FIDEL'S CEDAR SHAKE / SHINGLE MILL, AMANDA PARK,WASHINGTON
BAND SAW SLICING A ROUGH CUT CEDAR SHAKE INTO TWO (2) BEVELED PIECES...There is NO form or guide...Fidel says after thousands of cuts, one gets the hang of how to cut two (2) beveled shakes out of a single Rough Cut. That blade is NOT guarded...Oh, Oh, OSHA
ROUGH CUT SHAKE - Before the Beveled Cut
LASER ON CUTTING BLAD GIVES EXACTLY SQUARE SHAKES/SHINGLES. Note Big Circular Saw to Operator's Left...He's not even looking as he takes the newly cut Shake from that whirling steel blade...my oh my
18 X 18 X 30" BLOCKS CUT FROM TREE TRUNK ARE STORED AWAITING SLICING, CUTTING AND TRIMMING INTO FINISHED SHAKES / SHINGLES
SHAKE / SHINGLE SQUARE FORMS BEING LOADED FROM CHUTE. TAKES ABOUT 2 MINUTES TO FILL AND BAND ONE SQUARE.
THE ENTIRE ENCHALADA...BAND SAW CUTTER AT TOPO...CHUTE...AND SQUARE LOADING...This is Fidel loading the Square...70 years old & been at it for 49 years...says he has no desire to retire..."What would I do then??? "
SQUARE FORM...ONE EMPTY...ONE FULL (TOP RIGHT)
WEDGE SPLITTER...Operator gets Close and Personal
WORKING THE SPLITTING ROTARY BLADE...Laser Blade is to left out of pic
SPARE ROTARY BLADES..Each tooth is about 2 inches long
CHUTE AND "SQUARE" WORK STATION
FINISHED PALLET OF CEDAR SHAKES
ROB AND WIFE SALI CAPELLE;
US 101...A SHARP CURVE...WALK ON THE "HIGH SIDE"...NO BERM ON THE LOW SIDE...A TRAP FOR TURNING TRUCKS...
STREAM WITH FISH LADDERS BUILT IN
CLEAR CUT HILL SIDE - note how all branches are removed, awaiting planting of new seedlings...Some mature trees are left standing to give "natural" seeding, but most new seedlings and planted by hand...one seedling at atime.
SAME HILL (OTHER SIDE) SEEDLINGS ALREADY PLANTED - PROBABLY 2 - 3 YEARS AGO...TAKES ABOUT 80 YEARS 'TIL NEXT HARVEST.
MEANDERING SALMON STREAM
ABANDONED LUMBER MILL...SOON TO BE TORN DOWN
US 101 AT AMANDA PARK, (LAKE QUINAULT) WASHINGTON
QUINAULT INDIAN FISH HATCHERY NEAR LAKE QUINAULT
WATER FLOWING THROUGH SALMON REARING PONDS...CHUM Salmon fry are released into the river within two weeks after hatching...COHO and STEELHEAD are reared for one year in the Ponds befoe release
MOCLIPS, WASHINGTON ON THE PACIFIC OCEAN
...Is now 6:21 am...and the wind is picking up off the Ocean and is getting COLD...not looking forward to walking in that in another hour...But, I will.
PACIFIC BEACH, WASHINGTON , three miles South of MOCLIPS
MUSEUM AT MOCLIPS, WASHINGTON
MAP OF MOCLIPS TO OCEAN SHORES, WASHINGTON...My walk for today.
TSUNAMI SIREN AT MOCLIPS, WASHINGTON
SUNSET, JANUARY 27, 2011 AT MOCLIIPS, WASHINGTON...This is SPIA's view
Am here in the Pacific Oceanside Village of Moclips. How lucky...Jack, the owner of the mid-Village grocery / quick-food store offered me a place to park for the night AND electricity...taken lots of electricity to run the Mini...what with all the pics I'm taking....getting ahead of my self...
Yesterday morning, awoke to the screech of loud machinery starting up...it was BLACK dark out...it was 4:30 am. Fidel Michelena was starting his day. Fidel owns ML CEDAR COMPANY, INC. of AMANDA PARK, WASHINGTON, a Village on US 101, 3 miles from LAKE QUINAULT.
Fidel and I chatted the evening before...
Sure you can take pictures of the Mill in operation...starts at 5:00 in the morning...
and, sure, you can park overnight here next to my office...
and, sure, you can leave SPIA parked while you do your morning walk...
All these things came to pass.
Rolled back my Duvets - with all my damp clothes layered between, over, and under me, including my walking Brooks - was looking for over a week how to get heat in here to dry out my clothes from the incessant rain...FOUND IT...ME.
I produce, after all, a pretty constant 98 F. Why, I figured, not put that heat to work while I'm sleeping...I did...PRESTO ! All my clothes and Brooks were nice and dry and WARM when I got up...what a treat WARM CLOTHES...I digress again
Ate my usual Oatmeal and drank my usual morning Hot Tea and with flashlight in hand, navigated the 200 feet - full of MUD and RAIN-FILLED POTHOLES - to Fidel's Cedar Shake and Shingle Mill.
