Rob Freres, president of Freres Lumber Company says, that going from a manufacturer of ‘commodity plywood’ to mass plywood panels has made Freres Lumber alter its mindset. Freres noted that dealing with buyers of commodity plywood sheathing is relatively straightforward, “they buy it and we put it on a truck and invoice the customer”. While the mass plywood panel sales require a much greater degree of communication and attention to detail. The company’s facility in Lyons, Ore., can produce panels up to 2 feet thick, 12 feet wide and 48.5 feet long by gluing and pressing multiple layers of plywood together. A computer-aided cutting machine can shape those panels into specific building components, which are then shipped and assembled at the construction site.
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Mass timber faces learning curve