Dimensional Instability of Kiln Dried Lumber

Dimensional Instability of Kiln Dried Lumber Hardwood lumber is typically kiln dried and used for interior applications such as furniture, paneling, cabinets, flooring, etc.  The final moisture content of the lumber coming out of the kiln will vary but will typically be around 6 to 10 %.   This is ideal because most houses are climate … [Read more…]

Insect Problems With Kiln Dried Lumber

Insect Problems With Kiln Dried Lumber Image courtesy of Dr. M.F. Potter, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky.   Kiln dried lumber offers many advantages such as reduced weight and increased strength. Most insects will not attack wood that has been kiln dried to a moisture content less then 10%.  However, if this lumber is stored … [Read more…]

Glues and Gluing Wood

Glues and Gluing Wood Importance of Gluing At most every stage of woodwork construction, there is a need for quality gluing. During the early stages of construction, it may be required to glue several narrow pieces to form a wide panel, as in the case of a table top. In the later stages, it may … [Read more…]

Wooden Ladder Safety

Wooden Ladder Accidents Preventable Accidents According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one person every few days is killed by falling from a ladder. Almost all falls are preventable if the ladder is used safely. A ladder is a vertical or inclined set of steps also called rungs. There are two types: rigid ladders that can be … [Read more…]

Is Cypress Mulch Destroying Our Coast?

Insert Title of the Blog Here & Replace Image Below This A few years ago several environmental groups raised the issue that the sale of cypress mulch was causing the decline of cypress forests. Cypress can live, but cannot regenerate, in areas that are permanently flooded. These groups alleged that cypress was being harvested on … [Read more…]

Study Shows New Health Benefits From Forests

Study Shows New Health Benefits From Forests The benefits of ancient Asian medicine has become increasingly popular in recent years. The local cultures are well known for historically having a close relationship with nature and using various local plants to treat specific medical problems. In the US, the Native Americans were known to chew on … [Read more…]

Seasoning To Prevent Defects In Green Wood

Todd Shupe

Seasoning To Prevent Defects In Green Wood Basics of Lumber Drying This publication provides information on some of problems and basic principles involved in seasoning lumber, wood disks and other small pieces of wood. It is intended to help individuals who would like to season small quantities of wood inexpensively and without sacrificing quality. Small … [Read more…]

Shupe Earns LEED Green Associate Accreditation

Todd Shupe Earns LEED Green Associate Accreditation Dr. Todd Shupe, founding Director of the ISO 17025 accredited Wood Durability Lab, has recently earned Green Associate accreditation from LEED. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home … [Read more…]

Laminating Wood Fiber Mats Into A Densified Material With High Performance

Laminating Wood Fiber Mats Into A Densified Material With High Performance Abstract To develop high-performance wood materials, a novel preparation strategy is presented in this study.  Wood fiber mats impregnated with phenolic resin, were laminated into a densified material. Wood lumens collapsed layer by layer during densification, leading to a compact multi-layered structure. The densified … [Read more…]

Wood Decay Can Be A Rotten Situation for Homeowners

brown rot

Wood Decay Can Be A Rotten Situation for Homeowners We should all be grateful for insect and fungi that decompose wood.  They play a vital role in converting dead trees and other organic matter into soil.  However, as a homeowner we tend to be understandably less appreciative.  Wood rot in our homes not only looks … [Read more…]

Importance of Wood Moisture Content

Importance of Wood Moisture Content Basics of Wood Moisture Content The moisture content is defined as the weight of the water contained in the wood expressed as a percentage of the ovendry weight of the wood.  Thus, the MC may range from zero for ovendry wood to over 100 percent when the water in the … [Read more…]

Seasoning to Prevent Defects in Green Wood

Seasoning to Prevent Defects in Green Wood This publication provides information on some of problems and basic principles involved in seasoning lumber, wood disks and other small pieces of wood. It is intended to help individuals who would like to season small quantities of wood inexpensively and without sacrificing quality. Small mill owners may also … [Read more…]

Problems with Green Lumber – Part 1: Fungi

Problems with Green Lumber – Part 1: Fungi Green Lumber Green lumber refers to lumber that is freshly sawn.  This is not what you will find at a local hardware store or big box store.  However, green lumber is still common in rural areas and for wood working hobbyists.  Trees often have a sentimental value … [Read more…]

