The package machine is the final machine that many former tress pass thought before moving to the world of retail lumber. The machine always compresses the sides of a stack of lumber with a wide metal plate on each side and once this hug begins, another steal plate descends from above and compresses the stack of lumber as much as it can. Then a metal strap is released and it races through a channel on these three hugging panels and surrounds the load of wood. The strap sounding like chain flying thought the air, from the movie Hellraiser, snapping quickly is pulled tight, crimped and holds the load cozy.
Depending on the grade of the wood, a different treatment is dispensed, much like air travel. The higher grade wood requires two people on either side of the machine, reaching their arms through the moving plates and snapping straps to place a small pad of thick soft paper, on the wood, where the strap will fall, to prevent the board from being dented by its metal belt. Once, I placed my corner of paper on the stack of lumber and it fell off. I reached throughout the machine from the front end, rather than the side as it was in cycle. The man beside me screamed
realising my mistake, I pulled my arm back, as top plate descended, brushed the sleeve of my jacket. Crunching as it does, the boards into order, snapping the strap into place. That load had one dented board and I have my right arm.