Grand opening of new Bell Museum has link to Palisade company

20 Aug 2018

Mille Lacs

Superior Thermowood of Minnesota’s Palisade wood treatment plant has been processing wood, making specialized parts, and negotiating new markets, all while working to rebuild after a devastating fire in July 2015.

The business was open within 13 days of the fire to complete orders for lumber. However, according to owner and manager John Bieganek it’s been an unbelievable challenge for him and his employees, Gene Mejdrich, Vern Bishop, and Greg Kaczor to move forward with all the damage from the fire still so visible around them. Despite the challenges, roughly 360,000 board feet of lumber was processed in 2017.

Rising from the ashes

The Thermowood process continues in a newer building that survived the fire. Planing and moulding are being subcontracted temporarily until a new manufacturing building can be built on the site of the old one. The necessary equipment is being replaced to enable the crew to begin taking in custom work on a larger scale once more. The company has purchased a rip saw and moulder, and plans to have a new resaw line ready to go this summer. Additional kiln capacity is planned that will allow Thermowood to dry about 20,000 board feet of lumber at one time.

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