Wood Fence Decay – Causes and Cures

Wood Fence Decay – Causes and Cures Importance of Moisture Content These pictures are from a wooden fence in my backyard.  The fence was present when I moved into my house in 1997.   The fence is likely southern pine wood.  The end tags are gone so I would need to assay the wood to determine … [Read more…]

How One Insect Changed Major League Baseball Forever

How One Insect Changed Major League Baseball Forever Baseball is as American as apple pie.  I love the arrival of spring training, and the anticipation that maybe this year will be “the year” for my St. Louis Cardinals.  For fans attending spring training or pregame batting practice during the regular season, there is a distinct … [Read more…]

Don’t Delay in Painting Exterior Wood

Don’t Delay in Painting Exterior Wood With timely repainting, an exterior wood surface can last for centuries.   The problem primarily occurs when the wood surface has been degraded due to weathering prior to the application of the primer coat.  The primer paint/wood interface is critical to ensuring the long-term performance of paint.  The paint failure … [Read more…]

Hydrothermal (HT) Processing of Plant Biomass for Petrochemical and Bioenergy Products

Hydrothermal (HT) Processing of Plant Biomass for Petrochemical and Bioenergy Products INTRODUCTION Plant biomass represent a vast, renewable source of biobased feedstocks for chemical and thermal processing into biobased energy and petrochemical products. This ongoing research uses hydrothermal (HT) treatment, which simply refers to chemical reactions conducted in water that has been heated (200-600 ºC) … [Read more…]

Stabilizing and Bending of WOOD for the Hobbyist

Stabilizing and Bending of WOOD for the Hobbyist Lumber scraps and cross-sections of angle cuts sawed from small logs or large limbs can be made into attractive items, but only if the wood is first treated with polymers and then properly seasoned, or if the wood is initially seasoned following special techniques. These treatments and … [Read more…]

Wood – Its Nature and Properties for Woodworking

Wood – Its Nature and Properties for Woodworking For most cabinetmakers and furniture makers, wood is the raw material of choice. Wood has thousands of uses. Although wood may appear to be a relatively simple substance, closer examination shows that wood is one of the most complicated and unusual natural materials. The more you know … [Read more…]

Woods of Louisiana

Woods of Louisiana Our state is blessed with a tremendous timber resource of approximately half hardwoods and half softwoods. These species are becoming increasingly important throughout the 64 Louisiana parishes and also in our global market place. We need to work with them and add value through further processing. The first step of value-added for … [Read more…]

Why and How to Market Wood Products

Why and How to Market Wood Products This publication is designed to educate small to medium size primary and secondary forest products industry personnel about why and how to market wood products. Hobbyists and producers of wooden arts and crafts will also benefit by learning the necessary marketing skills to increase revenue and make their … [Read more…]

Causes and Control of Wood Decay, Degradation, and Stain

Causes and Control of Wood Decay, Degradation, and Stain Our society depends on wood for a variety of uses. As population increases, so does our need for wood. Steel, concrete and aluminum are some alternatives to treated wood in certain applications, but they have higher material costs, higher energy requirements in the production process, greater … [Read more…]

Wood Chair Safety

Wood Chair Safety Wood is frequently used to construct a wide array of chairs for use at the home, office, restaurants, hotels and other establishments. These chairs range from simple four-legged, school-style chairs to three-legged bar stools. Wood is an excellent choice for chairs due to its inherent beauty and durability if properly maintained. I … [Read more…]

Rapid Recovery of Metals in CCA-treated Wood

Rapid Recovery of Metals in CCA-treated Wood  ABSTRACT The recovery of heavy metals from chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated southern pine wood particles was investigated using binary acid solutions consisting of two of acetic, oxalic, and phosphoric acids in a microwave reactor. Formation of an insoluble copper oxalate complex in the binary solution containing oxalic acid … [Read more…]

