5 Reasons Why Hardwood Rips Make Sense

Many times, one of the first steps when manufacturing with hardwoods is to convert the random width boards to the exact widths required in production. 

Manufacturers either do this in their own production facilities or they work with a trusted hardwood lumber supplier and purchase exact width SLR2E boards, (moulder blanks), instead of random width  lumber. This typically replaces or supplements what they produce themselves.

When our customers request us to provide them with SLR2E lumber directly we find it is many times related to improving one of these key areas.

To lower operational costs

When working with hardwood lumber one of the most important areas to maximize is lumber yield. Improving yields by 2% or 3% can make a big difference in performance. Manufacturers that purchase exact width lumber can many times capitalize on the precision of their supplier’s equipment, the experience of their operators, as well as benefit from the efficiencies of their supplier’s larger cut bills.  It also allows them to reduce their overall lumber waste and waste disposal costs.

Shift variable costs to fixed costs

When you rely on random width hardwood lumber you never quite know exactly how the bundles will work in your operation.  When manufacturers purchase ripped to width blanks they take the guess work out of the hardwood lumber conversion process. It also helps shift variable costs of production to fixed costs since they can better track their overall lumber expenditures.

Efficiency Improvement

Manufacturers realize efficiency gains when they reduce the amount of unusable inventory created and lessen the amount of re-handling lumber needed in their warehouse. In the past we have seen companies reassign employees from their ripping operation to other strategic positions and improve operations in those areas as well. 


When business is good there is only so much a plant can do to drive increased manufacturing.  Double shifts, employee overtime, expedited raw material orders and increased maintenance intervals can all bring additional challenges.  One way we see customers increase production is to order moulder ready hardwood blanks and bypass the random width conversion process. Some manufactures utilize these practice to feed lumber directly into the next phase of their manufacturing process and increase product production since the ripping cell is many times a production bottleneck.

Freight Savings

Manufacturers that utilize hardwood lumber in their production process many times require several truckloads of material each year. Reducing freight costs is always of interest. Depending on one’s specific cutting bill and inventory position, it is not uncommon for a company to experience 15% to 25% wood waste. When ordering in exact ripped to width lumber that matches your specific production process instead of traditional random width lumber you eliminate paying freight on this type of future waste. This is a cost savings that most have not fully considered but is achievable with hardwood rips.

Many of our exact width hardwood rip customers are making things like cabinet parts, mouldings, ship lap and tongue and groove boards. In addition, we can even take it one step further and provide S4S hardwood lumber as well.

If you are considering utilizing ripped exact width hardwood lumber or S4S blanks give us a call. Representatives from our Hardwood Ripping Division would be happy to share their experiences and thoughts with you.

Tony C.
The Baillie Group
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Hardwood Ripping Division Team Members

Bob Uglow
Cell: 407-496-4146
Office: 800-950-2850
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Ryan Brunner
Cell: 716-912-3764
Office: 800-950-2850
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