Monday, June 18, 2012

Emerald Ash Borer

Here is a recent photo of our forester giving a talk to local elementary school students.  The question raised by one very well informed 1st grader was: were the ash logs on the load cut because of the Emerald Ash Borer?  Impressive for a 7 year old!


The answer is no.  Luckily we have not seen too much of the Emerald Ash Borer in our area...yet, though some of our surrounding counties in New York have reported incidences of this Asian beetle.  Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was first discovered in Michigan in 2002 and has since spread rapidly throughout the northeastern U.S., infecting and killing millions of Ash trees - a sad situation for the health of our forests.


Emerald Ash Borer

To learn more, please visit The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website where regular updates on the status of the Emerald Ash Borer within New York are posted. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lumber manufacturing (continued)

Recently we've talked a lot about our sawing processes, but what happens to our sawn lumber after this step?

The next step in our manufacturing process is drying the boards of lumber.  This is accomplished by placing lumber into large drying kilns where circulating air allows the excess moisture in the boards to evaporate and the wood to be brought down to the correct moisture content for finished materials.  This is a critical step as wood with too much moisture will cause problems in the final application (ie. swelling in wood floors, bowing of boards used in furniture making, etc).  Different species of wood require different amounts of time to dry down to the ideal moisture content (hardwoods, 6-8%).

Lumber being loaded into drying kilns

Once lumber comes out of our drying kilns it is processed through our grading facility.  This step separates the nicer boards from the more rustic boards.  The grading of lumber is actually a complex science with strict requirements that have been set by the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA).  Our graders have passed rigorous NHLA coursework and are regularly updated of new developments in lumber grading standards.

Grading kiln dried lumber

Once our lumber is graded it is either sold in the rough form in wholesale lots to cabinetry and furniture making companies, or processed through our finishing mill to create the wood materials that you might use in your home.

Finishing mill


Thursday, June 7, 2012

What lies within

What is found inside of a tree?  Wood of course, right?  

Turns out that's not all you might find. 

Unknown metal object found in log

It's amazing what we have found inside some of the logs that we have processed through our plant over the years.  Whether we realize it or not humans have had a great impact on forests and their trees throughout the course of time.  From sap spiles used to tap maple trees for syrup to metal brackets used for clothes lines, it's incredible the amount of metal objects that become embedded in trees over the course of their life.  Take for example the forests of Europe:  many of the trees in these forests have permanent scars from the effects of bullets entering the wood during both World War I and II.

Arrowhead found in log
For a sawmill metal materials can severely damage sawing equipment should they come in contact with the sawing blades.  For several years we have had a metal detector in place which scans each log before it enters our sawing facility.  We recently installed a new detector which has been even more effective in identifying the presence of metal materials in our logs before they are sawn.

Metal detector that logs pass under at our facility prior to entering our sawmill

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A great time for siding!

The summer months provide the perfect opportunity to install siding on your home.  Obviously the warm weather is a key factor for the comfort of the installer but warmer temperatures are also critical when applying primer, stain and paint to unfinished siding.

Many oil based primers require minimum temperatures of around 50 degrees; latex stains and paints have similar temperature requirements.  Taking care to seal both the front and back side of the wood siding will ensure the proper protection of the wood.  Sealing the ends of each board is best to guarantee against any water penetration into the wood; caulking at joints will also achieve this goal.

Here is a Cypress siding installation in progress:

Unfinished Cypress clapboard

Primed and painted

Installation of clapboard and trim in progress at front entrance

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May Rough lumber availabilities


Mini Lot Wholesale (200 – 500 BF) 
Small Lot Wholesale (500 – 3,000 BF)


4/4 Select and Better Grade
Specie
6'
7'
8'
9'/10’
11'/12’
Ash

y
y
y
y
Basswood


y
y
y
Black Walnut



y
Cherry - Sap

y
y
y
y
Cherry – Red

y
y
y
y
Hard Maple
y
y

y
y
Hickory



y
y
Red Oak
y

y
y
y
Red Oak – Qtr. sawn



y
y
White Oak



y
y




4/4 Common Grade
Specie
6’
7’
8’
9’/10’
11’/12’
Ash


y


Basswood
y
y
y
y
y
Birch



y
y
Hard Maple




y
Red Oak
y
y
y
y
y
Soft Maple
y
y
y
y
y
White Oak


y
y
y
 


4/4 Rustic Grade
Specie
8’
9’/10’
11’/12’
Cherry
y
y
y
Red Oak
y
y
y







5/4 Select and Better Grade
Specie
7'
8'
9'/10’
11'/12’
Basswood


y
y
Hard Maple
y
y
y
y
Red Oak
y
y
y
y
 


8/4 Select and Better Grade
Specie
8'
9'/10'
11'/12'
Ash


y
Hard Maple
y
y
y
Red Oak

y

Friday, May 4, 2012

Upstate NY happenings

We've had a busy few weeks here in Portlandville.