Conductance-Type (Resistance-Type) Wood Moisture Meters

Conductance-Type (Resistance-Type) Wood Moisture Meters Importance of Wood Moisture Meters Wood moisture meters are widely used instruments to rapidly determine moisture content (MC).   These meters are invaluable because the traditional methods to determine MC are slow and destructive to the sample.   Wood MC is important for maximum utilization because it effects numerous important wood properties … [Read more…]

Influence of solvent type on microwave-assisted liquefaction of bamboo

Influence of solvent type on microwave-assisted liquefaction of bamboo Microwave-assisted liquefaction of bamboo in glycerol, polyethylene glycerol (PEG), methanol, ethanol, and water were comparatively investigated by evaluating the temperature-dependence for conversion and liquefied residue characteristics. The conversion for the liquefaction in methanol, ethanol, and water increased with an increase in reaction temperature, while that for … [Read more…]

Wooden Ladder Safety

Wooden Ladder Safety According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one person every few days is killed by falling from a ladder. Almost all falls are preventable if the ladder is used safely. A ladder is a vertical or inclined set of steps also called rungs. There are two types: rigid ladders that can be leaned against … [Read more…]

Care of Wood Decks

Care of Wood Decks Deck Restoration The bright color of the wood on weathered decks can be restored by application of commercial products (called deck cleaners, brighteners, or restorers). These products do not add color to the deck, but remove mildew and dirt, allowing the natural color of the wood to show. If all the … [Read more…]

History of Naval Stores

History of Naval Stores What are naval stores? Naval stores originally came from longleaf pine trees and were used in shipbuilding. These products or “stores” are turpentine, rosin, tar and pitch. During the American Revolution, longleaf pine forests were common throughout the vast prairies of southeast Louisiana. The gum-like resin harvested from these  trees was … [Read more…]

Finishes For Wood Decks

Finishes For Wood Decks Wood Finishes Wood decks have become an important part of residential construction. Wood decks can add versatile living space to a home and, with minimal maintenance, provide decades of use. However, wood decks are exposed to high levels of stress from severe weather conditions that shrink and swell the wood. With- … [Read more…]

Wood Cars

Wood Cars Young boys years ago made wooden cars and raced them in the pinewood derby. I recall mine was held in the basement of my home church. My car was fast but not fast enough to win. I never imagined that wood would someday be used to make or fuel cars. Now, the use … [Read more…]

Is Cypress Mulch Destroying Our Wetlands?

Is Cypress Mulch Destroying Our Wetlands? A few years ago, several environmental groups raised the issue that the sale of cypress mulch was causing the decline of cypress forests.   Cypress can live but cannot regenerate in areas that are permanently flooded.  These groups alleged that cypress was being harvested on private lands that were permanently … [Read more…]

Matching New Stain to Old Wood

Matching New Stain to Old Wood As seen on woodmagazine.com My house was one of thousands that flooded in 2016 in the Baton Rouge, La area.  I did not have time to elevate any antique furniture, family heirlooms, etc before leaving the house.  So, upon return all of my furniture had a water line about … [Read more…]

Wood Staining – Lessons Learned

Wood Staining – Lessons Learned I love to stain wood.  It is relaxing and rewarding to see the finished product, especially when it comes out nice.  I have blogged before about the importance of patience when doing any wood working project, especially staining.  I recently purchased some beautiful 1x12x8 white pine lumber to use for … [Read more…]

Medicinal, Environmental, and Other Products From Tree Bark

Medicinal, Environmental, and Other Products From Tree Bark Native Americans I admire the resourcefulness of the Native Americans.   They lived off the land without any of the comforts that we enjoy today.  There was no electricity, running water, or cell phones.  At times the cell phone is not very high on my list of comforts.   … [Read more…]

End Cracking of Round Posts

End Cracking of Round Posts 1. My mailbox from the road. 2. The top of my mailbox post My Mailbox My mailbox has been hit by passing cars several times in the past few years.  The last one was a good one so it was time to get a new mailbox.  The new post is … [Read more…]

Maintaining Your Wood Cutting Board and Knives

Maintaining Your Wood Cutting Board and Knives Wooden cutting boards and knives are my most used kitchen tools.  Obviously, as for myself, we use all-natural wood and not polypropylene or polyethylene (plastics) cutting boards.  I don’t buy organic food but I try to avoid products produced from natural gas, feedstocks derived from natural gas processing, … [Read more…]

