Finishing Entrance88 inch Cutter

Paper Finishing Department

Paper Mill Home Page

Just beyond that green door lies the Paper Finishing Department. Paper finishing converted rolls into sheets, which would then be stacked onto skids or put into cartons depending on the customer's request. Depicted in the upper right photo is the 88" cutter.

100 inch CutterCutter Layboy

The Shasta Mill Paper Finishing Dept. had three rotary cutters, a 100" model Clark-Aiken; 88" model Clark-Aiken and a 59" model Smith and Winchester.

One can almost hear the clack, clack, clack as the cutter knives would cut the paper into sheets onto a platform for the two trimmers.

Rolls would be set down at the back end of the cutters and 'loaded' onto the backstands. Left photo depicts the 100" cutter room. The upper right photo depicts a platform of paper being stacked on the 88" cutter 'layboy'.

The next series of photographs depict various personnel who were involved in the cutter operating area of the Shasta Paper Finishing Dept.

88 inch cutter crew 59 and 88 inch cutter crew cd plant view
Glen B. Lauren and Gene Rich B.
Glen B. Cutter Crew Bobby R.
Donnie B. Don and Rich B. Helen
87 inch trimmer 110 inch trimmer

Between the cutters and trimmers was a sorting station where 'sorters' would check through a load of paper, manually removing defective sheets. Upper right photo depicts paper finishing sorter Helen A. out in the roll warehouse one afternoon (Thanks Yvonne for use of the photo).

The finishing dept. had two Lawson trimmers: an 87" trimmer and a 110" 'Pacemaker' trimmer. Depicted in the left photo is the 87" trimmer and in the right two photographs, the 110" trimmer. 110 inch trimmer

The 110" trimmer handled the larger orders of longer dimensioned trimmed size of paper known as 'bedsheet' lengths for the west coast canneries, wineries and litho poster publishing companies. carnauba wax

One needed to be very careful while operating the trimmers, in order to keep one's hand from being crushed by the large clamp which held the clip of paper in place as it was being cut by the very sharply honed trimmer knife.

The trimmer bed would require at times, a thin coat of carnauba wax applied to it in order to aid in turning the large clips of paper to be trimmed.

Maple Trimmer Stick

This wax application would later be replaced by a thin coat of sprayed-on silicone applied from an aerosol spray can. Upper left photo depicts a vintage block of trimmer carnauba wax.

Nylon Trimmer Stick

Along with the occasional application of carnauba wax to the trimmer beds and loading/stacking tables, there was also the need to replace the trimmer sticks. These clear hardwood maple sticks (left photo) were used as a soft surface for the sharp trimmer knives to make contact with as the blade completed a trimmed cut cycle through a solid clip or lift of paper.

There was a channel or groove on each trimmer bed in which these trimmer sticks were inserted down into. The trimmer knife was then adjusted with a large wrench until the knife edge made light contact with the trimmer stick. During the process as paper was being trimmed, these sticks would need to be occasionally rotated onto the next side until all sides were used. Later the hardwood trimmer sticks would be replaced with a synthetic nylon trimmer stick (right photo).

Once the service life had been exhausted from constant use, trimmer personnel would occasionally request material passes for these spent trimmer sticks. These used trimmer sticks would then be taken home by the employees to be used around the house. One area which they were utilized was in gardens as support stakes.

Another practical use was as maple knife blocks to store kitchen knives. Employees would glue the precision milled sticks into a solid laminated block, then router or notch a groove into the block so that knives could rest there securely. Maple Toy Whistle

Another clever idea which the maple trimmer sticks were used for, were as crafted toy whistles. Employees would cut the used trimmer sticks into small sections, then drill out the insides, and notch or craft the small wood piece into an actual functional toy train whistle. Left photo depicts one such wooden toy whistle fashioned out of a used maple trimmer stick.


Speaking of train whistles, when the late George Hovater wasn't at his assigned lead station at the Shasta Sheet Finishing 87" trimmer, he was usually out chasing trains somewhere. It was once said out around the department floor that there wasn't anything which George would rather be doing than trimming paper. But the truth of the matter was that during his off work hours, Mr. Hovater was an avid train enthusiast.


Hovater had an extensive HO model train layout in his converted garage in Anderson. He loved and modeled Santa Fe in their 'War Bonnet' scheme. Mr. Hovater also had a set of Lionel Santa Fe Passenger Diesel Engines which he was very proud of.

So when George wasn't spending time with his family after work, chances were that he could probably be found out in his converted garage spending time working on his train layout. George also could be found down either in Sacramento at the California State Railroad Museum (photo on left), or perhaps north somewhere along the railroad tracks. And sometimes even further north, up into southern Oregon watching trains pass by along the old Southern Pacific Siskiyou mainline.

Right photo depicts the late Mr. George Hovater up just north of Ashland, in the state of Oregon, standing next the Southern Pacific Railroad's historic Siskiyou line.

The next set of photos depict several more individuals who worked on the trimmers, along with Shasta Mill management employees depicted. (Thanks Helen A. for the use of several of your photos of the Shasta Mill Paper Finishing Dept. for this page)
John W. Larry and Jerry cd plant view
110 trimmer crew trimmer crew finishing maintenance.
Rich, Gene and Mike. Ken G. Group over at the 110 trimmer

Toward the back of the finishing department was the sample room, where the 'sampler' would prepare for shipment, 'paper swatches' for prospective clientele, in other words, samples of the various grades of paper produced at the Shasta Mill.

