As little as 45% of the
wood of each log could end up in plywood. Most plywood
plants try hard to loose as little as possible. Where
does it all go?
16% of the log is not
made into veneer. This includes the peeler core. These
cores can be made into 2" x 4" x 8' studs
at the stud mill, or sold as is for fence posts.
21% is lost at
the clipper. These are made into chips or particles.
Computer controlled clippers can help reduce wood
9% is lost at the veneer
dryer as shrinkage.
8% is lost as
trim. Automatic lay-up systems will help here.
Togas and Plywood?
Although the manufacture of plywood
dates back to about 1905, ancient Greeks and Romans
developed means of cutting veneer!
American know-how developed most
of the technology for modern softwood plywood industry.
The first major use of softwood plywood, around 1910,
was for making doors. The manufacturing process was
refined during World War II when plywood was used
for small naval military craft.
Billions and billions...
There are about 560 plywood
and veneer mills in the USA that produce 20-25 billion
square feet of plywood each year. This about 900 square
miles of 1-inch thick plywood! About 90-95% of that
is softwood plywood.