, drying at a smaller scale. It is anticipated that there will be options for commercial-scale kiln drying of 50 mm boards in the future.