Additional Cooperage and Stave Offerings Available

Cooper Machine is proud to be a member of the Associated Cooperage Industries of America. We are now offering a Splayer and a Barrel Sander to sand barrels with the hoops still on. We are in the process of designing some other new equipment, including a de-hooper to automatically remove hoops from barrels as well. So if you have a need for a specific machine, give us a call and see what we can do!


Cooper Machine Mourns the Loss of Mary Ruth Brown Cooper

We all lost a very special person Saturday. Hot, as her grandchildren lovingly called her, worked hard along side her husband Billy to start Cooper Machine in 1965. We will always remember their hard work and sacrifices to make Cooper Machine succesful.


Mrs. Mary Ruth Brown Cooper died February 9th at Marshall Pines Assisted Living in Evans, Georgia. Mrs. Cooper was born in Emanuel County, daughter of the late Harley Daniel Brown and Ruth Beasley Brown. Mrs. Cooper was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Billy Cooper, and her siblings. She was a graduate of Swainsboro High School and had attended Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton, Georgia. She and her husband Billy owned and operated Cooper Machine Company for many years. Mary Ruth was a member of Wadley Baptist Church.

Funeral services for Mrs. Cooper will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 P.M. at the Wadley Baptist Church with Reverend Tom Harrison and Reverend Gene McCoy officiating. Interment will follow in the Wadley Cemetery. Pallbearers will be: Mark Workman, Matthew McKamey, David Cooper, Daniel Cooper, Andrew Cooper, and Jeremiah Byrd. The Family will receive friends Tuesday evening at Wadley Baptist Church between the hours of 6-8 P.M. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wadley Baptist Church or the American Cancer Society in memory of Mary Ruth.


Sims Forest Products Changes Plans, Seeks Right Product Mix With Cooper Machines

Sims Forest Products: Southern sawmill shifts focus from low-grade hardwoods to sawing pine, installs new equipment. Operates equipment from some of the biggest names in sawmill and resawing sector, including Cooper Machine.

By Tim Cox
Date Posted: 4/2/2018

Sims Forest Products
Southern sawmill shifts focus from low-grade hardwoods to sawing pine, installs new equipment. Operates equipment from some of the biggest names in sawmill and resawing sector, including Cooper Machine.

TUSCUMBIA, Alabama — When Sims Forest Products started up a new sawmill in 2015, it was all set up to cut low-grade hardwood logs into pallet components and other industrial lumber products. About a year later, however, the company transitioned to sawing pine for the same markets and also added some new products for other markets.

A key partner in launching this mill has been Cooper Machine, which manufactures a wide range of sawmill machinery. Cooper supplied the Tuscumbia mill with two new machine centers, including a Cooper log merchandising and sorting system in the log yard and a Cooper auto edger.

Sims Forest Products operates several manufacturing facilities and has two sawmills operating in Alabama. The company specializes in cutting industrial lumber products.

The company’s pine sawmill is located in Tuscumbia in northwest Alabama, adjacent to Muscle Shoals, where Sims Forest Products has its corporate headquarters.

Changing the Mill Focus

Last year, Sims management transitioned the facility to pine as low-grade hardwood logs became increasingly difficult to obtain. Pine is much more abundant and has made it easier to keep the mill supplied with logs, and many pallet manufacturers have been moving their customers to pallets made of softwood lumber.

During this plant evolution, Sims added some new equipment, including a second scragg mill — a Baker Products system — to increase production. The company’s operations are equipped with other well-known names of pallet and sawmill machinery manufacturers.

The Tuscumbia plant is comprised of four buildings with a combined 30,000 square feet. Forty employees produce 1.4 million board feet of finished lumber products per month. Cutting all low-grade pine logs, the mill manufactures pallet parts, fence pickets, and it also has operations to produce fence posts, a new product line. About 50% of the mill’s production is pallet components, 25% fence pickets, and 25% fence posts.

The mill can cut “whatever a customer wants” for pallet stock, said assistant mill manager Jeff Lindsey, from 7/16-inch deck boards to 3-inch stringers with lengths ranging from 36 to 72 inches. Most stringers coming out of the plant already are notched for four-way pallets.

The mill, which began operating in 2014, transitioned to pine as low-grade hardwood logs became increasingly difficult to obtain. Sims Forest Products has pallet manufacturing customers in such states as Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

Exploring the Mill Process

The mill buys tree-length pine logs down to a 4-8-inch top. The company gets most of its logs locally, but it buys from contractors up to 200 miles away, which includes southern Tennessee and Mississippi. In the log yard, a knuckleboom loader unloads and stacks incoming logs. A front-end loader is used to feed logs to either scragg mill.

For fence post production, the logs are fed first to a Cooper merchandising system that was added last year. It bucks the logs to lengths of 6, 7, or 8 feet. Logs continue along a trough and are automatically kicked out into bins according to length and diameter and then can be picked up and staged at the pole operations.

