Touring the Waldun Forest Products Shingle Factory

Bob travels to British Columbia and tours the Waldun Forest Products Company shingle manufacturing plant.

Clip Summary

Bob travels to British Columbia and tours the Waldun Forest Products Company shingle manufacturing plant with Jack Davidson, manager of the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau.
We're on the Frazier River, about forty miles east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, eh.

And we're going to show you how they make shingles today we're visiting the Walden Forest Products Company and our tour guide today will be Jack Davidson, who's manager of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau.
Hi Jack!

Welcome to British Columbia, Bob!

Thank you very much.
Good morning.

This is an impressive place, I mean these logs are very sizable affairs, where do they all come from?

These are logged all up and down the west coast of British Columbia from Washington State all the way up to Alaska.

All the way up to Alaska . And it's certainly not a new industry it's been established for many decades?

It's a very old industry.
Most of the mills along the river are second, third generation before them , the Indians used cedars for their long houses.

And they've been shipping them down to California and to Washington as well as, I think since the early part of the 1900's all All the way out to the east coast.

All over the west, all over the United States west coast.

Before we get started on taking a tour of the plant I've got to ask you about this little craft back here.
Says Walden One, Vancouver BC, what do you call that boat?

This is what we call a log bronc, it's a West Coast winder, it has the propeller in the middle of the boat, the very center. And it spins around any direction he wants that boat to go.

No wonder the guy has to take Dramamine every morning.

He needs his seat belt on.

Well, why don't we get started with the tour?

Up the hill here.

That is one pretty amazing log. Now, this is a red cedar tree that is how old do you suppose?

This particular log is probably a hundred to two hundred years old. It's starting to rot out in the middle like most Cedar does.

And that would obviously tell us that we're looking at virgin growth. This was material that was not planted or farmed but actual virgin growth Canada, right?


So what we're looking at this situation is essentially a cut-off saw?

This is an eight foot, insert a two tungsten tip cut-off saw.

What is the diameter of that blade?

Eight feet.

Eight foot diameter.


And that man is workin' there all day just haulin' away the cut-offs.

Yeah, his job is to clear the saw.

And he better stay clear of the saw.

Okay so all of these logs will be cut into these what, 18 or 24 inch lengths?

Yes, the hydraulic logs on the stake that the operator in the booth here can adjust depending on the grade of the log.

What the defects are in the log he reads and it is 24 inches block for a stake or for an eighteen inch block and a knot or other defects for the shingles.

And then right behind them the next facing is where the mauling operation happens, right?

It's actually called a pentagraph because of the way it moves around the area.


And it's the hydraulic, it actually cuts the block into sizes that a man can physically lift.

So we're making two types shingles here. One is the classic shake and the other one is the formal three-budded shingle.

Yeah the mauling mill is difficult, the other side is shingles. This is the shapeline.

This gentlemen here is the tuberman, and hes making shake blanks, which are just one inch flip pieces of board.

These blanks will then be sawn on the resaw diagonally, making two shapes from each blank.


And then from there where do they go? Is that it? They'll be edge trimmed on the clipper saw. And then they fall down the chute to the packing area, where the packer grades and packs them into the bundle for delivery.

So these are easier to make than the other ones, right?

I think both have their own difficulties. I think that we've seen operators making shingles or tape. Both have to have skill in their own field.

Wow. On this side of the conveyor belt, you've got a different of product being manufactured, right?

On this side is the shingle line.
Shingles are more tailored, smoother surface product. Not slick.

They're what you call either re-butts or Perfections, like we're using at my house.


Number one eighteen inch perfection shingles.


Number one quality.

Now is there just the one cutting operation? One...

There's eight machines in a row here.
They cut different products. This one's cutting 24 inch Royal "Thats probably its, just awesome!" Right there right next to his hand.

The machines are old, old technology, haven't changed for 50 years. The sawer has to fix the shingles off the head saw with the one hand, transfer them and then trim the edges and square the butts here on the gripper saw on this side. Now we've all been to the butcher where there slicing ham and this isn't quite the same principle. These men have to watch doing all the time.

They really have to be fully concentrated.

All right, and then from here they all drop down to the loading station. His other job he has to and there's four bins here, which our creative one, two, three, and four he does that as well.

Okay then the shingles are all being bundled up How many bundles to a square?

Four of these bundles of shingles cover a hundred square feet. One square.

Okay, and what about the shakes?

On the shake side, remember, there were five bundles because they're a bigger bundles.

Okay. Now I want you to explain to us about the different grades of shingles.

Shingles are graded by where the defects are. Number 4 allows defects anywhere.

And that would be exposed.

Yeah. Number three, six inches clear.


Number two is eleven inches clear.


And number one, like we're putting on your project, are a hundred percent clear, a hundred percent edge grain product.


Thanks for the tour. Perfection.

We gotta break for messages. Don't go away, we'll be back to Cambridge, in a sec!