The following photographs were taken during a paper finishing dept. safety milestone celebration which was set up inside the Shasta Mill sample room during the period in which Kimberly Clark owned the mill operation (note the hats employees were required to wear at the time of K-C ownership). Thank you Sandy H. for these photos, which include your parents, the late Clancy and Kay Coates.

Sample Room Sample Room  Sample Room

In the late 1980s, a Jagenberg Precision Sheeter was purchased from Germany and installed in paper finishing. The Shasta Mill sample room was relocated and a building annex was then constructed in order to house the new sheeter equipment.

At the end of the sheeter, a Fordertechnik ream stacking packaging line was installed which permitted the sheeted paper to be automatically placed onto skids, or into cartons.

Lower left photo depicts construction workers preparing the new finishing room annex for the Jagenberg Precision Sheeter. Lower middle photo depicts a crane moving a sheeter cutter component from the shipping container. The next several photos after those, depict both the assembly of the new precision sheeter equipment in the finishing annex building and while in operation.

Sheeter Room Precision Sheeter  Sheeter Component
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Palletizer area Palletizer area
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Palletizer area

Sheeter operator Tom D. is depicted in the above left photo and sheeter 2nd operator Don H. is depicted in the above right photo. Sheeter operator Don J. is believed to be depicted at the operator control station in the distance in the above middle photo.

In this next series set of photographs, various angles are depicted of the Shasta Mill Precision Sheeter area, starting with the area where the rolls are laid down for the sheeter loader. Shasta Precision Sheeter loader Bob K. is seen depicted in the first few photographs, stripping and preparing rolls of Shasta manufactured paper to be loaded onto the sheeter backstand. Some of the Shasta Mill Finishing Dept. sheeter crew members are also represented in these several following images there afterward:
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter

In this next series of photographs, rolls of paper have been cut into precise finished sheets which then go through the process of being stacked into either cartons or skids on the finishing end of the Shasta Mill Precision Sheeter.
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter
Precision Sheeter Precision Sheeter Palletizer area

Various crew members of the Shasta Mill Precision Sheeter are depicted in the next three photos.

In the left photo ( from left to right): Don J., Jim A., Tom D. and Gene stand for the photographer. Middle photo left to right: Dennis B., Don J., Tom D, Dalton "Pappy" T., Tom B., Richard B. with fellow crew member Cliff F. seen sitting in front. Sheeter operator Tom D. is depicted in the right photo at the sheeter's workstation computer.
Sheeter Crew Precision Sheeter Crew  Tom D.

Flatstock Finished Goods Warehouse Finished Goods Warehouse

In addition to the above converting equipment, the paper finishing dept. also had a 'skid line' and a 'carton line' where both skids and cartons of paper were processed before sent out to the warehouse. Upper left photo depicts material handling personnel staging carton 'flat stock' for finishing. Middle and right photos depict pallet loads of cartons being staged out in the Finished Goods Warehouse. Skid Line

Part Skid Area

The Shasta Mill paper finishing Signode 'skidline' is depicted in the right photo. A large press would come down on top of the wrapped skid and apply pressure while the packager banded the finished skid of paper for shipment.

Left photo depicts a slight mishap one evening in the 'part skid' area by the 110" trimmer and packaging skid line. How do you want that taken out of your paycheck?!?

Note the large platforms of staged cut paper depicted in the right side of the photo. These were known as 'bedsheet' due to both the long length and width of the cut sheet. This was normally a C1S label grade destined for the west coast canneries, once the paper was trimmed and wrapped. Can you guess how many individual labels could be printed from just one sheet of this paper?

Atta Boy

Left photo depicts a little dept. humor which some sheet finishing employee crafted up. It is a comical certificate to award high production crews and or individuals. Have you received your 'Atta-Boy' yet? Work harder, you'll earn it!

The next photos depict various Shasta Mill Paper Finishing management staff and salary support/scheduling personnel.

In the following upper left photo, Finishing supervisor Jack G. with a cup of coffee in his hand. Prior to a mill-wide reorganization, Jack oversaw operations in Shasta's Roll Processing Dept. as Dept Superintendent. Upper middle photo Finishing managers' left to right: Supervisor Rick L, Finishing Superintendent Rich C. and Assist. Finishing Superintendent Gene K. Upper right photo depicts Finishing relief supervisor Rich B. during a brief moment of relaxation.

Center row of photos left to right: middle left photo of relief super.Willy Mc A.; center photo Don P. and Gene K.; middle right photo: shift supervisor J.C. S..
Jack G. Rick, Rich and Gene Rich B.
Willy Mc A Don P and Gene Tom Davies
Office Office Office

Lower left and middle photos: from left to right: Rod L., Gene K., J.C., with planner Paul Pike on the right, inside the Finishing Supervisor's office. Right photo is of Shasta Mill paper scheduler-planner Elaine H.

The Exit

Now watch your step while going back out that green door when leaving finishing. Heavy roll tractor traffic down the clamp truck corridor!

The Lunch Room

The breakroom was located just down the hallway corridor and out a couple of doors from this location. Employees might be found on occasion out in the lunch room during their breaktime playing a quick game of 'Liars Dollar'. Or perhaps engaging in some 'three coin' lag toss with a few fellow coworkers while enjoying a cup of coffee.