Category Archives: Wood

Canadian Lumber Dispute Resolved?

It seems that the long running feud between the US and Canada over softwood lumber is set to be resolved.

US Producers felt that the Canadian government was unfairly subsidizing the Canadian softwood lumber industry and allowing them to dump their product in the US markets as below the market price for US lumber.

This has been one instance where the US government actually put up a fight rather than let us be our own worst enemy.  I hope that this agreement keeps the US producers from being overrun by subsidized Canadian lumber.

Certified Lumber…

I stumbled across this article this evening

I don’t know that I’m interested in paying more for “certified” lumber. I actually would prefer to make my stuff out of lumber harvested in North Carolina. I’m not really interested in using South American or African wood.

But anyway, there are a few perks to growing lumber on a plantation rather than harvesting it out of the forest. Such as you can do quality control on the trees in your possession. In nature, wind, rain, birds, bees, and bugs can all have a detrimental affect on the wood. On a plantation, you at least have some measure of control of that.

The funny part is the part about the New York non-profit trying to save the rainforest. What the folks in those countries do with their forests is their business. If, however, they want to discourage the destruction of the rain forests, then maybe they should get the environmentalists off the backs of honest foresters in America who aren’t out killing spotted owls and raping the earth, but trying to responsibly manage our resources? They’re driving up the costs of domestically produced lumber (and in some cases, simply getting the government to ban harvesting of it)

hmm.. this has gotten a little political…

Anyway, the folks who manage forests and cut down the trees are professionals. They’re not so short sighted as to put themselves out of business in 20 years.

CBS needs a new factchecker.

Treated wood products need to be addressed as well, Sandroff says. “In 2004, manufacturers voluntarily stopped producing these preserved woods,” she notes. “But they still exist on decks and in play areas.

“You should never saw that type of wood, the treated wood, and you should also, if you’re cleaning it and spending a lot of time handling it, you should wear gloves or wash your hands.”

Ronni Sandroff, health editor of Consumer Reports

First, saying that manufacturers voluntarily quit manufacturing treated wood is like saying that Americans voluntarily pay the income tax. We pay our taxes because the IRS will come after us if we don’t, and the treated wood companies quit making it under threat of litigation from the EPA.

Second: The EPA’s own findings show that wood treated with Chromated Copper Arsenic has not been shown to harm humans in the slightest:

EPA has not concluded that CCA-treated wood poses unreasonable risks to the public for existing CCA-treated wood being used around or near their homes or from wood that remains available in stores. EPA does not believe there is any reason to remove or replace CCA-treated structures, including decks or playground equipment. EPA is not recommending that existing structures or surrounding soils be removed or replaced.

But lets review the quote again:

Treated wood products need to be addressed as well, Sandroff says. “In 2004, manufacturers voluntarily stopped producing these preserved woods,” she notes. “But they still exist on decks and in play areas.

“You should never saw that type of wood, the treated wood, and you should also, if you’re cleaning it and spending a lot of time handling it, you should wear gloves or wash your hands.”

She is obviously talking about Chromated Copper Arsenic treated lumber. However, it has been pulled from stores. New treatments for lumber do not contain Arsenic, and as such, whatever philosophical objections the EPA had to CCA lumber do not apply. The one that I have seen most commonly used is Alkaline Copper Quat (although Sodium Borate treatments do have an interesting effect on insects, ie, it seems to kill them merely by coming into contact with them while not harming larger animals).

Let us review:

1) The EPA cajoled the lumber industry into removing CCA lumber from residential applications.

2) The EPA did this because they felt that a reduction in the exposure to arsenic was a good thing, not because CCA lumber ever harmed a soul, nor did they have any reason to think it would.

3) The way that it was expressed in CBS’ segment was misleading as to the nature of the issue ie: “Treated Wood” instead of “CCA Lumber” There are a number of “Treated Woods” that are still on the market.

4) To say that CCA lumber shouldn’t be handled, or cut, is not based on any kind of factual evidence or research, merely the desire of the EPA to reduce exposure to Arsenic in the general population. However, the leeching values of CCA lumber have not been shown to release any significant amount of arsenic for absorbtion through human skin in any of the tests done on it.

The Flannel Avenger’s Grand Announcement Of DOOM!

Doom for Ty Pennington, that is.

You see, I have come up with a purely brilliant plan to defeat my Arch Nemesis once and for all. Since my last tirade against Ty Pennington I have gone and enacted my plan to destroy him.

