Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 4

We measured Site 2 on the Greenbrier. The site was by the Cass Scenic Railroad Station
.The elevation was 2450feet.
The absolute location is
N38*23.9279 W79*54.7151

Dissolved oxegyn-5.3 mg/l
temperature-26.1 c
total dissolved solids- 81us/cm
ph- 6.38
turbidity-11.2 NTU
The overall Quality was 49.97 which falls into the fair water quality (26-50)

This is the first time that I have come up with a fair water quality. The reason this was fair rather than the next level up, medium, is that the dissolved oxegyn was so low.

We then Road Shay # 11 from Cass ( elevation 2443 feet) to Bald Knob (elevation 4842).  The Shay train is a geared locomtive that gives up speed to gain power to be able to climb to high elevation where the trees were.The Shay we rode was Shay #11 which was built in 1923 for Hutchison Lumber Company.  It was a beutiful trip in which you could see the trees change as we gained altitude.

Day 5

We started the day at Gaudineer Knob. We were at 4100 feet. It is a spruce vigin forest. It is a virgin forest originally because of a surveyors mistake which led to it not being harvested. It had spruce, and birch mostly.  It is a spruce and deciduous forest that becomes just about all spruce as you go higher. There is moss lichen, and fungus. There is an understory with many plants and trees unlike the hemlock forest. The ground is very spongy because of the decomposing leaves. There is a lot of moisture( as shown by the mushroom and fungus growth) that helps decomposing but because the altitude is high.  The plants roots are wide instead of deep because there is a thin soil layer before rocks are hit.  The air is very fresh and has a good smell. It is nice to breath there.  The air quality was good as shown by the fact that there was a lot of lichen.  The soil is acidic but not as acidic as the hemlock forest. Its ph was 4.7.

Steve discussing with group

Next we measured one of themaple  trees at
The diameter of the tree was 29.3 inches and its height was 69.3
The total board feet tking into account for taper was 970.9
The value for maple is $3.70. Which gives a tree value of $3592.30.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 3

We started the day at the Elkins Railroad Station It is a beautiful structure.

Next we went toColonial Millwork. They make transitional molding for Armstrong and others  They start off with green wood that needs to be dried. They use 20 species of wood including bamboo (pictured above) and ahybrid called Pacific Albus  They put wood in kilns and bring moisture down to 8.5 percent. Next they grade the lumber checking for knotholes etc. The wood is then divided into stacks organized by species in factory. Red oak and maple are used the most.

The wood is is then ripped and then stacked as shown in video. The pieces left over are put on a conveyor belt to be made into sawdust and sold to Haimer Pellet. They can glue pieces together to make larger boards. they can split wood width wise. The machines are programmed to cut pieces the picture shows a shelf holder being cut.(below) (right pieces cutout of board)

To make the molding they need to make a profile so they can have the knives made to cut the wood automatically.They have 300 different profiles and can make more if needed. Usually they cut 2-3 molds at one time

Next it goes through an automatic sander. Then it is painted or stained heated dry and then have a uv finish  put on to portect it. Finally it is boxed. Throughout the process there are qulity checks to make sure a quality product is made.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 2- Pellets,Sawmills, and Molding

The first place we visited was a pellet making factory that made Haimer's Hot Ones.  The factory was started because their company had a saw mill that had to have their sawdust cleaned up because it is enviromental waste.  It cost them 1 million dollars to clean it up.  They did not want to pay that bill again so instead they came up with an ingeius idea.  They decided to go into the pellet business. This not only solved their problem of what to do with their waste, but it created a new product they could sell (the pellets).
 The process Starts by trucking in sawdust. The sawdust comes from their sawmill and sawdust they buy from other sawmills.It takes 30000 tons to make 15000 tons of pellets. It is divided by species of wood. Then it is dried at about 1800 degrees depending on the species. 
The sawdust then goes into the factory and is heated to the melting point of the lignin in the wood. The lignin holds the pellet together. The melted sawdust is squeezed through a machine kind of like playdough (see picture to the right of the opened machine). The new pellets then drop down into bin below (Picture to left)

Next the pellets (machines make 100-180 tons a day) are bagged. Every 50 bags are checked to make sure that there is no more than 3.2 percent dust.  If there is more they slow down machine and that takes care of problem. Next it is sent down to the machine in the video that puts bags on pallets (pallet weighs 2000 lbs). This machine loads 20 tons per hour while workers could load 10 tons and workers kept quitting or tranfering to other jobs. Next a machine wraps it in plastic and the process is done. It is great that we are finding ways to use the waste in an economical way.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

First Day at Cathedral Park

Today is the first day of our Forestry and Rail Project.  It is exciting to work with this group of teachers, and project members. We went to Cathedral Park.  Cathedral Park is a virgin (unharvested) hemlock forest. It has spongy acidic (3.55) soil.

The main tree found in the forest is the hemlock.  There is also a number of oak trees maple trees and magnolia bushes. One of the interesting things was that there was not much foliage on the ground. This was because the taller trees were blocking the sun and were taking the nutrients out of the ground. When it rained it was almost like being in the shelter because not much of the rain reached us on the ground. 

Trees that had fallen,died and rotted supplied the nutrients for new plant growth.
Finally we measured the board length of a hemlock located at N39*19.593 W32.213.It had a circumference of 129 inches, 52 feet tall. The board feet was 1441.  A board feet value for a hemlock is $3.20, so this tree harvested would be worth $4610! Is it any wonder that forestry is a big business.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Measuring Board Feet

My son and I went to Ritter Park to measure board length in a tree.  In the picture I was measuring the circumference(182inches) of the tree (not hugging the tree).  I then paced off 66 feet in my case that is 29 paces (a pace is a right step and a left step). Next I used the clinometer to find the angle up to the top of usable wood and down to the ground (63%). All that was left was to do a little math to find that the trree had 18 board ft.

Four Pole Creek Water Quality

On April 21,2012 the forestry and rail project went to Ritter Park on a field trip to practice skills needed for our trip. We identified trees, measured board feet of a tree and measured the water quality of Four Pole Creek.  The creek is a small creek that runs through Ritter Park and at this time it was low. many of the small creeks that run into it were dried up. On this day it was raining. We pulled the water out of the creek next to the picnic area and measured it in the shelter.

TEST                  MEASURE     Q-VALUE    WEIGHT     TOTAL Q
DO                     5.6 MG/L             50              0.32               16
TEMP.               15.1 C                  30              0.19               5.7
TDS                  109 MG/L              84              0.13              10.92
TURBIDITY       99.5 NTU               17              0.15              2.55
PH                     7.08                     90              0.21              18.9
                                         OVERALL QUALITY                  54.7

According to the wqi quality scale the creeks water quality is in the low end of medium or average(51-70)