Doing Our Part to Reduce Lumber Industry Waste
As much as everyone wants to say they’re on the “green” bandwagon, the lumber industry has not been completely faultless in realizing such a goal. No, we don’t rely on the kinds of environmentally unfriendly processes synthetics do or produce non-renewable additions to landfills. In fact, you might say that lumber is the ultimate in green building materials. At the same time, though, we have been guilty of waste — on both an industry-wide scale and as an individual supplier. But at J. Gibson McIlvain, we’re doing our part to change that.
While we’re committed to supplying only high-quality lumber and lumber products to our customers, we’re growing in our understanding of what that means. We realize it isn’t always tied to traditionally accepted grading standards or sizes.
Just like the current grading system has its limitations based on desired sizes and specific applications, the determination of lumber quality isn’t quite an exact science. Often, lumber suppliers catering primarily to wholesale customers burn boards that individual craftsmen would love to be able to use. Furniture makers, for instance, aren’t typically as picky as deck-builders, when it comes to generous lengths and widths. And unlike window or door manufacturers, your hobby woodworker tends to value character over consistency.
With that kind of understanding in view, an independent company named Hardwood To Go was born. From figured lumber pulled from production runs to small packs that would otherwise sit in the backs of sheds, we’re excited to be rescuing beautiful lumber from powering kilns, while making such finds available to craftsmen who will appreciate their quality.
Additional wastage generally comes when 16’ and longer boards are cut to uniform lengths, leaving 4 to 5-foot lengths behind. We can buy those short boards for bargain pricing and then pass the savings on to customers like you. Along with outlet pricing, you receive the uniqueness of outlet items, many of which are FAS quality. Those of lower grades often display character marks that technically count as “defects.” Because this lumber is considered overstock and purchased from retailers who have no use for it, the prices are less than you’d pay for the same amount of board feet from a typical lumber dealer.
Of course, the nature of our business means that our inventory is unpredictable, but we are able to take requests and attempt to grant them, as various lumber pieces become available.
Just like the kind of environmental and social responsibility we require of our international sources, we want to do our part to respect our natural resources and fulfill the needs of woodworkers like you. While this additional side business is only a small fraction of J. Gibson McIlvain’s overall income, it reflects our mission and vision in an extraordinary way.