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The Douglas Fir tree can really be broken into two distinct varieties: coastal and Rocky Mountain. J. Gibson McIlvain Co supplies the coastal variety almost exclusively, because it grows much larger and produces a higher yield of structural timbers for our timber framing customers.
Despite its name, Douglas Fir is not actually a fir (genus Abies), but it shares many common features with Hemlocks and has been grouped with them in common usage. The wood has very straight grain with a creamy-yellow earlywood and red-brown latewood lines that give the wood an overall orange cast in color. The distinct hardness difference between early and latewood lines can make for milling issues, and tool edges must be kept sharp to prevent tear out and splintering.
Douglas Fir has become the standard wood of choice for timber framing and exposed beam building due to the high availability of large timber sizes. It is also a great option for exterior siding, flooring, and paneling in more rustic buildings. As the popularity of timber framed structures has grown, sourcing Douglas Fir has become more difficult. Although the species has a wide range up and down the western coast of North America, moving large timbers more than 3000 miles to east coast projects can be both cost prohibitive and time consuming.
J. Gibson McIlvain tackles this supply chain problem by maintaining a large stock of Douglas Fir at our headquarters in Maryland as well as in our storage facilities in Connecticut and on the west coast. While we appreciate lead time on orders for large projects, we have the ability to deliver to anywhere in the country for in stock sizes. Douglas Fir structural timbers are available on a special order basis. We carry a wide range of rough sawn sizes in typical 4/4 and 8/4 lumber and supply it kiln dried or radio frequency kiln dried for a 100% dry large timber. Our millworks can manufacture Douglas Fir products for you like mouldings, paneling, or whatever you can dream up.
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