By Jacob Mooney, Wood-Mizer Contributing Author
After the Czech revolution in 1989, Václav Chara started his own company producing electrical cables and accessories, which quickly grew into a profitable company that continues to this day. But one day, when a nearby sawmill announced bankruptcy, Václav decided to buy it and invest in it.
Wood was always my hobby and when the opportunity came to acquire this sawmill, I jumped at the chance,” said Václav. “In the beginning we bought pre-sawn timber to be dried in the kiln. But I realized it would be better to get a sawmill, buy raw logs and then saw our own timber and dry it according to our specific needs.” Václav then set out to replace the old sawmill machinery with modern equipment that fit his vision for profitable and lean timber processing that was flexible to meet the changing needs of the market.
“I did not want a massive sawmill and so I reviewed a lot of quotes from manufacturers - many sawmills with high production volume but with bigger operational costs too,” shared Václav. “The Wood-Mizer WM3500 sawmill seemed to have the best balance between benefits for good production, while requiring fewer workers and reducing overall energy consumption costs.”
“My philosophy is to purchase something only once, and so it must have quality. There are cheap products available but they must be replaced repeatedly in the future. I sell high quality timber from wood species like beech and oak. In comparison with other sawing methods, Wood-Mizer gives me one additional board from every log because of the narrow blades.”
“We produce mainly sawn timber here – from thinner boards to thick slabs for joinery workshops – to be used for furniture and staircases. During the summer we cut a lot of structural timber for the construction industry.”
Depending on what kind of timber sizes they are cutting, the company produces an average of 3,000 to 5,000 board feet (8 to 12 m3) in one shift with a crew of only five workers. “Labor costs in the Czech Republic are high, and the WM3500 requires only one direct operator who works in a comfortable environment.”
The sawn wood first air dries and then goes into the kiln, where it finishes drying for several weeks. Air-drying saves on energy consumption. The company uses Wood-Mizer blades, a Wood-Mizer blade sharpener and an automatic, computerized Wood-Mizer tooth setter to maintain the blades and use them as long as possible.
Customers come daily to his 53,000 square foot (5,000 m2) warehouse expecting quality. “Our main priority is quality, not volume,” shared Václav. “Quality timber always finds its customer.”
Categories: All, Commercial Sawing
Tags: Industrial Sawmill, WM3500
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