Sawmills Restart Around the U.S.

By Bill Esler | Posted: 02/26/2013 3:05PM


Lumber sorting at Baillie Lumber Co. Lumber sorting at Baillie Lumber Co. DAVENPORT, NY - A sawmill revival, driven by home building recovery and exports to China, is behind increased hiring at timber and lumber manufacturing companies around the country.

Baillie Lumber, headquartered in Hamburg, NY, will reportedly reopen a sawmill in Davenport, NY that has been closed for over four years.

“There’s going to be a gradual increase in demand,” Jeff Lisk, Baillie’s general manager told the Wall St. Journal yesterday. Also driving the hiring: Framing lumber used in construction has risen 46 percent in price over the last year, according to figures from wood industry newsletter "Random Lengths."

Other sawmill reopenings and expansions cited by the Journal paper were Southern Parallel Forest Products Corp., which plans to hire 130 at its Albertville, AL sawmill; a sawmill in Saratoga, WY which reopened in December and hired 80 people; Swanson Group, which rehired 200 of 720 layed off around Eugene, OR during the downturn; and Seneca Sawmill increased hours for its 375 employees in the same area.

In a video below, Jeff Meyer, president, Baillie Lumber Co., and Joe Zbicki, product development manager, discuss Baillie's use of Wood Eye scanning technology.


About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at or follow him on Google+.

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