I have bought a house.

That’s right. I have bought a house, not just any house, but a house torn all to pieces. That means… DEMOLITION! CONSTRUCTION! HEAVY EQUIPMENT!! MORE POWER!!! ARR ARR ARR ARR ARR!!!!

Are you paying attention TV execs? I’m crazier than Ty Pennington, and a crazy man and heavy equipment makes for good TV!!!

Anyway, stay tuned as I remodel the house. It looks like the roof is gonna have to come off, and that means major DEMOLITION! It’s SLEDGEHAMMER TIME!

I need to run my Dewalt kit through tuneup mode.

Click below for a nice big pic of the Kitchen… before

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Allright, so tonight I caught most of Exreme Makeover: Home Edition: How’d they do that. I have come to the concrete conclusion that I can outdo Ty Pennington, my Arch Nemesis.

So, to all you TV executives out there, now’s the time. Snatch me up while I’m still available. If you don’t, you’ll be kicking yourself hard.

If all goes according to my master plan, the framework to Ty Pennington’s demise will be here Friday or Monday.

I love it when a plan comes together. Now, to charge the batteries in my DeWalt Toolkit.

My Arch Nemesis Strikes Again!

That’s right. My Arch Nemesis, Ty Pennington has struck again. This time building a house for some folks burnt out. I happened to catch it as I was eating dinner. It’s not like Ty has my dream job and I’m jealous or anything (nevermind getting to design tools for Sears).

As such, I have decided to prove that I am better than Ty Pennington.

Ty has a degree in ART from the Atlanta Institute of Art

I have a degree in Wood Products from NC State University

Ty is a male model

I have my dignity

Ty plays soccer

Need I say more?

He lives in LA

I live in Raleigh

My Truck is Prettier

Ty has published a book

I have published this blog

Now, I leave it to you, my faithful reader… er readers to tell me what ways I am better than Ty Pennington in the comments section 😀

Chinese competition in America…

Well, I just got done reading the feature article in the November issue of the Forest Products Journal, and it was interesting, if a little dry (as it’s the feature article, it will be available for reading to the general public here shortly).

According to the article “China’s Furniture Industry Today” (Forest Products Journal, November 2004 pages 14-23) the reasons that China’s furniture is so much more inexpensive than American furniture is primarily a much lower labor cost, 5 to 10 percent of that of U.S. companies. Additionally, Chinese companies have much lower overhead costs, due primarily to less in health care benefits and in environmental regulation. (page 17 of the Journal)

Now, there’s a group trying to get a dumping charge against China for flooding the market with so many cheap goods and lowering the prices so much (under WTO rules, you can’t charge a tariff unless another country is “dumping” or another strictly defined reason). But, opponents point out that even if we put tariffs on Chinese imports, we’ll only then have to deal with more imports from countries such as Vietnam, Mexico, and Indonesia.

Now, the question I have is, why have we done ourselves out of these jobs? Why did we impose all sorts of burdens on U.S. companies, and then open free trade up with countries that don’t have these restrictions? It’s economic suicide. It’s all so that somebody could make a quick and easy buck.

So, my message to you: You want to protect the environment? You want to keep Americans in work? You want everybody to have health care coverage? Then the next time you go to the store, make sure that you buy American.

I’m a Professional!

I got my first issue of the Forest Products Journal today. In addition, I got my membership information for the Forest Products Society. I am now a member, and I can search the database. I’m a very happy little wood fellow. Ah, the joy of peer reviewed research, all at my fingertips. This month’s journal had a plethora of articles on CCA lumber. There was a fair bit of talk about leeching, which has only become an issue because people are upset about arsenic. The amount of arsenic leeching from CCA lumber is not enough to harm even small animals, never mind human beings. Of course, driving up the price of lumber is probably the goal of the people behind this. Higher lumber prices mean fewer trees cut down, which is mighty shortsighted of the environmentalists, considering that trees are one of our few renewable resources. But I digress. Back to the joy that is peer reviewed articles.

There was also an interesting article on Near Infrared Spectroscopy, which is available for free here.

Ahh, it’s good to be a member of a professional society.

Demoliton! ARR ARR ARR

I’ve been working on demolishing a house and I’ve been thinking of writing up an article on it. Right now, I have a very lacking write up on it, but the pictures are nice. If you want to see what I have so far, you can go here