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A collection of stories and articles about Wood-Mizer sawmills in use around the world, new business ideas, and available market niches in the wood industry

Building with materials that have a history

Building with materials that have a history
HBM-Woods from the Czech Republic describes how their company is profiting from reclaiming old beams into high quality lumber for furniture and interiors.

‘Historic Building Materials’ is what HBM-Wood specialises in. Over 15 years ago, the company founder, Radek Sindelar, began selling antique wood, and realised the market potential of this often forgotten source.

"We use wood that has already served a purpose in homes and other buildings, and is usually more than 100 years old," shares Radek, "Every piece is unique."

When a building needs dismantling, the team from HBM-Wood is ready to start working. Without companies like Radek’s, old wood often ends up simply being thrown away. However, HBM-Wood carefully dismantles each building, sorts the beams, removes as many nails and foreign objects as possible, and then processes the material for ornate interiors or high-end furniture. This approach to sourcing wood is an excellent example of an environmentally friendly and profitable venture – as more trees can remain in the forests and fewer greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.

Increasing the value of old timbers
In 2011, Mr. Sindelar decided to upgrade from simply selling old beams directly to customers without any further processing. He realised that if he could cut them into the final sizes required by the customer’s cut list, he could increase his available services and his opportunities to gain more business.

When the antique beams arrive, they are first sorted, cleaned, and any metal is removed
The Wood-Mizer LT20 sawmill easily cuts through hardwoods of all sizes

"After researching online to see how I would process the beams, I decided on narrow band sawmill technology," relates Radek. "The thin-kerf method is a cost-effective way to get more of the valuable lumber out of each beam."

Radek decided on a Wood-Mizer LT20, mainly due to the level of professional support the Wood-Mizer dealer in the Czech Republic could provide.

Old beams ready for sawing…
…and the resulting timber, saved from the landfill to serve for another 100 years!

"Our most important processing consideration is final timber quality. Old wood is extremely dry, and you must be able to cut it accurately," explains Radek. "We do not rush the sawmilling process. We only cut about three cubic metres daily. The majority of our business comes from Italian furniture builders as well as interior wall panel producers."

"Fortunately, we have no problems with our Wood-Mizer mill," shares Radek. "My two operators quickly learned how to operate the machine, make adjustments, and keep the machine maintained. We really like how reliable Wood-Mizer blade sharpening program works as well."

Sawdust is processed into pellets, showing how 100% of the old wood is used and not wasted
Radek Sindelar, founder of HBM-Wood – These old beams will make great timber!

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This article was published in the 'Wood-Mizer Today' company newsletter.

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