Category Archives: Hardwood Lumber 101

Wood of the Month: Ambrosia Maple (Wormy Maple)

Covered with unique patterns, Ambrosia Maple is the perfect wood for anyone who seeks one of a kind wood.

Covered with unique patterns, Ambrosia Maple is the perfect wood for anyone who seeks a one of a kind wood.

Ambrosia Maple is a highly coveted wood for many projects because of its very unique and colored patterns. A lot of people often wonder if Ambrosia Maple is a specific species of wood, or if some sort of chemicals were added to give it the interesting patterns. The truth is that Ambrosia maple isn’t a different species, its regular soft maple that has had small beetles called ambrosia beetles nesting in it which carry a certain type of fungus for food.
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How We Air & Kiln-Dry Lumber to the Highest Quality

Our Computer-Controlled Lumber Kiln Dries Lumber to Meet Your High-Quality Standards

Wood is amazing. Made up of cells, wood is a hygroscopic material that holds water. As anyone who paid attention in fifth grade science class already knows, this process of water and nutrients moving from the ground, through the root system, through the wood, and to the leaves is a critical component of photosynthesis leading to the formation of new tree cells and subsequent growth.

FACT: Often, water makes up over half the total weight of the wood in a tree.

The term for lumber that is still wet inside and full of sap is called “green lumber.” If you were to install “green” lumber as decking, you would run into many problems. Because green lumber hasn’t been kiln dried (slowly dried in a lumber kiln as shown above), it is highly unstable and is highly prone to cupping, twisting, and if you are in a drier climate, will split (aka check) rapidly.

Properly dried lumber will still move, but its movement is more stable and predictable. pays attention to all the details during the process of drying lumber and have our own lumber kiln to ensure quality results.

Why Dry Wood?
At, we dry wood in our state-of-the-art lumber kiln for several reasons. Among the most important are the following:

  • Better usability – Wood shrinks as it loses moisture and swells as it gains moisture.
  • Reduce susceptibility to insect damage.
  • Stain and decay prevention.
  • Increased strength – As wood dries below to certain amount of moisture content, most strength properties increase.
  • Better hold – Nails, screws, and glue adhere better to seasoned wood.
  • Better finishing, paints and finishes adhere better.
  • Better heat insulation- Dry wood is a better thermal insulator than the wet wood.
  • Reduce product weight – Shipping costs are based on weight, so dried wood weighs less and costs less to ship.

Lumber Drying Methods:

The methods we use to dry lumber are air-drying and kiln-drying. We do not employ any techniques that use chemicals or solvents. Our secret for the perfect lumber is a slow and steady drying process so we can be sure it is the best when it leaves our yard.

What Does Air-Drying Lumber Mean?

For centuries, air-drying was the only way to properly dry lumber. In the air-drying method, wood is exposed to the outside environment, possibly protected only from direct rainfall with portable roofs or by a shed. Certain controls can be used in this stage of drying to make it more efficient. These include proper stacking, orientation and layout of the stack, and covering the stack. When it comes to certain our Ipe decking spends a good amount of time stacked in our yard, seating on top each other just separated by lumber stickers to allow even air flow around the entire boards, creating an even release of moisture.

Air drying is very gentle on the wood and it is a safe way to release the bulk of the excess moisture, it first allows our wood to come into a kind of equilibrium with our local climate and prepares it for the kilns. The wetter the wood, the longer it will sit and air dry, this could be for a few weeks or the better part of the year.

What does Kiln Drying Lumber Mean?

Once the wood is settled down with the local climate, we safely move it to one of our dry kilns, a dry kiln is a closed chamber or building in which heated, humidity-controlled air is rapidly circulated over the surface of the wood being dried. Our lumber kiln holds up to 8,000 board feet of hardwood. Having a high-efficiency kiln at our disposal decreases costs so you will save more on our variety of domestic and exotic lumber products. Our dehumidification kiln is gentle on the lumber and does not cause as much tension in the wood like the typical kiln that relies on high temperatures. The kiln utilizes computer controlled (shown to the right) drying methods which gives us the ability to produce a better quality product that will be more stable when installed. It also
increases our ability to kiln dry high-end exotics like Rosewood, Cocobolo, Ebony, and many other hard-to-dry woods.

Temperature and humidity are carefully controlled during the drying cycle using drying schedules designed for the species, size, and condition of the wood. The time required to kiln dry a given species and thickness depends upon the character of the wood, type of kiln and kiln scheduled. The process of kiln drying will harden the lignin, reducing the wood’s ability to move making it more stable.

The whole process is very important for us, the key is to understand how wood behaves and making sure these movements won’t cause problems later.

How Dry?

Wood products should be dried to final moisture content about mid-range of the expected moisture content of its environment. These can vary considerably by product, geographic location, and the intended use of the product, whether it will be used inside or outside. When it comes to drying hardwood decking species like Tigerwood, Brazilian Teak, and Garapa, our standard is moisture content level of approximately 14-16%.