Now is the Time to Cut Firewood

Now is the Time to Cut Firewood Why cut firewood in the spring? Spring is a great time to cut firewood for several reasons.  First, the weather is beautiful and spring is a great time to be outside.  You will be glad you do this in the spring when the heat of the summer rolls … [Read more…]

Furniture Refinishing

Furniture Refinishing Lessons learned I love to refinish furniture.   A fresh coat of finish on a piece of furniture will make it shine like a freshly painted house.  Once it is all over, it is very satisfying to sit back in your easy chair and look at your work across the living room.    Furniture refinishing … [Read more…]

Fractionation of Heavy Metals in Liquefied Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)-Treated Wood Sludge Using a Modified BCR-Sequential Extraction Procedure

Fractionation of Heavy Metals in Liquefied Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)-Treated Wood Sludge Using a Modified BCR-Sequential Extraction Procedure The photo is courtesy of Mike Freeman Summary of CCA Sequential Extraction Chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood was liquefied with polyethylene glycol/glycerin and sulfuric acid. After liquefaction, most CCA metals (98% As, 92% Cr, and 83% Cu) … [Read more…]

Wood Is Good Medicine

Wood Is Good Medicine I have been fascinated by the recent non-traditional means to improve patient recovery. Over the years, I have read about the benefits of natural sunlight, plants, water elements, rooms with a view of nature and even the color of the room and design of the bed.  As an animal lover, I … [Read more…]

Study Shows New Health Benefits From Forests

Study Shows New Health Benefits From Forests The benefits of ancient Asian medicine has become increasingly popular in recent years.  The local cultures are well known for historically having a close relationship with nature and using various local plants to treat specific medical problems.    In the US, the Native Americans were known to chew on … [Read more…]

Rapid Microwave-Assisted Acid Extraction of Metals from Chromated Copper Arsenate Treated Wood

Rapid Microwave used to treat wood

Rapid Microwave-Assisted Acid Extraction of Metals from Chromated Copper Arsenate Treated Wood Photo by Karelj Abstract – Chromated Copper Arsenate Treated Wood The effects of acid concentration, reaction time, and temperature in a microwave reactor on recovery of CCA-treated wood were evaluated. Extraction of copper, chromium, and arsenic metals from chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated southern pine … [Read more…]

Pecky Cypress – An American Favorite

Pecky Cypress – An American Favorite Sometimes Fungi Are Good! Bald cypress is a deciduous conifer in the family Cupressaceae that grows on saturated and seasonally inundated soils in the lowlands of the Southeastern and Gulf Coastal Plains of the United States.   Like most tree species it has several common names (baldcypress, bald-cypress, cypress, southern-cypress, white cypress, tidewater red-cypress, sinker cypress, Gulf-cypress, red-cypress, or swamp cypress) but only one scientific (Latin) … [Read more…]

Leaching of Flakeboard Produced From Recycled CCA-Treated Wood Into Deionized Water

Leaching of Flakeboard Produced From Recycled CCA-Treated Wood Into Deionized Water

Leaching of Flakeboard Produced From Recycled CCA-Treated Wood Into Deionized Water The disposal of preservative-treated wood is becoming a larger issue for the forest products industry due to increasing public concern and scrutiny as well as costs associated with traditional disposal, i.e., landfilling. Recycling of preservative-treated wood has great potential. In this study, flakeboard was … [Read more…]

Grain Patterns of Birdseye-Maple Wood

Birdseye-Maple Wood Guitars

Grain Patterns of Birdseye-Maple Wood Photo courtesy of Dr. Terry Conners Unique Grain Patterns of Birdseye-Maple Wood We all love unique grain patterns in wood.  “Figure” refers to the grain pattern of wood on the longitudinal plane of the tree (vertical direction).  Wood with figure displays a unique grain pattern from normal wood of the same … [Read more…]

Wood Flooring – Lawsuits, Experience, and Opinions

Wood Flooring – Lawsuits, Experience, and Opinions Photo courtesy of Gene Mall I love solid wood floors.  I have seen old dilapidated houses bought with a credit card and the floors and paneling salvaged and resold for a tremendous profit.   Studies have shown that patients in hospitals will heal faster when they are in a … [Read more…]

