Since our company started in 1985, Banks Hardwoods has been known as a quality hardwood lumber company that specializes in a variety of 4⁄4 thickness material. Over the years, our company has also taken on the task of offering thicker stock (5⁄4, 6⁄4 and 8⁄4 thicknesses) that matches the quality and consistency of our true Northern 4⁄4 hardwood lumber production.
We’ve been drying thick White Hard Maple for about 10 years now, and in the past 3 years we’ve added thick Northern Red Oak, as well as quantities of 5⁄4 Cherry and 5⁄4 Birch. The most recent additions to our thick stock production have included 8⁄4 Ash and 5⁄4 Walnut, and some thick stock in White Soft Maple. Most of the thick stock production has been out of our White Pigeon facility; however, we have dried quantities of 5⁄4 material at Newberry and Menomonie.
To service this growing demand more efficiently, we recently built seven new KDS kilns at our White Pigeon, Michigan facility. These new, smaller kilns, each with 30 MBF capacities, offer us more flexibility in how we manage the ever-increasing volumes of thick stock being dried at the White Pigeon yard.
The new kilns allow us to load smaller charges and rotate air shed inventory more often. It also gives us more flexibility at the sawmill level, enabling smaller orders of thick stock where previously we had to order larger runs. This is especially important in White Hard Maple, which needs to go into the kilns as soon as possible to preserve the white color.
In addition to working with thick items, we can also use the smaller kilns to dry smaller kiln charges of sub-species such as White Oak and Birch.
The production of thick stock has brought opportunities to our company that may not have existed otherwise. We are looking forward to producing more thick stock in the months and years to come!