Logs usually arrive at sawmill machinery in a debarked state. Historically, a sawyer would use a primary saw or head rig to cut the logs into cants and flitches. However, today’s machines do most of the work on an automated basis, and the use of CNC technology can further increase speed and accuracy.
Depending on the quality or type of log, it may be broken down again with a resaw or gang edger. The edging process then takes the flitch and trim off to create angular pieces of four-sided lumber. The wood then moves down the processing line to be dried and planed before being shipped to retailers or manufacturers.
Today’s sawmills are equipped with multiple saws, combined cutters and circular saws, which means a process that once involved several stages and various sawmill machines now involves only one.