Last week was spent repaving our customer parking lot.  We had to do much more paving than anticipated because of the tight slopes for surface water run-off.  It is certainly a great improvement!



We have a LOT of logs in the yard now.  We're working very hard to get many of them sawed before the heat of summer arrives.  We strive to keep our log inventory lower during the summer months as logs will spoil under higher heat & humidity conditions. 


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DIY Bathroom Vanity

A do-it-yourself homeowner shared this photo with us.  He created this custom bathroom vanity using our Black Walnut materials, a Kreg Jig, and a lot of time and hard work.  Very nicely done - beautiful piece!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Congratulations Stefanie Rocknak!

Stefanie Rocknak's concept
A VERY big congratulations to our local Stefanie Rocknak - winner of the Edgar Allan Poe competition in Boston!

Among a pool of 265 artists who applied for the competitive public art commission from 42 states and 13 countries, Stefanie has been selected to create a statue to commemorate Edgar Allan Poe in Boston, the city of his birth.

This model is carved from Basswood; the life-size figure will be cast in bronze.

Here is the link to Boston Art Commission announcement:  http://poeboston.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recycle, Re-purpose

 
Recycling is not necessarily meant for just bottles and cans. Building  materials may also be salvaged and re-purposed to become useful again.  The beauty of wood is its workability - through sanding, staining or simply re-finishing, old wood can be made to look nearly brand new.  

Re-purposing old windows has become a popular trend.  From tables to cabinets, picture frames, and much more with a bit of ingenuity, inefficient single pane windows may continue to serve a useful purpose.    
    
Local restoration, retrofit and rebuilding specialists, Absolute Green Homes of South Salem, NY are professionals in transforming old wood materials into functional pieces.  

Their most recent project, The Beach House, is a great achievement in creative design, energy efficiency and use of materials.  When completed this home will be a shining example of the many ways in which re-purposed building materials can bring unique character into a space.   

When starting your next project or spring cleaning consider if the materials you plan to discard may be useful in some way.  By re-purposing old materials we not only protect our environment but also put special meaning into our homes.  
      

A word of caution:  removing lead paint from old wood can be a health hazard; use caution if you are unsure of what finish has been previously applied to the wood.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ready for Summer

Warm weather is just around the corner!  Over the past month we have been busy preparing materials that will be used in outdoor projects this year.

Here is a recent run of our Hemlock Channel siding.  A classic vertical siding, this product is used on everything from residential homes, out buildings, rustic restaurants, and much more.


A look that has become very popular is an outdoor beadboard ceiling.  White beadboard brightens up any space and offers interesting detail.  Our pre-primed pine beadboard is also able to be used for indoor applications.




Our Hemlock Log siding is another popular material.  Also for both interior and exterior use this product is actually a half log; it offers the look of traditional log siding with an easier and more economical installation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recycle and Reuse!

Why buy new when you can re-purpose something you already have?


After installing new windows these homeowners were left with the question of what to do with all of the old windows that were now sitting in a pile.  Rather than throw them outs they decided to re-purpose the old windows using stock lumber materials.  This simple outdoor coffee table was constructed using 1x4 Basswood for the skirt and Cypress posts (sawn and cut down) for the legs.  With a bit of sanding and a fresh coat of paint this table will look as good as new!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meet a local carpenter

Located in Oneonta, NY, The Custom Finish, specializes in fine professional carpentry.  Owner Travis Marsh has a passion for restoring the original beauty of homes through custom creations that display quality finishes and creative details.

Custom Finish's capabilities range from older homes to new construction and business establishments. In addition to finish carpentry the company offers painting services, wall finishing and other general construction services. No project is too small!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Fever

Spring officially arrives in 4 days!  Though this winter has been extremely mild we are all undoubtedly looking forward to nature's spring awakening.

In dreaming of the many activities we will share outdoors here are some ways in which wood structures may add to the enjoyment of the spring and summer seasons!  

Decks:  One of the most popular outdoor wood structures, decks are synonymous with summertime relaxation.  As these structures are typically responsible for supporting a heavy load it is important that they are designed and constructed correctly. 

 
Arbors and Pergolas:  These versatile wood structures may serve many purposes from providing shade to an outdoor seating area to serving as a trellis in a garden.     


Wightman
  Ash FlooringFences:  A wood fence enhances the aesthetics of any property.  Often used around gardens to keep out unwanted visitors, fences are also used to maintain privacy among neighbors or along busy streets.