At,, we are happy to use state-of-the-art drying techniques, systems and equipment, to produce the highest-quality quality lumber and decking product at the right cost. Contact us today to order the finest quality lumber and decking for your project: 1-877-232-3915.

Hardwood 101 – White Oak Lumber

White Oak lumber

White oak lumber is a proven material that wears well, even in extreme conditions.

White Oak trees (botanically called Quercus Alba) grow throughout much of eastern North America and can reach heights of 70 to 80 feet, with diameters of 2 to 3 feet. White oaks vary in color from light tan to pale yellow-brown with a pinkish tinge.

Its sapwood is white to very light brown, while its heartwood is light to dark brown. It has a straight open grain and a medium to coarse texture. White oak is somewhat more figured than red oak, and has longer rays.

With a Janka hardness of 1360, white oak wood is hard, strong, and durable. It has good strength properties, including medium bending and crushing strengths. It is an excellent steam bending wood and is great when it comes to wear resistance.

White oak is an important source of wood for boat building, cabinetmaking, joinery, furniture, interior trim, ladder rungs, flooring, veneer, paneling, and plywood. It is also commonly used for railroad ties, fence posts, shingles, and woven baskets.

Take a look at these centuries old, rare canal boats made of white oak. They were discovered after an unusually strong thunderstorm in Chicago, Illinois.

When you read the article, you’ll see how well the white oak held up, despite being under water and in the ground for over 100 years!

For additional information on White Oak wood, go to our website. You can also find White Oak lumber, Quarter Sawn White Oak lumber, at our online store.

Hardwood 101 – Red Oak Lumber

Rift Sawn Red Oak Wood

Rift sawn red oak is ideal for table and chair legs

The Red Oak tree (also known as Quercus Rubra) can reach heights of 60 to 70 feet, with diameters of up to about 3 feet. It has white to very light brown sapwood and is usually 2 inches wide. Its heartwood is a light tan to pink with a reddish-brown tinge. Red oak is predominantly straight grained, with a coarse texture. Due to the smaller rays present in the wood, red oak has a somewhat less attractive figure than white oak. However, its figuring varies with quarter sawn red oak, which features a ray figured look with a flake pattern.

With a janka hardness of 1290, red oak is heavy, hard, tough, and strong. It has high crushing strength, medium bending strength, and medium stiffness. Red oak is considered a very good steam bending wood. It can be planed, sawn, turned, bored, and sanded well. It also stains and polishes to a good finish.


Plain Sawn Red Oak Wood

Plain sawn red oak lumber is a time honored wood.

Red oak is commonly used for railroad ties, furniture, cabinet making, interior joinery, domestic flooring, plywood, fence posts, paneling, and veneers. However, it is not suitable for exterior work.

If you need an example of the resilience of red oak, take a look at the shipwreck of a warship from the Mongol invasion fleet. The main anchor of the ship was fashioned out of red oak wood and stone.

Red oak is the economical choice when it comes to oak. For additional information about Red Oak, go to our website. There you can browse our online store and learn more about Red Oak lumber, Quarter Sawn Red Oak lumber, Red Oak thinwood, and Quarter Sawn Red Oak thinwood.

Hardwood 101 – Persimmon Lumber

Persimmon Lumber

We have Persimmon wood in stock. Call to order this great instrument making wood.

Persimmon wood is taken from the Diospyros Virginiana tree and is found throughout North America. It is actually the northern most member of the ebony family. The persimmon tree can reach heights of 80 to 120 feet, with trunk diameters of 18 to 24 inches. Persimmon typically has very wide sapwood, with a very small, narrow core of heartwood. Its sapwood is white to creamy-white and sometimes marked with dark spots turning grayish-brown when exposed to air. Its heartwood is brown, black, or variegated, and brown to orange brown streaks can sometimes be present. Its grain pattern is usually close and straight, with a fine and even texture. And as for figuring, the wood has very little.

With a Janka hardness of 2300, Persimmon lumber is extremely hard, dense, elastic, tough, and resistant to wear. It is a very durable wood that has high crushing and bending strengths with medium stiffness. In fact, persimmon is able to be bent to a moderate radius. It also has high shock resistance, good nail holding properties, and works well with sharp hand tools. The small sturdy heartwood is also highly resistant to decay and insect attack is rare.

Persimmon is a great wood to use for musical instruments, drum sticks, striking-tool handles, spools, turnery, domestic flooring, furniture, textile shuttles, and bobbins. Its ability to retain a smooth surface, even after hard usage, makes it a great choice for so many projects.

At one time, persimmon was considered the traditional wood for golf club heads because of its elasticity. Wood golf club heads actually require a process of drying to ensure a strong and resilient product. Read about The Louisville Golf Club Company’s experience with drying persimmon wood.

Go to our website and learn more about Persimmon wood. We also have Persimmon lumber available at our online store.