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.