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History of the Forest Products Laboratory

Interview #992: Lulling, Robert M. (June, 2009)

View all of First Interview Session (October 15, 2008), disc 1

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01:05:56 - 01:11:23 Travel

travel, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (Wis.), mills and mill-work, storage racks, wood products, quality control, forest products industry, glue, swimming pools, construction, television advertising

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01:05:56

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RL

Things that I did, trips and so forth that I made? I was of course a technician and we weren't always permitted to go on trips or weren't schooled enough, let's put it that way, I guess. But we had the experience and we actually did the research and in a lot of cases we know more than the project leader. But I went to, first of all, to Nicolet National Forest (Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest) up north in Wisconsin. And we made a trip up there to observe lumber cutting, whatnot, that the Indians owned a mill up there, this on the reservation. We looked at the kind of work they did and we found out that one of their biggest problems was they could not count on their help to show up. They were going to do a job this day at---and so and so was to come and he was out fishing or hunting or something and didn't show up. And they had---that existed. Whether it still does, I don't know, but at that time it did.

We went to Wausau Homes up in Wausau (Wisconsin) and they were having a racking problem. They used adhesives quite extensively in their building but when they loaded them on the trailer to be delivered to site, that things would rack from vibration and whatnot and so they, in some cases, couldn't get them off the truck without them falling apart. So we found out that they needed to have a little more quality control. I guess that solved the problem---the same thing with Wicks Home out here in Middleton. They built, inside, they called it inside, but what their problem was they often times opened the garage doors or the doors to the room in which they were making construction and this permitted a lot of like today, a lot of humidity in that room, which was sufficient to give them a poor bond. That the lumber was stored in there and it took on the humidity and remained in there because it was in a garage which was cool, it wasn't heated at all time. So it was just a matter of semantics to get them to be a little more cautious. But this, that solved a lot of their problems and that meant money to them and we saved them a lot of money.

01:08:57

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RL

One of the things that is kind of interesting---on television, I don't know whether you ever recall ever seeing an advertisement where they have a springboard out over a pool and they advertising Elmer's Glue and this guy would spring off of the board and they'd have the board glued together like this you know and it worked fine, whatnot. Well what they didn't know is that Elmer's Glue is not resistant to moisture and this being right over a pool. While it remained a good bond, it was not for a very long time because Elmer's Glue swells when moisture is around it. And when it swells, it becomes weaker and so if you tried to jump with that board say in twenty-four hours after it's put together, it would come apart, it would have no spring to it at all.

01:09:58

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RL

We also made a trip up to Wisconsin Rapids (Wisconsin) and a motel there, the Mead Hotel, Motel [Hotel Mead] I guess it's called. They constructed a pool and they used the laminated timber for the roofing over the pool and they deteriorated, the glue bond, and the same thing. They used a [urea?] type adhesive to bond those timbers and of course the contractors that did the work apparently did not know much about glues. Glues were just glue, you know. So they had quite a problem, they had to take that all down and use [resorcinol?] type adhesives to solve that problem.

01:10:58

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RL

I went to Purdue University with Bryan for a seminar, Brian was to give a talk and he became ill and had to come back here, but I stayed there, we skipped his speech and I didn't have to give it for him. But it was an interesting seminar.

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