Shell Rot in Wood Poles

Shell Rot in Wood Poles Photo courtesy of Osmose Utilities All preservative-treated wood poles commonly used in North America are subject to “shell rot” or surface decay below the ground line.  In southern pine poles, which compose roughly 85% of the poles in North America, this type of decay is most common.  Western species such … [Read more…]

The Importance of Wood Species Identification

The Importance of Wood Species Identification A hand lens is essential to see anatomical properties. One of the first things you need to understand about wood is variability.  As a biological material it is inherently different than other building products such as steel.  A steel beam has uniform properties throughout the beam and each beam … [Read more…]

CCA-Treated Guardrail Posts, Piles, and Poles – Good for the Environment and the Economy

CCA-Treated Guardrail Posts, Piles, and Poles – Good for the Environment and the Economy Our highway and interstate system is a critical component of our nation’s infrastructure and economy.  They are essential for the transportation of goods and services, emergency responders, commuting to work, and family vacations.   It is imperative that our highways provide safe … [Read more…]

Benefits of Wood Utility Poles

Benefits of Wood Utility Poles Our society has become much more environmentally sensitive and responsible in recent years.  Recycling has increased, air and water standards are improved, smoking tobacco is generally prohibited inside most public buildings, etc.  However, a phobia exists regarding wooden poles.  There is nothing particularly aesthetically appealing about a creosote-treated pole that is … [Read more…]

Naturally Durable Wood Species

Are Wood Preservatives Safe? This piece has suffered from internal wood degrading fungi due to its horizontal position in the swingset which allowed water to pool on the surface and elevate the moisture content to make it conducive for fungi attack. This is a good example of surface weathering. The natural elements have degraded the … [Read more…]

Fastener Corrosion

Fastener Corrosion Fasteners consist of nails, screws, bolts, staples, etc and are widely used in the construction industry to connect lumber, sheathing, shingles, and other wood-based products.  Nail guns allow for nails to inserted at a rapid fire pace.  Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) was the primary preservative used for residential uses.  CCA has been used … [Read more…]

Wood Identification

Wood Identification The first step to properly utilize wood is to correctly identify the species.  Wood species have unique anatomical characteristics that allow a trained eye to identify the species.  These unique anatomical characteristics are also important in determining many of the properties of the species, such as strength, dimensional stability, acoustical, conductivity, ease of … [Read more…]

In Service Product Failure

In Service Product Failure Photo of glue joint – courtesy USDA Forest Service The interaction of wood and glue is important to develop a good bone and avoid product failure. One of the most common problems that I have addressed over the years is in service product failure.  The problems range from buckling/cracking of wood … [Read more…]

Why Did My Deer Stand Deteriorate So Quickly?

Why Did My Deer Stand Deteriorate So Quickly? Deer stands should be made with treated lumber and plywood or OSB. I love to deer hunt and have many friends that do also.  In the US South we are in the harshest decay zone due to our high temperatures and humidity.   Therefore, any wood in contact … [Read more…]

Why Are My Nails So Rusty In Treated Wood?

Why Are My Nails So Rusty In Treated Wood? Rusted fasteners have a thinner actual shaft diameter than a non-rusted fastener and are weaker as a result. Damp wood can cause metals to corrode.  This is partly because wood is slightly acidic.  When a metal fastener is embedded in wet wood, conditions are created that … [Read more…]

Treated Wood Facts

Treated Wood Facts Treated poles coming out of the cylinder and ready for distribution and installation. This photo is courtesy of: Mike Freeman Want to know the secret for wood to last forever in an exterior application?   Many years ago, a colleague told me (tongue in cheek) that there are two ways to achieve this … [Read more…]

Solar Dry Kiln

Solar Dry Kiln

Are Wood Preservatives Safe? A common question among folks that have small portable sawmills is – how can I dry small loads of lumber?   Kiln drying lumber is an excellent means to add value to the lumber and make a small sawmill more profitable.  Many people that are interested in lumber drying don’t want to … [Read more…]