Norstam's Lumber Process

In most industries, a leader helps to set the stage for others to follow. Quality, availability, and price are important to all of our customers. At Norstam, we accept the responsibility and challenge to meet our customers ever-changing needs in the marketplace. Our commitment to this philosophy is serious business. Our leadership role in the industry, utilization of modern technology, and outstanding customer service enables NVI to make the difference.

Log Yard

At NVI we strive to maintain a wide inventory of prime logs. It is our belief that all quality products originate from quality sources. Once the logs are delivered to our yard, they are sorted by species which include Ash, Cherry, Hard Maple, Hickory, Poplar, Red Oak, Walnut, and White Oak in preparation of being sawn in the mill. Some species such as Ash, Red and White Oak of larger size and higher than average quality are sorted to be sawn into Rift and Quartered Lumber, which is used for special needs.


Before going into the sawmill all logs will be debarked. This is done to keep dirt and gravel from dulling our blades and chipper knives. Most of the bark ends up as mulch for landscaping


The log is rolled upon to our carriage, where our sawyer turns the log to get the best grade that the log has to offer. Then the carriage takes the log into the saw for producing the lumber. The sawyer continues to turn the log to maintain the highest grade until reaching a 4 x 6 pallet cant. These cants are used by the pallet industry to produce pallets, or used by NVI to produce the crating to package our veneer for shipment. The sawdust created during the sawing process is used for fuel in our boiler to produce the steam needed to operate our plant. 


Once the lumber has dropped off the saw, the lumber is carefully edged to maintain the highest grade and yield as possible.

Grading Line

All lumber sawn in our mill must go through our grading line. Here the lumber is inspected and sorted into lengths by grade. The different grades are used for different manufacturing needs such as architectural millwork, furniture, mouldings and flooring. Some of the lumber will be shipped out green and some will remain at NVI to be kiln dried.

Air Dry Yard

The lumber that is to be kiln dried will be put onto sticks and taken to our air dry yard. This process helps to remove excess moisture from the lumber before going into a kiln.

Dry Kiln

The air dried lumber is taken from the air dry yard and loaded into one of our kilns. For most uses the lumber is dried to 6 to 8% EMC. This usually takes from one to four weeks depending on moisture content and species. 


After the lumber is kiln dried it will go into our warehouse until shipment. Shipments are usually placed on tractor trailers or into containers. Smaller shipments are picked up by small local cabinet and flooring shops, as well as local hobbyist. Mixed truckloads of lumber is our specialty.