Industrial Wood Products / Timberline Lumber

1978-1996                     Timberline                                             Kalispell, MT

      Planer Foreman


In 1978 Doug Knoshur drove into the Krause Lumber yard to pick up lumber and asked me if I would be interested in filling in while his lumber grader was away. I told him I could help out for a few weeks. I Filled in for a few weeks in 1978, 2 months in 1979 and by 1980 I worked 7 months. I enjoyed the seasonal work while I worked at Krause Lumber evenings and weekends. I began to work year around in 1983. There were two breaks. One for 4 months to work for my father in-law Herb Sandon of Sandon Construction in 1982 and to work at Beaver wood Products in 1987.

I started as a lumber grader and worked all the planer and mill positions as time allowed. In 1986 an expansion project included a saw mill which left me in charge of all planer operations. I had graduated from full time grader to full time planer man and planer foreman.  I was responsible for maintenance and repairs within the planer. Most of the time I charged the lugs on a precision end trimmer, feed lumber to the planer  and maintained the Yates A-20 planer. I was a man of many  talents. Operations would include operations of a 15k# and 8k# forklifts, breakdown hoist, trimmers, planer, profile, stackers and end sealing paint. Maintenance would include welding, cutting, changing belts, lubrication, maintaining gears and sprockets, grinding saws, grinding side heads, grinding and balancing planer knives, grinding, balancing and leading chipper knives.


During the planer off season I was relocated to the lath plant or the saw mill. While at the saw mill I operated many different machines. I operated the log chop saw until the addition of a Cambio debarker at which time I was moved to the debarker.  Then a top and side chipping edger was added and I was relocated to the edger. I worked the green side, head saw or anywhere needed. I even drove an 18 wheeler hauling lumber for several weeks from American Timber in Olney to Timberline Lumber in Kalispell.


From 1986 to 1997 I operated every machine at every station and was proficient at each.  I installed their computers and set up their network so they could share files. I did the majority of the electrical installation, design and lay out in the saw mill.  I brought a lot of talent to Industrial Wood Products and also learned what it took to manage and operate a multi-million dollar business.


Industrial Wood Products / Timberline Lumber closed their doors in 1997 for economic reasons.

Beaver Wood Products

 1978-1996                     Beaver Wood Products                                           Columbia Falls , MT 
  •       Plant  Millwright & Foreman


During the Summer of 1987 I had the opportunity to
work for Beaver Wood Products of Columbia Falls as the head millwright, foreman and maintenance man. Beaver Wood Products manufactured tree stakes which were a round dowel 2 inch in diameter 8 foot long and sharp pointed on one end to look like a giant pencil. While working with Beaver Wood Products my main focus was to keep the production of the dowel machine at a maximum pace of about 4 pieces per Morbark Debarkerminute .
The dowel machine in the video is the same make and model but Beaver Wood Products was set up with chip guards and conveyors to remove unused wood chips.
Along with general maintenance and welding I trained employees operated dump trucks, forklifts, log loaders, and a morbark debarker

Krause Lumber Company

Krause Lumber Company was a family legacy owned by Harry Krause Sr. After a failed sale in 1977 I began my career in the saw mill industry by working the planer operations of Krause Lumber Company. After Harry Krause Sr. Passed away in late 1977 the family ran Krause Lumber Company as a custom or cut to order saw mill. My main focus was the planer setup man and planer foreman. I setup a Yates 91 babbitt planer with a double pattern profile head. I had to know how a lost art of pouring my own high speed bearings from babbitt to keep the planer in top condition. This old planer made before 1920 still did great work through 1984. I worked on all phases of the planning operation from forklift to charge the planer, feeder, planer man, knife grinder, certified grader, trimmer operator and then forklift to clear and load lumber trucks. Because of the size of the planning operation I also performed all the maintenance on all the machinery and did carpenter work to repair buildings.

During the off season at the planer I would work in the sawmill where I operated the log loader, edger, bull edger, gang saw, trimmer and pulled on the green lumber chain sorting lumber. I would also do millwright and electrician duties.

Part of the maintenance included the complete rebuild of a Detroit 6-71, overhaul of a small Block Chevy, wiring and install of 3 phase electric motors and starters, building custom repair parts with the lathe and press, repairing tires, welding and cutting. 

Other operations at Krause Lumber Company that I was responsible for were bookkeeping and accounting from making out invoices and receiving monies to ledger entries and paying the bills. I did lumber sales and customer support. There was no part of the lumber operations that I was no directly associated with. I even spent time on the crawler, backhoe, skidsteer and of course a favorite was the many hours spent on a motor grader shaping up gravel roads.
The family owned sawmill was sold at auction and dismantled in 1984 the land was also sold. There is no remnant of the landmark buildings that remain.