Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Amazing Cherry

 Marino Zullich purchased rustic grade cherry boards which he had milled by Wightman Lumber’s mill shop to his specification. The homeowner then used this wood as cherry flooring allowing him to achieve his very own personalized look at his farm house, located in Walton, New York. Stunning!

We thank you Marino for sharing the photos of your work in process. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Our forestry team brings extensive experience and expertise to the job.

Bob Williams stopped in and talked with Dan Wightman just after Wightman’s had purchased a tractor trailer about part time work. Part time lasted 2 weeks and Bob has been busy working full time driving the log truck for 13 years. Prior to working for Wightman’s Bob had 10 years of logging experience. 

Bob enjoys being on the road, seeing the country side and getting to meet many different people. In his spare time Bob enjoys singing as a member of Steppin Out, Barbershop Quartet and the Oneonta chapter of Midstatesman Chorus. Steppin Out will be performing at our annual open house on Oct. 5, 2013. Please plan to join us. 

Ben Williams has spent his adult life around logging and milling. After spending 10 years logging independently he joined Wightman’s starting out on the green chain (stacking lumber). He then moved in to the maintenance department, then to a logging crew. Around 5 years ago he returned mill to drive log trucks and do maintenance on the large trucks.

Ben tells me he enjoys being on the road and being outdoors. He does not mind the extreme weather conditions because he enjoys what he does so much. With 20 years experience he must love what he does.

The math:

Ben brings 20 years, Bob 23 years, Tom 14 years and Chris 18 years. A total year of experience for our forestry team is an amazing 75 years. Added this to the previously introduced employees we are now up to 330 years of experience. It is no wonder that Wightman Specialty Woods produces the top quality wood products!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chris Burke handles the general organization of the forestry group’s daily activities by dispatching trucks, organizing rotary and veneer sales, working with land owners and loggers, and balancing supply verses production demands.

Chris brings a well rounded background of education and experience to the group. He graduated from SUNY Morrisville with a concentration in Natural Resource in 1995. A love of the outdoors and nature drew Chris into this line of work. Immediately following graduation Chris joined Wightman’s in the mill then on the logging crew.  10 years ago he became a full time forester.

Tom Foster brings education and experience to the group. Tom graduated from SUNY Ranger School in Wanakena, NY and SUNY Environmental Science in Forestry, SyracuseNY. After graduation Tom worked for the US Forest Services, NYS Forest Inventory Services and Analysis and as a forester prior to joining our team 2 years ago. Combined he brings 14 years of work experience to the group.

Tom shares that he finds fulfillment in helping land owners reach their individual goals for their forest. Tom works with land owners to achieve individual goals such as improvement of wildlife habit, creating a healthy forest and maximize the financial return of the property. 

More to follow on forestry team. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lumberjack – a combination of two terms ‘lumber’ and ‘jack’. Jack being the term for the average Joe or working man. Lumber is a reference to the trade.

Lumberjill – was coined around the World War II era for women carrying out this task while men were at war.

Logger – term used for workers in the 21st century after the invention of chainsaws and other modern logging equipment. 
Photo from New York State Wooodsmen's Field Day.

Boonville, NY Aug. 16 - 18

Log Procurement

Our process starts with the purchase of logs. At Wightman Specialty Woods we are committed to the protection and preservation of our environment and other natural resources. The tree harvesting and log delivery process is overseen by our Foresters, Chris Burke and Tom Foster.

Logs are procured in two ways.
  1. Standing timber woodlots are purchased through competitive bidding. Then independent contracted loggers are hired to harvest the trees.
  2. Logs from professional loggers are purchased road side and at our gate.

Stay tuned, we will be introducing our Forestry Team.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rocking Chair Therapy –

Rocking regularly in a good rocker has the ability to calm the spirit, soothe a stressed body, focus the mind and gently exercising even the weakest of muscles.   

Rocker created by Daniel Zook from Wightman Specialty Woods' Red Oak. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Art Spranger shares his long history with Wightman Lumber....

Sixty-one years ago Art Spranger came to Crumhorn Mountain for a two week vacation, met up with Charlie and Cy Wightman, and never went back to New Jersey.

Art started working with the 1st generation Wightman brothers in 1952. He worked in the woods, the sawmill and on the farm doing whatever needed to be done. Art recalled that in the early years he helped out when the mill ran with only 2 men. He was cutting slabs off logs and turning them into firewood for sale.  From time to time he even assumed the role of babysitter for the young Dan and Dave Wightman.

Art left the mill in 1955 to serve our country with the US Air Force. In 1977 he returned to Wightman Lumber looking for work and was hired as a delivery person for 75 cents an hour. He tells me he has done just about everything you can imagine around the plant over the years. He takes pride in having maintained the dry kilns and never having a load returned for not being dry.

Art shared that his favorite memory over the years involved a horse named Mike. A local man owed the Wightmans some money so they loaned Mike, a draft horse, to the man to pull out logs to satisfy his debt. Art went to check on the logs and found Mike not being well cared for. He slid a rope around the horse’s neck and walked him home. After about 4 miles they stopped to rest at the mill, located on route 28 at that time, before making the additional 3 mile trek up Crumhorn Mountain.  Art said the break was necessary because the horse was tired, not the handler. Today it would be challenging to find an employee willing to walk 7 miles to bring your horse home.

Although Art retired in 2001 you can still find him around helping out. He titles himself “Fleet Superintendent”.  Twelve years after retiring he is still helping to make things happen by taking care of the vehicle registrations and using his vast knowledge of the business to help source challenging parts.  

Adding 39 more years to the tally brings us up to 255 years of experience. The longevity of the employees at Wightman Lumber is impressive. Art has been around to witness the changes and growth of the business for well over half a century. 

Wightman Lumber commitment to quality extends over decades...

Photo of Cy Wightman many years ago when the sawmill was 1st located on Route 28, Portlandville, New York

Photo gives an idea of what the mill was like when Art Spranger started working for Wightman’s well over a half century ago.