We are constantly on the lookout for new products that our customers will like. In the past few decades we have been increasingly interested in some of the composite siding and trim options that have come out as long lasting and green alternatives to Cedar shingles and/or wooden siding. Without fail, these products have come up short in appearance, workability, and/or durability. The central … [Read more...] about NuCedar PVC Siding and Trim
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.
Recently the US Department of Commerce approved a 23% Countervailing Duty on hardwood import plywood that is imported from China. This is an effort by the US government to "protect" domestic manufacturers from import products that are subsidized by foreign governments. So import plywood prices have gone up at least by 23%. What no one seems to be talking about is the response from the domestic … [Read more...] about Import Plywood Prices Increase
In my Spanish Cedar Regulation article the case was made that the Spanish Cedar market has permanently changed and lower availability is the new normal. Spanish Cedar is still trickling out of South America but it is also now being grown on plantations in Africa. While still technically the same genus and couple of species, Cedrela odorata, fissilis, huberi, the quality and properties are not … [Read more...] about Tips for Buying Spanish Cedar
Update 9/19/20: Spanish Cedar Plywood Added to CITES Appendix II Long anticipated due to the ongoing shortage and regulation of Spanish Cedar lumber, now the manufactured Spanish Cedar plywood has been added to CITES appendix II. Up until now the distribution of manufacture of the plywood allowed for face veneers to be sourced from both Souther American Spanish Cedar, but also African sourced, … [Read more...] about Spanish Cedar Is Regulated Out of Fashion
The mad scramble to rebuild the east coast boardwalks after Hurricane Sandy has begun. As usual, many municipalities dragged their feet during the winter, and with tourist season looming just a few months away, our phones are ringing off the hook with people looking for 2x4 and 2x6 Ipe for a boardwalk somewhere along the Atlantic coast. Ipe suppliers such as J. Gibson McIlvain and many of our … [Read more...] about Are We Overbuilding Our Boardwalks?
Over the years we have supplied lumber and plywood to many companies working on some amazing millwork installations. Sometimes we just supply the materials, other times we run the millwork whether it be flooring, paneling, or moulding. Many times it just comes down to plywood for the panels. We pride ourselves on the quality of the plywood we sell and these high standards lead to a lot of … [Read more...] about Custom Plywood for Architectural Millwork
Green building and sustainability are some of the most popular concepts in the design and construction business these days. It is rare to find any new construction without some specification for LEEDS rating or at least a concern about building a green structure. New products enter the market every day claiming to be the next best thing for environmentally aware construction. In reality the … [Read more...] about Lumber is the Ultimate Green Building Material
One of the hottest design trends these days is blending the inside living spaces with the outside living space. It is common to see beautiful outdoor rooms that seamlessly dissolve into beautiful landscaping. Many architects are now designing movable glass walls that can open wide and remove any barrier between the inside and outside. This trend has grown so much on the simple principle that … [Read more...] about Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Floors Blend Seamlessly into Jatoba Decks
J. Gibson McIlvain has been shipping material to the Caribbean for some time now. We service a lot of builders and contractors from the Virgin Islands and Bermuda to the Bahamas and the West Indies. Our large, on the ground inventory of a huge variety of hardwoods, softwoods, and plywoods means we can ship much faster than the island brokers that these customers rely on normally. A nice bonus … [Read more...] about Shipping Improvements for Caribbean Contractors
Winter is just around the corner (less than a week according to my calendar), and while many of us are staying indoors to ride out the colder temperatures, armies of builders and contractors are braving the elements in their day to day jobs. Whether the job be renovating a summer home to get it ready for the next beach season, or making needed repairs to keep the cold out in the coming … [Read more...] about Give Your Lumber Room to Move
I have written in the past about the difficulties that come with buying Ipe, due to distinct seasons created by the rainy season. Additionally, there is global competition for the resource, and we have had to get more and more savvy about when we buy and how to extend our buying season in order to take best advantage of sizes that quickly become scarce. This year the playing field was set, as it … [Read more...] about Plenty of Ipe to Rebuild East Coast Hurricane Damage
There is no question that the primary use for Ipe is as a decking material. As a decking product, Ipe is surfaced on 4 sides (S4S) and eased on 4 edges (E4E) which prevents splintering and sharp edges in this very, very hard wood. Depending on how our clients choose to install the Ipe decking, we may have to rout a groove for clip fasteners, but at most, that is all we are doing to the wood … [Read more...] about Do I Need Air Dried or Kiln Dried Ipe Decking?
Western Red Cedar is one of the most popular exterior species in use in North America these days. The lower cost, rot and insect resistant, and easy availability in all sizes, including large timbers, makes it an obvious choice for projects from decks to pergolas, siding, flooring, ceilings, and paneling. Like all softwoods, there is a standard grading system in place to designate how clear a … [Read more...] about Inland vs Coastal Cedar
It has been more than a year since we wrote about the Lacey Act. What then was something not many people had heard about, let alone understood, has now become front page news since the seizure of material from Gibson Guitars. With 60% of our business in importing exotic hardwoods, we were riveted to the details of this case and wondered how the vaguely worded legislation would be enforced. The … [Read more...] about Lacey Act Compliance Becomes a Little Less Cloudy
We have carried Bruynzeel plywood for a while now and our boat building customers have always been very pleased with the high quality of the product. With 100% weather resistant plies and BS 1088 certification, you cannot ask for a panel more perfectly suited to boat building. The exciting news is that J. Gibson McIlvain is now an exclusive North American distributor of Bruynzeel plywood and we … [Read more...] about Bruynzeel Marine Grade Plywood
Recently I wrote about the shortage of African Mahogany and how the plummeting market price has essentially killed the lumber mills that harvest it and now there isn't enough supply to meet the demand. Unfortunately it is a growing trend not unique to the lumber industry and I made a passing comment about North America's penchant for this price reduction frenzy. Lumber and many other raw … [Read more...] about The Lumber Industry is Poised on the Cusp of a Market Change
It has long been established that the only way to dry lumber is slowly with long heat up and cool down times. The maximum temperature and the rate of heating and cooling will vary from species to species. In fact, specific schedules have been published to guide kiln operators, but many kilns have their own practices which they follow, hard won through years of experience. Mixing species is a … [Read more...] about Tru-Dry Radio Frequency Dried Timbers
Before anyone gets too excited, there is not a shortage of African Mahogany (Khaya spp) due to over harvesting. There is still plenty in the forests and the species is not endangered at all. The shortage comes from a lack of people harvesting, sawing, and seasoning it. If you read my article about Poplar price increases then this article may give you some deja vu. In the last few weeks and … [Read more...] about African Mahogany Shortage is Indicative of a Larger Global Issue
Poplar is a great utility species and probably one of the best hardwoods when you want a painted finish. It mills really easily, comes in all kinds of widths and lengths, and is dirt cheap. Or is it? It seems that the species that everyone want to use to save money is climbing in price pretty rapidly to the point where we have to question whether it is the economy wood to use anymore. Since the … [Read more...] about The Recession Hits Poplar
I'm knocking on wood as I say this but it does seem that business is picking up and this recession may be waning. However there are some alarming things happening in the building trade that we see as a supplier of everything from plywood to rough lumber. Manufactured and engineered products like moulding and plywood prices seemed to have stalled over the last 5-8 years while hardwoods and … [Read more...] about The Slippery Slope of Grading Adjustments