Hardwood Blog

Perspectives and insights on the hardwood lumber industry.                     

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For decades craftsmen have considered using North American white ash as a substitute for Appalachian red oak.  But why? In general ash (Fraxinus Americana) and red oak (Quercus rubra) are excellent hardwoods to use for many products.  Moulding manufacturers, cabinet makers, and even door and window manufacturers could use either to produce their products. Red oak is a more traditional fiber to use for products such as those listed above, however, ash has become a…
If you are not still buying hardwood lumber in random widths and random lengths, chances are you purchase your lumber either width sorted or in exact ripped-to-width bundles.  But why would a manufacturer prefer sorted strips or hardwood rips? Many times manufacturers that purchase hardwoods in sorted strips will do so to rip a specific hardwood blank. They already have the equipment and the expertise available in their production process and they feel they can…
It seems that every day one of my customers asks me, “Can I see the hardwood lumber tally for that bundle?” Of course, in an attempt to provide the best possible customer experience, the answer to the question is undoubtedly yes.  However are they always necessary? Don’t get me wrong, hardwood lumber tallies are important.  They provide detailed information on the boards that make up a bundle of lumber.  They provide important insights into the…

Why Is 8 Foot Poplar Hard To Find?

  • Friday, 10 July 2015 15:51
We are often asked why is Poplar in eight foot only lengths so hard to find?  We get this question especially from moulding and millwork manufacturers who prefer to receive eight foot board lengths because it works best for their finished products.  For them, longer length boards just become harder to work with and usually end up being shortened as a finished product  leaving an assortment of unusable shorts that just pile up in their…
For years people have had the choice to order their hardwood lumber in standard random widths and lengths or in special sorted bundles.  Everyone knows you can buy hardwood lumber sorted by color, width, length, and even by certain board characteristics.  The general thinking is that when ordering your hardwood lumber sorted you get more of the boards you can use in your production process and you eliminate undo waste or create less unusable parts…

Is The Printed Brochure Dead

  • Friday, 10 July 2015 15:44
I was having a conversation with another hardwood lumber marketer the other day and we spent a good amount of time debating the virtues of a printed brochure.  What our conversation came down to was the question, “is the multi-page, high quality, glossy printed company brochure still required?” Printed brochures have been a staple of the traditional marketing communications mix for as long as I can remember.  They have always had a sense of corporate…

Yes We Rip Tropicals

  • Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:42
Do you rip tropical hardwoods? That was the question we were asked by a manufacturing customer the other day.  The simple answer was yes!  We can rip any species of hardwood lumber once it is at our rip saw location. Today it is very typical for one of the first steps in the manufacturing process to be the conversion of random width lumber to exact-widths.  Of course every company’s dimensional needs are unique, but the…
If you work with hardwoods you know the importance of choosing the right species to capture that perfect look you are seeking to achieve.  More and more, manufacturers and woodworking professionals are looking to tropical species alternatives to bring something new to their products. Many of us are familiar with the virtues of Mahogany and Teak.  However, over the last few years Sapele has grown in popularity and is now considered a mainstream species with…

Hardwood Lumber Professionals, Do You Tweet?

  • Friday, 06 February 2015 15:32
The hardwood lumber industry  has a reputation of one built on tradition, longevity, and history.  We have been considered an industry that is slow to change and one that is filled with late adopters of technology.  Many of us live based on the old adage “if it’s not broken don’t fix it!”  So let me ask you… Do you Tweet? Social Media in general is not as foreign to those of us in the lumber…

How do you search for new suppliers?

  • Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:28
I can remember the days, (just a few short years ago), when you were looking for a new product or service one of the things you did was dig out the old yellow pages and search  alphabetically or by industry. No more. If you are like us, the first thing we do is open up a web browser and type exactly what you need.  The information you receive back is more plentiful, more relevant, and…