Now, only 4:30 am, the factory was full of employees - 14 folks work there from 5:00 am til about 3 pm - working inches from whirling steel saw blades, Cedar Splitters, and Laser guided Table Saws. Each station had a single light suspended nearby each worker...otherwise, the entire building was DARK...had to use my flashlight to find my way.
Fidel was on the Upper Level, running a machine which prepared large blocks of Cedar - about 18" x 18" x 30" long. and feeding them onto a conveyor. Next station, using one of three ways to cut the Cedar Block - Vertical Wedge Splitter, Humongeous Band Saw, or 5 ft diameter Radial Saw Blade...
All these things were whirling - all without ANY guards - an inch or two from the operator. Marveled at no blood soaking up the steel floor plates.
From upstairs, wide chutes dropped through holes in the floor to operators below hand sorting finish-split/cut shakes or shingles, loading them into articulated steel Forms, fat ends to the outside, creating the familiar Cedar Shake / Shingle Bundles...which Fidel tells me he get around $25.00 a Bundle.
Watching operators fill the Bundle Forms, an operator turned, walked over to me, and said...
Good Morning, Bruce...I'M Conchita, Fidel's Wife...
Fidel and Conchita are from Navarro, Spain, having immegrated in 1959. They now own two (2) such Cedar Mills; one in Forks and the one I was visiting.
Fidel says he does about 250 Bundles a day - himself...his record is 353 Bundles in a day.
Not a shred of wood is wasted. All "drops: and sawdust is recovered, loaded into a Hopper, and fed by Conveyor Belt high above a big 18-Wheeler Trailer for sale to other processors. Such Trailers have roared past me by the hundreds while negotiating the small berms of US 101.
Fidel owns two (2) trailers at the Amanda Park Mill...he fills one while the Purchaser is away with the second trailer hauling it someplace else.
Asked Fidel ...How long does it take to make a Shake or Shingle...
Oh, He says, about a thousand years or so. Some of these tree have been growing for more than a thousand years...count the rings, he says...
The trees we use were cut 50 to 100 years ago during the initial logging in the area and left on the ground because Cedar was not what they wanted at the time. Today, he tramps around the old Logging Ground up on the Mountains, looking for "humps" on the ground. Digging in the hump, he comes across the now-buried Cedar Logs...which he buys from the land owner, digs the Cedar Tree out of the ground and hauls it...GOOD AS NEW...to his Mill.
Looking at Fidel's Shake / Shingle Grain Structure, it is straight and tight...a sign of FIRST CUT timber. Second or Third Harvest Wood is not the quality as first cut.
So, if anyone wants PRIME First Cut Cedar Shakes / Shingles, Fidel is your guy !
Find Fidel at 6433 Hwy 101, P.O. Box 30, Amanda Park, WA 98526; Phone: 360-288-2777; FAX: 360-288-2780.
I counted a total of six (6) Cedar Mills while walking today...all within 15 miles of Amanda Park.
Early Morning, walked from Fidel's Mill back to the Correction Facility Road, where I left off yesterday. Returning the 12 miles, not a single car slowed for me...so, 24 miles.
Arriving back at the Mill, was not tired, so continued walking South of US 101 for another 3 miles to the LAKE QUINAULT South Shore...and return to the Mill...still no ride.
Went back into the Mill and took new pics in the improved daylight that filtered into the still darkened interior. Then said goodby to Fidel and Conchita...Fidel said his employees were really pleased at my visit...will probably check out the Blog to see if they are in the pics.
Drove SPIA a few miles South to the Village of NEILTON, WASHINGTON - will check photo -, and walked for another hour and back to SPIA.
Then drove to the QUILIUTE INDIAN FISH HATCHERY, where I met and chatted with Bill Edwards, Project Leader/Hatchery Manager. Bill told me that this year his Hatchery had the following activity:
COHO SALMON: Of 660,000 fingerlings released, 20,000 returned this year.
CHUM SALMON: Of 1,500,000 released, 3,000 returned this year.
STEELHEAD SALMON: of 190,000 released, 6,000 returned this year.
Drove on to WA Hwy 109 to Moclips on the Pacific Ocean, where I parked SPA at Jack's place for the night...Was only 3:00 pm, so I walked South to Pacific Beach...did some Bakery Shopping for Breakfast and took a short strolll on the sandy beach...big waves reaching hundreds of feet up the gently sloping sands.
Walked back to Moclips...still no ride...processed over 100 pics into the Mini, ate a tuna salad sandwich with Merlot, wrote the reamble posted last night, and hit the sack...totally wiped out.
DAILY UPDATE: Walked 36 miles - count 18 miles
SEE YOUR IMPACT: Credit 18 miles @ $0.02 per mile = $0.36 for the day.
Was asked if I get discouraged having to walk double the miles...Yes, it is a bit sad that rides are so infrequent...but then, this is my choice and I am grateful to be - at 75 years old - out here where Lewis and Clark did their thing...realizing that so many of my peers are already dead.