Learn how building timber is made as we visit the Hyne Timber Mill at Tumbarumba, on the western side of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales.
With the Live Life Build tour to Hyne Timber Mill, we continue our ELEVATE Member experience, DRIVE 23, and explore the value of timber in construction and the hands-on experience that changes builders’ perspectives.
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Welcome to Day 3 of the DRIVE23 program, an exclusive event for Live Life Build’s ELEVATE members and an absolute shift for custom builders in the residential construction industry.
DRIVE23 focused on upskilling our builder members and expanding their knowledge and confidence. Imagine: Determination, Responsibility, Vision, Innovation, and Excellence all fused into one transformative experience … on the road!
Following our visit to the Durra Panel factory, we are moving on to the Hyne Timber Mill tour, the next stop on the DRIVE23 program. Here, we continued our exploration, learning more about the processes behind sourcing and milling the timber used every day in residential construction.
Let’s discover how building timber is made and get ready to learn the process that transforms raw logs into the versatile material that builds our clients’ homes.
The Hyne Timber Tumbarumba Mill
When Hyne Timber acquired the Tumbarumba Mill in 2001, it was a significant turning point, a bold move that cemented the company’s commitment to excellence and pushed it into southern markets.
A vital part of Hyne Timber’s expansion strategy, its establishment represents Hyne’s largest financial commitment. History and innovation meet here, demonstrating Hyne’s dedication to producing high-quality timber.
Processing about 620,000m³ of logs a year, the impressive equivalent of about 25,000 timber-framed houses, this mill is a massive example of timber processing and technology.
The Importance of Timber in Construction
Many of our Builder Members love working with timber for various reasons, including its workability and flexibility. Considered a renewable, low-carbon resource, many builders will prioritise timber over other building materials for its sustainability credentials.
From framing, roofing, flooring, or cladding, it’s versatile and easy to work with. Builders love how it fits right in and brings good looks and practicality to construction projects. And, due to its history and familiarity, many homeowners prefer it as well.
Our Live Life Build ELEVATE members were blown away when they saw the process of timber-making from beginning to end. It completely shifts their perspective and deepens their knowledge of the material, how they can use it day-to-day, and its importance in their projects.
The Timber-Making Process
Our Builder Members were granted exclusive access to a nearby plantation forest. They learned how logs are carefully chosen, felled and handled in the field and then transported to the mill ready for transformation.
As part of this, our Builder Members were also educated by Forestry Representatives on the management of the plantation forests and the work that’s been done since bushfires destroyed large areas in 2019 / 2020.
They also learned about selecting and processing suitable logs in the forestry field to ensure the right products are sent to the mill or redirected elsewhere for processing as other items (such as paper).
Once the suitable logs are in the hands of Hyne Timber’s skilled craftsmen and cutting-edge equipment, they undergo debarking, sawing, grading, and drying before taking on various shapes customised for use in the building.
Builders’ Experience at Hyne Timber Mill
Walking through the factory floor of Hyne Timber Mill, our ELEVATE members went behind the scenes of Timber’s story.
They watched as the logs were stripped of their bark and fed through machinery to prepare for milling. Our ELEVATE members also learned the level of digitisation of the process to ensure the greatest value and efficiency is achieved in processing each log.
Some timber statistics and Hyne Timber Mill you may find interesting:
- It takes 30 years for a tree to grow in a plantation forest and be suitable for logging.
- Within each plantation, around 30% of trees are culled for paper (this figure can vary depending on the plantation).
- The remaining 70% is then sent to sawmills such as Hyne’s facility in Tumbarumba.
- Of the logs that are processed in the sawmill, around 50% is utilised for construction timber
- The remaining 50% is considered unsuitable in grade and utilised for secondary products such as palette timber, chip and sawdust.
- Timber grade, and most efficient and valuable processing method, is carefully measured in the milling process through a sophisticated digital process within seconds of the log first entering the processing line.
- Various industries benefit from this timber ‘waste’, such as paper producers, landscape companies and pet supply products.
- At Hyne Timber Mill, the sawdust is used to fire the kilns that dry the timber.
Our ELEVATE members got a completely different perspective on turning plantation forest trees into the materials they regularly use for their work, thanks to this enlightening experience at DRIVE23.
Insights and Takeaways for Builders
The tour at the Hyne Timber Mill was an intensive education for our ELEVATE members, gaining insight into the art of creating timber. Our Builder Members leave the Mill behind carrying a backpack full of lessons that’ll shape their future construction endeavours.
Learning how building timber is made from the start transforms perception and approach to working with timber. After gaining new insights, our ELEVATE members will return to their projects, ready to manage their timber use more efficiently and effectively for their projects.
Our ELEVATE members’ journey to changing the building industry continues as DRIVE23 takes them to the XLam factory facility. Join them on our next blog as they continue their mission to improve the building industry.
If you want more experiences like these, to improve your skills, and to explore new things, join our ELEVATE program. You’ll get access to world-class training and knowledge, and join us as we create a new industry, elevating the professionalism of residential construction.
For more information on the Hyne Timber Tumbarumba Mill, check out their website here.