The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Wood Technology Laboratory

In 1897 the Board of Regents authorized the Committee on Buildings and Grounds "to procure plans for enlarging the steam heating plant at the Hospitals so as to provide a dining room, laundry, and dormitories for the nurses in the Training School, at a cost not exceeding $10,000." The building, which was situated north of the other hospital buildings on Catherine Street, was used for this purpose for a number of years. A section of it was used for twenty years (1897-1917) as a laundry; later, the building became a clinical laboratory. Eventually, however, when the old hospitals were connected with the central heating plant of the University, this heating and power plant was abandoned, and in 1928 it was decided to remodel the west side of it as a wood utilization laboratory for the use of the School of Forestry and Conservation (R.P., 1926-29, p. 442). The sum of $8,300 was set aside for special repairs and alterations.

These changes included installation of a lumber-drying kiln provided with the necessary instruments and apparatus, a fully equipped wood-preserving plant designed to operate at pressures up to 200 pounds to the square inch, additional machinery and equipment for study of the mechanical and physical properties of woods and of the bonding of wood with adhesives, and improved facilities for the study of the structure of woods, with special reference to properties and industrial uses. The floor area occupied by the kiln and wood-preserving plant is approximately 40 by 70 feet, and there is ample working space around the units.

Since 1945 the building has undergone considerable remodeling, and there have been extensive additions of equipment. Total floor space now available is 15,400 square feet. The east end of the building was rehabilitated in 1946, and space provided for a finishing laboratory, a wood-machining laboratory, and for storage. New equipment for these two laboratories included a spray booth and accessory equipment and a complete assortment of power woodworking machines, namely, a planer, band saw, router, shaper, jointer, sanding machines, circular saws, borers, and drill press.

Alterations to the west end of the building in 1953-54 resulted in space for wood chemistry and in better facilities for work in wood anatomy, physical and mechanical properties of wood, and gluing. The major pieces of equipment in the gluing laboratory consist of two hot presses, a high frequency machine, a refrigerator for storing glues, a glue spreader and a cold press, together with appropriate testing equipment, while in the timber mechanics laboratory are two 60,000-pound universal testing machines, one mechanically and one hydraulically Page  1756operated, a toughness testing machine and various strain measuring devices and instruments. A weighing room is adjacent to the gluing and timber testing laboratories. Three large controlled temperature-relative humidity rooms, constructed in 1950, are in the basement.

The wood preservation laboratory contains two pressure cylinders and accessory working tank and pressure equipment. In addition, there is specially designed equipment for vacuum treating. The dry kiln, in the same laboratory, was remodeled in 1951 by the Standard Dry Kiln Company and is now of up-to-date design.

Additional remodeling in 1955 provided a fourth large, walk-in humidity room in the basement. At that time, an area 24 by 48 feet on the ground floor at the east end of the building, which formerly served as a garage, was incorporated into the laboratory. Metal-working and maintenance equipment including precision grinders, boring equipment, a lathe, and a milling machine are now housed in this area.