This is a question that probably is asked several thousand times a second in the lumber business. No matter whether the customer is buying hardwood, softwood, plywood, or even a milled wood product, it all comes down to, "How much will it cost?" I think the lumber industry has developed a bad reputation for keeping its cards too close to the vest on price, much to the chagrin of its customers. I … [Read more...] about How Much Will My Lumber Cost?
J Gibson McIlvain News Blog
Welcome to our blog where we aim to inform about all things hardwood, plywood, and millwork. As importers of record we will throw in some import and regulation information as well and give you a peek behind the curtain of the lumber industry. Much of the content here is inspired by questions from our customers so feel free to drop us a line and ask a question. If we don't already have an article about it on our site, we may just write one in the future to address it.
You just bought some decking or flooring (or really any lumber) and one of the first things you hear is that it needs time to acclimate to its new surroundings before installing deck boards. The maddening thing is you will rarely get the same answer twice when it comes to how long that particular lumber should sit around getting in touch with its feelings. If pressed for an answer to "how long … [Read more...] about Wait Before Installing Deck Boards
It seems that every year another boardwalk is being replaced. Whether the catalyst is a hurricane or just age, these monstrous projects keep coming up. When "boardwalk season" comes around, new construction bids and RFQs are on everyone's minds. Unfortunately, pressure is being brought to bear on city planners from environmental lobby groups to use composite decking to rebuild the … [Read more...] about Composite Decking Problems and Boardwalks
All wood species have extractives or chemicals in the wood that can make the wood rot resistant or weather resistant or even tasty. Maple Syrup is one tasty example of a wood extractive. While some extractives are useful when actually extracted from the tree like the aforementioned Maple Syrup or Turpentine, others remain part of the wood itself to give it the working and performance … [Read more...] about Stained Decking and Color Changes
Give Your Teak a Sun Tan to Correct Its Crazy Color Every wood specie will change color in the sun and especially right after it has been planed to expose fresh fibers. Teak is a real problem child when it comes to color because of all the oils and resins in the wood that makes it such a great exterior and marine wood species. In this video we break down what is actually happening that … [Read more...] about How to Fix the Color Streaks in Teak
I feel like there is a theme developing on our blog lately. Tariffs, tariffs, and more tariffs! Today we saw the official announcement from the US Department of Commerce about the tariff on Canadian Softwood. To our customers this won't be a surprise since we have been talking about this for more than a month. It certainly is no secret and not news considering the long standing debates over … [Read more...] about Softwood Tariff Announced, Price to Climb 20%
No you're not experiencing a bad case of Deja Vu. You have actually read this article about a new Plywood Tariff from us before...but it was 4 years ago. And then the tariff went away... ...it's baaaaaaack! On April 18th, the US Department of Commerce passed a Countervailing Duty of 10% (9.89% actually) on Chinese Imported plywood. Some Chinese companies received up to a 111% tariff because … [Read more...] about Plywood Prices to Climb…Again
Over the years we have written a lot about the ever changing landscape of not just Ipe but the tropical decking market in general. In the last year many of our predictions and concerns have come to fruition creating a chaotic state of the market. It seems like it is time to discuss the state of the species and what we can expect over the next year with regards to Ipe availability, quality, and … [Read more...] about Ipe State of the Market
Winter Is Coming. We stand looking out over the lumber yard and shivering, knowing that the coldest months are still ahead of us. Winter is here, I don't care what Ned Stark says. Just talk to any of our customers currently buried under snow. Life goes on and we turn up the heaters in our shops and get back to work. It is this time of year and those heaters that can cause some issues with the … [Read more...] about Decking Gap: The Heat is On
We know that lumber needs to be dried before using it in construction, and most of us know to ask for kiln dried lumber. (We do know that right? Please say yes) But did you know that not all kiln dried lumber is equal? Depending on where the lumber comes from, the moisture content of your kiln dried material may not be what you think it is. 6-8% is the accepted moisture content of kiln … [Read more...] about Kiln Dried May Not Mean What You Think It Means
We lumber guys have our share of lingo and obscure terminology just like any industry. But what I find interesting about the lumber industry is that we expect our customers also understand our lingo just to be able to buy our products. There is nothing that exemplifies this paradigm more than how lumber folk talk about thickness of a board in "quarters." For example, when referring to a 1" thick … [Read more...] about What’s With the Fractions?
