"I feel Bell Forest provides high standards, quality products, excellent customer service, and timely ..." - Ken (more)
Birdseye Maple lumber and Curly Maple (Tiger Maple) lumber are our specialties. Each week Boone or Eric visit the local log bids where foresters bring their figured maple logs to be viewed and auctioned. Each Northern Hard Rock Maple log is showcased with an end cut "cookie". This allows the bidder to better determine what the quality of the figure will be in the finished lumber. Of all the Hard Maple that is harvested here in Birdseye country, only about one-percent is Birdseye Maple or Curly Maple. Of this one-percent, only about five-percent is the high quality that we strive to stock as our figured lumber and turning stock.
After careful investigation of the quality of the log as a whole, the purity of the figure and in the best interest of our customers, we place bids on many of the Birdseye and Curly Maple (Tiger Maple) logs. Competition can be fierce, but with years of experience under our belts we usually walk away with just the right logs to process. A couple of days after the bid, the Birdseye and Curly Maple logs are delivered to our sawmill, in Ishpeming, MI, just down the street from our warehouse.
Once the logs are cut, they are moved into one of our dehumidification kilns. We utilize Nyle, Model L200, kilns that operate at low temperatures of 90 to 120 degrees fahrenheit. Because of these low temperatures, there is very little degrade or checking in the Birdseye and Curly Tiger Maple logs. The new lumber is then dried for a period of about one-month. Following this, they are further graded and processed into the wood you find on this site.
The milling process is quite interesting. Our sawmill can handle much more wood than we normally put through it. From time to time we process logs besides Birdseye and Curly "Tiger" Maple, but that is becoming more of a rarity. Read more about the milling process and why we're different than other hardwood suppliers.