Tuesday, September 20, 2005



Working the Brewer Saw makes me feel like a lumberjack. Big lifts of two-by-fours are loaded onto the "feeder" outside the bay door beside the saw. The load is pulled along on chains to the mouth of the "scrambler". I cut the bands securing the load, then return to my control panel to tip the load into the scrambler with a certain button. This is the point where I feel like yelling, "Timber!" but I constrain myself.

The "Descrambler" pulls individual boards up and onto a set of rollers which roll the wood inside the factory towards the saw.
This part of the process takes some skill, as one must manipulate the wood with a couple remote hydraulic arms that jostle it into place. The wood coming along the rollers reminds me of logs in a stream.

When the wood has rolled or "floated" across the path of the saw, I lower stopper arms set at the desired length, and when the wood is in place, I hit another lever to bring the big, spinning blade out of its lair. The blade promptly turns a quarter inch swath of board into sawdust, and the two newly cut boards roll along a further set of rollers towards the circular Brewer table. This part of the operation reminds me of logs floating out of the river and into the broader expanse of a lake or bay.

If I have set up the boards correctly, I can get six two-by-fours to stack themselves neatly on the table in two piles of three. I then pull another lever that spins the table, thus making room for the delivery of the next load of cut wood. As well as a lumberjack, I sometimes feel like Fred Flintstone, pulling levers in his little booth on the back of the purple dinosaur in the stone quarry.

When the table is full of wood, I stack it by hand on a skid. When the skid is full, I band it, label it, and a lift comes and takes it away. Like I said earlier, this is a pretty good job; easier than most in the factory. But, like a true temp, I will probably quit after receiving my first paycheque. Since I'm the only one at the factory that knows how to use the saw, I should probably give them a few days warning, so they can train someone else to replace me.


Gyrobo said...

Hey, if the job is easy and the pay is good, don't leave! You never know when the economy will take a turn for the worse...

Michael said...

Before you quite you should think about maybe making a skate board with all of that wood and saws available.

So, do you wear like a flannel shirt to work or something? You know, to fully capture that lumber jack feeling?

Alan Greenspan said...

The economy is already getting worse. I raised interest rates today, gas and oil prices are still high, and the whole Llama breeding industry is in a decline.

Keep cutting wood, and I would stock up on none perishable foods and water too.

Rainbow Brite said...

maybe if you stay long enough at this job, a quirky little alien will appear over your shoulder to provide a laugh and maybe some magic, just like ol' Freddy Flintstone and the Great Gazoo.

Roboshrub Incorporated said...

You know how to operate heavy, bladed machinery. Heaily bladed machinery.

Remind me to be nice to you.

flatlander said...

I'm not going to quit my job (especially if Allan Greenspan advises against it). I just like to say that each night, to get me through the fatigue. Come morning, I'm up and at 'em, ready to chop more wood on the Brewer.

I hope a little green alien does show up to relive the boredom and plant some spacy ideas in my head!