All of us are at the mercy of trends. Whatever is the latest and greatest, we all have to have it. Or we have to redesign our products to embrace that trend. Since we are a large importer of genuine Burmese Teak, we understandably do a lot of business with boat builders. These boat builders almost exclusively use Teak for both exteriors and interior elements of their boats. These days we are … [Read more...] about Change of Species Changes the Rules
Philippine Mahogany is synonymous with boat building, thanks to the iconic Chris Craft boats from the 1930-60s. So when asked if the species will be good for exterior projects, we answer with a strong yes. Boat building tests wood in a way that nothing else will, so if a particular wood is good enough for that, then trim, windows, or siding have nothing to fear. Times have changed, however, … [Read more...] about Yesterday’s Philippine Mahogany is Today’s Meranti
There is a pandemic in the lumber business where everyone wants to find wood as wide and as long as possible. Many times the specified lumber is much bigger than the eventual parts it is to be made into. The argument for this is higher waste per board, better color match, and those who want to rip and glue back together for better stability (don't get me started on that wives tale). I'm here to … [Read more...] about Want Better Quality Lumber, Reconsider Your Sizes
We have talked about shortages in Ipe recently here, and while we still have plenty of Ipe in stock, it seems appropriate to talk about another option and to do some side by side comparison. Certainly, we have found that Cumaru is a great Ipe alternative, and we have been selling it as fast as we can stock it for several years now. Recently, in order to beef up our selection of decking options, … [Read more...] about How Does Jatoba Decking Compare with Ipe Decking
I'm normally not a fan of headlines like this one as they are sensationalist, but in this case it is a reality we must grasp quickly. Frankly, I have been worried about the Ipe market for many years, as global demand rises and saw mills churn out material faster and faster. When you look closely at the Ipe supply chain, you see a house of cards that won't take much to be knocked over. Now don't … [Read more...] about Ipe Shortage isn’t Looming, It’s Already Here
Its getting cold out there. The summer tourists have gone home and seasonal repairs and renovation has begun in earnest. This year one simple yet highly effective repair you can do is to replace your dock boards with Ipe. After all a dock is just a deck right? In fact Ipe has become such an effective dock material that many of the sawmills we work with in Brazil produce 4-5 foot Ipe boards … [Read more...] about Replace those Dock Boards with Ipe and Save
We love African hardwoods. As regulation and grade inconsistencies rise for Mahogany coming out of South America, we are advising more and more of our customers to consider Mahogany alternatives from Africa like Khaya (African Mahogany), Sapele, and Utile (also known as Sipo). The availability of wider and longer African hardwood boards is much greater, the species are more durable and hold … [Read more...] about The Long and Winding Road of African Hardwood Export
As a woodworker and furniture maker I am a big fan of Genuine Mahogany. It carves, saws, and planes so easily and you can't beat the color and depth once finish is applied. However, it has been disconcerting to see how grade and availability have fallen off dramatically in the last year. South American Mahogany definitely isn't what it used to be. What is most upsetting is that much of this is not … [Read more...] about Questions about Genuine Mahogany’s Future
In March of 2013 the European Union's Timber Regulation (EUTR) legislation went into effect. Simply put, EUTR is Europe's version of the US Lacey Act as it relates to lumber production. There are similarities between the two laws and a lot of differences. For instance, EUTR does consider certifications (FSC®/PEFC) and verifications (TLTV/VLO) as risk mitigation when conducting "due diligence," … [Read more...] about EU Timber Regulation Provides Lacey Act Guidance