Blue Pine Market Push
Custom furniture builder Corbin Clay launched Azure Furniture to make use of pine beetle killed trees, and gained fame as a Ketel One One Gentleman’s Call finalist.

Congratulations Corbin! It’s very exciting to see a Colorado woodworker being nationally honored. It’s also gratifying to see the beetle kill (blue stain) pine being recognized and utilized in some artistic fashion other than being used for just firewood, wood pellets or stick furniture. You understand the problems and pitfalls which are unknown to most that must be overcome by the few of us working with the beetle kill pine especially when using it for higher quality products. The longevity of the tree just standing in the forest can lead to all sorts of issues. The ability to secure quality logs and graded lumber is difficult.

Sawmills don’t want to cut it because the yields are so poor. Most mills lose money for every thousand board feet of lumber cut. Then there’s the problem of kiln drying. If you don’t own a kiln or know of one you have to settle for air dried lumber. Then there’s marketing and education, since people outside the area don’t know that blue pine can be used in higher end products. Jerry Naro, Whispering Wind Designs, Nederland, CO


Clay asks. “Why cut down living trees when there are so many standing dead?” Darn good question. Would that someone had just listened when Alaska had millions of acres of dead spruce from fires, just waiting to be harvested. Jim, Georgia


Very interesting article. Would like references to other uses of dead standing timber. Here in Texas there is a massive number of trees killed by the recent drought. It would be interesting to see what use could be made of them. Interested reader, Texas


SawStop-type technology articles and ads have altered my table saw teaching. Hot dog videos, a mutilated hand, a blade with the brake securely attached after someone cut a piece of pressure treated 2x4 after hours: these images ease fears for my high school and adult woodshop students. Cost aside, I’m a believer. My own finish carpenter/cabinetmaker grandfather lost three fingers at age 60 to his old friend table saw. Don Thompson Instructor BUACTC, Stark, FL

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