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Latest News

Highlands Sawmill prospers with Wood-Mizer

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Highlands Sawmill prospers with Wood-Mizer

The road to Harding in KwaZulu-Natal where Highlands Sawmill is located passes through some of the most scenic landscapes in South Africa.


Green pastures and plantations are framed by the Ingeli and Drakensberg Mountain ranges in the distance with timber and cattle farms dotting the banks of the wide rivers that cross through the area.


Highlands Sawmill is located in one of the many fertile valleys outside Harding that is also home to the vast Weza and Singisi Forests from where large amounts of sawn timber exit for South Africa and the region.


Highlands Sawmill is located on a third-generation timber and cattle farm owned by the Hogg family. 

Geoff Hogg, the current custodian of the farm, added to timber that his father first planted with some 740 hectares now set aside for timber production.

The areas on the farm planted to Pine and Eucalyptus produce logs for furniture and structural grade timber, CCA treated poles that are produced on the farm for agricultural applications and fibre for paper production as part of Highlands Sawmills’ membership of Sappi’s out-grower scheme.

Wood-Mizer Sawmills and MP360 Planer Moulder drive production

The 2018 start-up of the Wood-Mizer MP360 Planer Moulder at Highlands Sawmill added to the sharp increase in production capacity that followed the mill’s commissioning of two Wood-Mizer sawmilling lines in 2016 and 2017.

Gerhard Pretorius, Highland Sawmills’ sawmill manager, fast-tracked the process to use Wood-Mizer technology as the backbone for the increases in output and recovery at the mill.

The two sawmill lines work in tandem to produce sawn timber for distribution to factories and hardware centres throughout KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and beyond.

Line No. 1 uses a Wood-Mizer LT70 Remote with an outfeed conveyor and transfer deck to a Wood-Mizer EG300 edger to produce accurately sawn, 6m structural timber lengths from maximum log diameters of up to 950 mm.

Highlands Sawmill’s LT70 Remote cutting pine grown on the farm.

Line No. 2 is built around a Wood-Mizer Twin Vertical Saw (TVS) and HR700 Multi-Head resaw. The line processes Highland Timber’s small diameter pine logs ranging in size from 150 to 250 mm and up to 4,8 m in length into furniture grade sawn timber.

Wood-Mizer’s thin kerf narrow bandsaw industrial equipment processes the farm’s shorter log lengths into high-value furniture grade timber.

Progressive and compartment kilns are used for drying while Wood-Mizer Blade maintenance equipment allows Highlands Sawmill to maintain their own blades to the standards they require.

Wood-Mizer MP360 planer moulder for bigger profits at Highlands Sawmill

The 2018 start-up of the Wood-Mizer MP360 planer moulder at Highlands Sawmill has extended the mill’s ability to seamlessly convert logs into sawn timber and then into finished wood products for increased profits.


“We were in the market for a planer moulder that would allow us to process sawn material into planed and moulded products with better margins,” Gerhard Pretorius says.


“But we could never afford a planer moulder until we were introduced to the Wood-Mizer MP360.

Wood-Mizer’s recently commissioned MP360 planer moulder extending Highlands’ margins further.


“The price of the unit and the four-sided planing and moulding capacity that it offers, is well beyond anything that is currently available in the market. We can now process sawn material into high-value planed and profiled boards in one pass. In doing so, we have improved our price/cubic meter by 200%.

“Wood-Mizer's expertise and commitment to customer service make our investment even more worthwhile,” Gerhard explains.

From left, Lee Pauls, Wood-Mizer’s RSA Machine Sales Manager with Jeff Hogg, owner of Highlands Sawmill and the farming operation.


MP360 – high product Hi High production planer moulder

Wood-Mizer’s Woodworking Machine Range now gives Wood-Mizer the ability to offer a full range of equipment that can seamlessly convert logs into dried lumber and finally into finished wood products - all backed by Wood-Mizer's expertise and commitment to excellent customer service.

The range consists of four and two-sided planer moulders, thicknesser planers, a highly innovative universal spindle moulder with an all-purpose table saw adding to the versatility of the range

The MP360 four-sided planer/moulder is a high-production, large capacity machine engineered for professional workshops. It’s a further development of the tried and tested Wood-Mizer MP260 planer/moulder.


Its robust design allows for the processing of thicker timber on four sides offering a maximum planning/moulding height of 230 mm and a maximum cutting width of 510 mm.

The unit’s four cutter head motors range in size from 3 – 5.5 kW with the feed speed pinned at 3 – 15 m/minute.

For a full rundown on the specifications and options on the Wood-Mizer Planer Moulder range visit www.woodmizerafrica.com



Welcome to the Newsroom for Wood-Mizer Africa! 

Here you will discover how Wood-Mizer sawmill owners worldwide are actively growing local economies by processing wood more sustainably and profitably. 

I invite you to contact myself to inquire more about Wood-Mizer or any of these articles. 

Etienne Nagel Wood-Mizer PR journalist Africa Asia
PR Coordinator

Etienne Nagel
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