the reclamation process
All material is transported from its source to The Hudson Company Mill in Pine Plains, New York.
Metal detectors are used to locate old fasteners (nails, bolts, screws, and staples) in incoming materials and then all unwanted debris is removed from wood by hand or specialized tools.
All reclaimed wood is re-sawn into specified dimensions. This part of the process has several variables, including size, weight and species of the reclaimed material, which influences which saws and tools will be used.
For beams that are too heavy to be manipulated by hand, we use a 25HP LT40 Woodmizer band saw mill to cut beams into flooring blanks, beam wraps, or posts and beams at specified dimensions.
High speed and large production projects are re-sawn on our 75HP fully hydraulic, 6" double edge blade, high speed band saw mill. This is ideal for converting storm damaged trees and whole logs into boards.
Grading is our way of organizing the reclaimed and re-sawn wood into categories or ‘grades.’ After re-sawing, wood is graded into categories such as New Face/Old Face, Plain Sawn/Rift & Quartered, and Prime Grade/Character Grade.
05 Kiln Drying
Wood is then kiln dried to 6-10% moisture content in our kiln through a dehumidification and heating process that first equalizes the moisture and then extracts it from the wood. This process can take from a few days to a few weeks depending on the wood’s species and moisture content.
Because kiln drying alters the cellular structure of the wood, unwanted cupping, crowning, checking and cracking can occur. Therefore, after the kiln process, all materials are re-graded to ensure quality and precision.
We use a 24”, 85 HP 1970's model Oliver Strait-O-Plane to both flatten the wood and plane it to a consistent thickness. The machine runs up to 150 feet per minute and can reduce the thickness of a board by 3/4" in a single pass. Because reclaimed materials can be heavy, hard, irregular and abrasive, our industrial sized Michigan-made six ton planer is perfect for every kind of job.
After the wood is planed to a consistent thickness, we Straight Line Rip the boards along its long axis to create a straightedge and a consistent width. This process is done with chain fed single and multiple blade machines that range from 15 to 60 HP and feed at a rate of 50-200 feet per minute
Molding is the process where the raw material is cut, shaped and refined. Using our precision multi-knife molders, The Hudson Company cuts oversized pieces of wood into a wide variety of finished sizes and profiles. Our molders have 4-5 heads that cut the wood on all 4 sides simultaneously using multi-carbide knife cutter heads that spin at 6,000 rpms and feed between 30-80 feet per minute. Because we customize our own molding knives, we can mill virtually any desired profile.
After the wood has taken its final shape in the molder, we then start the final defecting process. In this process we cut out any portions of the wood that do not meet the required specification (i.e. broken ends, excessive splits, obtrusive holes, and any visually undesirable material). Defecting can be done by hand or in our high speed, optically guided Powermax End Matcher.