Gene Wengert

Wood Dr

Color variation in steamed walnut

Q. We have been buying steamed walnut, but the latest batches seem to have more color variation and the sapwood is really white. I know that the company steams the walnut, but what is the reason for this poorer color?

Wood Explorer

Red alder started from the bottom

Red alder (Alnus rubra), once considered a trash species and useful only for fuel, grows abundantly in the Pacific Coast regions of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. It produces excellent lumber, and now demands fairly high prices.
It is a pioneer species, coming into the ecosystem after fire and logging disturbances, thereby protecting the exposed soils and watersheds. Trees mature within 40 to 60 years, reaching a typical height of less than 90 feet and a diameter often under 24 inches.

Wood Dr

Planed lumber pieces that are bowed

Q. We have some lumber that we planed on our two-headed planer. We are certain that the lumber was flat going and coming out. We then stacked the lumber and now about four weeks later, we are seeing a lot of pieces that are bowed. In fact, within the stack, all are bowed the same direction…ends down and center up. Where should we look?

Components & Sourcing

Setting moisture content in the plant

Q. We get our lumber at 6 to 8 percent MC. We check its moisture to confirm. So, should we set the plant at 7.0 percent EMC (halfway between), or should we set the plant a little drier, like 6.8 percent EMC because we want to discourage any drying at all?