News Focused on the Wood Market

Slowly, ash is making a slight comeback

Wednesday, 05 November 2008 00:00

It’s not earth-shattering news, but for the first time in years wood dealers are talking about increased sales of ash, the wood specie that gets no respect. Sales and inquiries are up in the domestic and export markets. Although the wood is suitable for cabinets, furniture and flooring, ash sales have lagged behind oak for years despite its attractive price. So what’s behind the new interest?

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Sales of yellow birch remain lackluster

Friday, 03 October 2008 21:00

There are a few domestic species that just plod along at the retail level, with a few sales here and a few sales there. Yellow birch has been a member of that group for several years now, and there’s little indication the situation will change in the near future. A number of dealers report yellow birch users have switched their allegiance to soft maple.

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Some straight talk about warped wood

Monday, 29 September 2008 19:46

In the July 2008 issue of Woodshop News (page 16, “Finishing both sides is warped thinking”), finishing columnist Bob Flexner said: “It’s a widespread myth among woodworkers and finishers that to prevent warping it’s necessary to balance moisture-vapor exchange by finishing both sides of wood. In fact, finishing the undersides of tabletops or the insides of cabinets or chests has only limited impact on reducing the likelihood of future problems.”

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Figured bubinga slabs remain plentiful

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 20:35

Bubinga is one of the African woods that remains in good supply, often has an attractive figure and is reasonably priced. Although several factors such as the falling dollar and increased freight costs have driven the cost of bubinga up in the last few years, lumber and slabs can still be purchased at a moderate price.

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Sapele remains a popular alternative

Monday, 29 September 2008 19:40

When the Brazilian government halted exports of genuine mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) in 2001, and Peru followed suit by drastically cutting exports several years later, wholesalers were forced to look elsewhere for species to fill the huge market void that was created. Although genuine mahogany, also known as bigleaf mahogany and Honduras mahogany, still trickles into the United States, popular alternatives have emerged such as African mahogany (Khaya spp.), sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum), sipo (Entandrophragma utile), and Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata).

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