The Baker Products scragg mill, acquired used and added in early 2017, is a sharp chain system and runs two 48-inch circle saws to remove two sides of the log. The two-sided cant then is turned on its side 90 degrees.

The two-sided cant then goes to another Cooper addition, a 6-inch, two-saw auto edger. The Cooper machine, with automated infeed, replaced an older edger that required a worker to manually feed it material. The Cooper auto edger centers the cant, and two saws are adjusted automatically and remove the remaining sides to produce a four-sided cant.

The Cooper auto edger has been a good addition to the mill, noted Jeff. “It has worked out well,” he said.

The other production line, in place when the mill first began operating, starts with a Big Jake scragg system originally built by Timberland Machinery, which later was acquired by Brewco. It is a four-saw system with sharp chain infeed that processes the log into a four-sided cant. After twin circular saw blades remove the first two sides, the log continues along to a set of rollers and is turned on its side 90 degrees. The two-sided cant is clamped, measured and centered for the next two saws and exits the machine as a four-sided cant.

Cants produced by both scragg mills are conveyed the length of the building to a cant dumper, then stacked with a forklift, banded, and put in storage until they will be resawn.

The mill relies entirely on gang saws for resawing the pine cants. They are housed in the other mill building and put on a deck feeding to a Timberland double-end trimmer before being resawn.

The company has three gang saws and is in the process of adding a fourth. It has a Brewer, a Brewco, and a Quality Machine, and it will be adding a second Brewer. All the machines have been purchased used — except for the Brewco — and rebuilt by the Sims maintenance staff. The additional Brewer will be a used machine that is being refurbished.

Each gang saw has a planer head sizer on the front to trim the top of the cant down to the correct height. Of the three gang saws, one normally is set up to cut stringers and one for fence pickets. The third machine usually cuts deck boards or other material.

Material exiting the gang saws is graded by a couple of workers and fed to one of four stackers, two AIT lumber stackers and two Timberland Machinery stackers.

The company has a Timberland Machinery double-head notching machine for notching stringers and is getting ready to add a second machine, a West Plains two-head notcher. Profile Technology cutting tools are used for the notching heads.

Fencing Operations & Other Markets

Sims Forest Products is equipped with a Holtec package saw that is mainly used to cut material to length that is manufactured into fence posts. It also may be used to cut cants to length if needed.

The pole operations, contained in a shed, produce 6- and 8- foot fence posts that are perfectly round, without any taper.

The mill has one customer for whom it makes a small quantity of pallets; they’re assembled by hand with pneumatic nailing tools.

All slabs from the Cooper auto edger and the Big Jake scragg system are routed to a Montgomery hog grinder along with other scrap material. The grindings and sawdust are supplied to the nearby affiliated parent company and is processed into mulch.

Most stringers are 48 inches long by 1-1/4x3-½, and nearly all of them are notched before leaving the plant. The company cuts some custom dunnage, too. It also is equipped to cut banding grooves and supplies some grooved dunnage, but most of it is done for its own shipments of fence pickets.

Fencing is sold to markets in Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Kentucky, and most of it ends up being treated before eventual sale to building contractors and homeowners.

The mill relies on two suppliers for saw blades and service, a local company, Miner Saw, and also Superior Saw Service in Tennessee.

Sims Forest Products is a family business, and the owners treat their employees like family, according to Jeff. “We try to get as many local people as possible. We try to help our community around here grow.”

Growing with Cooper Equipment

Although the cut-up system and auto edger are the first two Cooper machines at the Tuscumbia mill, Sims Forest Products has been no stranger when it comes to turning to the machinery manufacturer for equipment. Cooper has supplied machine centers to the company’s other Alabama mill, including an overhead scragg, a MIT 4-inch vertical band head rig, and a 3-inch edger.

Cooper Machine, in Wadley, Georgia, manufactures a wide range of machinery and equipment for the sawmill industry and also is a distributor of some lines of sawmill machinery.

For more information, visit or call (478) 252-5885.


Hurricane Irma Weather Update

Based on the most current projections, we are expecting Hurricane Irma to be affecting our area on Monday. We are currently shown to be in a high impact area. To keep all of our employees safe, Cooper Machine will be closed on Monday, September 11th. If we have the winds we are anticipating, there is a likelihood that power will go out and could possibly be out for several days. Our plan is to be open on Tuesday, if we have the power to do so.

We are hoping and praying for the best, but preparing for the worst.

If you have any immediate service needs during this time, please give me a call on my cell at 770-540-5735 and I will try to get you taken care of as soon as possible.

Frances Cooper Byrd, CEO
Cooper Machine Company, Inc.


Frances Cooper and Jeremiah Byrd Wed

On May 6, 2017, Frances Cooper and Jeremiah Byrd got married in a small ceremony among friends and family at Jean and Robert Cooper’s Lake House on Lake Sinclair outside of Milledgeville, GA. Jeremiah has joined Cooper Machine as a Service Technician. Jeremiah is a certified master auto & diesel technician by trade and graduated from the Nashville Auto Diesel College with a degree in welding, hydraulics, fabrication, pneumatics and high-performance engineering. Frances Cooper Byrd is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has been CEO of Cooper Machine company since 2014. Cooper Machine is a third-generation manufacturer of custom sawmill equipment, best known for their Overhead Scraggs

Frances can now be reached at: FBYRD@COOPERMACHINE.COM


Come see us at the Forest Products Expo!

We will be exhibiting at the Forest Products Expo once again in Atlanta, GA June 14-16. We will have MIT and Prodesa with us again so stop on by and see us in Booth #1816 and MIT in Booth #2247. We hope to see you there!


Happy Holidays!

2016 has been a stellar year for Cooper Machine and we are very blessed to have such great customers! We're looking for 2017 to be even better.

Holiday Schedule:
Cooper Machine will be closed December 26th and 27th for our annual Christmas break. We will be open on the 28th, 29th and 30th and then be closed on January 2.

We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Here at Cooper Machine, we have a lot to be thankful for these days, so I wanted to take a moment to say Thank You.

May your blessings be many and your worries be few.

Cooper Machine will be closed November 24th and 25th.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Come Meet the Experts at the Timber Processing Expo

Robert and Frances from Cooper Machine will be in booth #1003 at the Timber Processing Expo being held September 28-30 in Portland at the Portland Expo Center.

Felipe and Jesus from MIT S.A located in Santiago, Chile, who are best known for their heavy duty carriages and resaws, will also be there. In addition to the carriages and resaws, we are also now offering their line of pallet and cooperage equipment as well.

We will also have Forcus Martinez from Prodesa with us. For those who don't know, Prodesa is an engineering and manufacturing firm located in Zaragoza, Spain, with an office in Atlanta. They have solutions for thermal drying , pellet production, wood processing, Biomass CHP and gas treatment. On September 29, Forcus will be presenting at the Lumber Manufacturing Workshop at 3:00 p.m. on "Pellets: How to Get More from Your Wood Chips and Sawdust". Don't forget to stop by this one; it should prove to be quite interesting.

Also, Roberto De Joannon from Incomac Dry Kilns will also be there in Booth #403 in the Italian Trade Pavilion.

To receive a complimentary expo floor pass please contact us at 478-252-5885 or

For more general information visit:

We look forward to seeing you there!


Cooper Machine Newsletter 2Q16

View our newest newsletter here:


Happy Independence Day!

Cooper Machine will be closed Monday, July 4th and Tuesday, July 5th. We will reopen July 6th and have regular hours the rest of the week.


More Options for Pallet Equipment from Cooper Machine

Cooper Machine is excited to announce that we are now offering MIT's line of Pallet Equipment including a Carousel Block Cutter, Chamfering Machine and Pallet Trimmer. More information on this equipment can be found on our website at

Cooper Machine also has great options for sawmills looking to produce pallet stock including an Overhead Scragg with Vertical Edgers, Yield Champ (Sharp Chain Scragg with Cant Edger), Cutup Systems, Unscramblers, Edgers, Automated Cant Trimmers, Slab Recovery Systems/Resaws, Handling Equipment, Sorting Systems and Kilns.

We are also honored to now be a member of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association. We're looking forward to seeing everyone in Tucson next Spring.


Happy Memorial Day!

In observance of Memorial Day, Cooper Machine will be closed Monday.

We wish you a wonderful holiday,
Your friends at Cooper Machine


Expo Richmond

The 35th East Coast Logging and Equipment Exposition will be here before we know it! This year's event will be held Friday May 13, 2016 from 8:30am - 5pm and Saturday May 14, 2016 from 8:30am - 5pm.

Stop by and see us in booth #228/#230. We will have information on the addition of chipping heads to our line of Scraggs and Edgers (we currently have a Twin Band Skewing Overhead with chipping heads in production)and also our newest offering, a Two Saw Optimized Edger. And for our pallet customers, we now offer a slab recovery system that can be operated with only one person.

Felipe and Sergio Echeverria from MIT (they make those great resaws, headrigs and carriages we import from Santiago, Chile) will also be at the Expo this year. We have now been doing business with MIT for 20 years. In addition to the standard fare, we will also have information on their newest addition to their product line, the True Lumber. The True Lumber is a double cut stationary carriage with movable headrig. We are also now selling their line of cooperage equipment. You can find more information on our website:

Give us a call at 478-252-5885 if you'd like any information or a quote prior to the show.

For more information on registration and hotels the place to visit is


Holiday Hours

Cooper Machine will be closed for Thanksgiving holidays November 26th and 27th.

May the good things of life be yours in abundance
not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the new year!


Cooper Machine Company’s Newest Offering: The Iron Ax Log Loader

Cooper Machine Company is pleased to announce that it now can provide a log loader manufactured by Iron Ax, another manufacturer here in Wadley, Georgia.

Iron Ax has been building equipment for the scrap and demolition industries for years, and is now offering a log loader for the sawmill industry.

These machines are equipped with a Cummins engine, and a double section variable displacement piston pump producing 60.8 gallon of oil flow per minute per section and up to 4,975 pounds of hydraulic pressure. Each machine is equipped with a main boom, stick, live heel, self-elevating cab, and grapple. The grapple is manufactured by Iron Ax and has an opening of 60 inches.

The log loader features a self-elevating cab in which the operator has total control of the height of the cab. The maximum elevation is 17 feet eye level above the ground for superior visibility. Each log loader is equipped with a forestry and cab guard package for the cab and side compartment and heavy duty running boards that will also assist in protecting the machine in its operating environment. The machine has an operating weight of 63,360 pounds.

Please call us at 478-252-5885 for more information or email


It's almost time for the Forest Products Machinery and Equipment Expo!

We are less than a week away from the Forest Products Machinery and Equipment Expo. The event is being held in Atlanta, GA June 10-12. Robert, Wes and Frances will be there, so stop by booth #549 and see what is new at Cooper Machine!


MIT True Lumber Now Available from Cooper Machine

Cooper Machine Company of Wadley, Georgia is excited to announce the new stationary carriage/mobile headrig, True Lumber mill is now available in North America from MIT S.A. This exciting breakthrough in sawmill design is the perfect choice for any mill, hardwood or softwood, that requires increased production with a very small footprint. Thin kerf mills looking to increase production and scragg or low grade operators seeking an affordable way to process high profit grade lumber are just two of the most obvious applications.
The True Lumber mill comes loaded with standard features like a 6” double cut band, 17.5* slant carriage, operators cab, computerized setworks, all hydraulics, 36” log diameter and lengths from 8-17’. The True Lumber is no one size fits all mill. It offers flexible options of either 4” or 8” single or double cut bands, longer lengths and a host of other options. If your operation needs more production and yield, but doesn’t have the space for a conventional carriage, look at the True Lumber.


Cooper Machine Joins IHLA

Cooper Machine is pleased to now be a member of the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen's Association. We will be exhibiting at the IHLA 2015 Convention on March 11-12 in Indianapolis. We look forward to seeing everyone there!


Cooper Machine Company, Inc. Unveils Newly Redesigned Website

Cooper Machine Company of Wadley, Georgia recently unveiled the new website. The new site offers current customers and potential buyers complete specifications, features, video, client testimonials and printable product information on every Cooper machine offered, plus details on high quality sawmill machinery and dry kilns represented by Cooper. At the new you’ll also find an up-to-date Used Machinery page to showcase Cooper trade-ins and reconditioned machines when available. Cooper Machine CEO Frances Cooper stated, “The new site, created by the design team at, will better serve Cooper sawmill, scragg mill and dry kiln customers worldwide and be much simpler to update and maintain insuring more accurate information.”
Find out more about the complete line of Cooper products by visiting or call 478-252-5885.


CEO Press Release

Effective 8/15/14, Frances Cooper is taking over as CEO of Cooper Machine. Frances graduated from the University of Georgia in 2004 with a BBA in Finance. She has experience in management, sales and marketing and has been using these skills at Cooper Machine since 2008. She will continue to use these skills to build on the solid foundation that her grandparents began in 1965.

I would like to welcome Frances at this new position as she takes the helm as CEO of Cooper Machine. Thank you for your support as we continue to build a business focused on our customers and the innovative sawmill solutions needed for the sawmill industry.

Robert Cooper, President


Upcoming Expos and Conventions

Frances Cooper will be exhibiting along with Roberto De Joannon of Incomac Dry Kilns (Italy)at the IWF show August 20-23 in Atlanta, Georgia. We'll be in booth #4321.

We will also be exhibiting at the NHLA Convention in Las Vegas, NV October 8-10 in booth 220.

We will also be exhibiting at the Timber Processing and Energy Expo in Portland, Oregon October 15-17 in booth #17.

Stop by and see us if you are attending any of these events. If you'd like to make an appointment to meet at any of these events, please give Frances a call at 478-252-5885.


Texas Mill Upgrades with New Cooper Scragg

Crosscut Hardwoods Boosts Production with New Cooper Scragg Featuring a Cross Cut 8-12' Overhead with Faster Loading and Vertical Edgers.

To view online article to go