Issue # 25: Wood & Composite Materials
ISSN 1703-5597
February 25, 2004

Issue #25 Wood & Composite Materials

  1. The Basics: Glossary, Properties Of Wood, Wood Myths
  2. Lumber Products: Basics, Dimensional, Hardwood
  3. Engineered Lumber: Finger-Joint, Glulam, I-Joist, PVC
  4. Engineered Panels: Composites, OSB, Plywood
  5. Process: Calculating, Installation, Connections
  6. Issues: Durability, Moisture Content, Carpenter Ants
  7. Resources: Handbook, Newsletter, Wood Fair
  8. Ken’s Top Pick: If You Have Time To Surf Only One Site

1. The Basics: Glossary, Properties, Wood Myths

Glossary Of Terms
A-A Exterior is not really the outside of the alcoholics meeting room. The Wood University site has a very good and easy to use glossary of the many terms used in the wood industry.

Properties Of Wood
The Center for Wood Anatomy Research provides you with quite detailed information on the properties of North American hardwoods and softwoods, tropical, and lesser-known woods.

Wood Myths: Facts & Fiction
You may be surprised to learn that some of what you know about wood is wrong, as this 12-point article from the U. of Massachusetts Wood Technology department points out.

2. Lumber Products: Basics, Dimensional, Hardwood

Lumber Basics
At the Lumber Basics site you’ll find an online slide show on products, manufacturing, standards & grading, identification, seasoning and storage of lumber. Click the “10 sections” link.

Visually Graded Dimension Lumber
For an excellent overview of dimensional lumber species, design values, uses, properties, grades, sizes and current issues check out this Canadian Wood Council site.

The Hardwood Council offers you technical information on species & stains, specifying, finishing, floors, moulding & millwork, and tips and techniques for 21 major hardwoods.

3. Engineered Lumber: Finger-Joint, Glulam, I-Joist, PVC

Structural-glued or finger-jointed lumber product options, applications, labelling and handling are covered in this online technical guide from the Canadian Wood Council.

The American Institute of Timber Construction represents the glued laminated industry and here they provide good technical information on different products along with design tables.

Design Guidelines, quality assurance, rim boards and reaction capacities are a few of the online documents available courtesy of the Wood I-Joist Manufacturer’s Association.

Cellular PVC Lumber
NAHB offers a technical report on cellular PVC lumber, a solid extruded material that has the working characteristics of wood, keeps its shape and never needs painting.

4. Engineered Panels: Composites, OSB, Plywood

Composite Panels
Particleboard, medium density fiberboard and hardboard are composite panels and the Composite Panel Association site provides an overview and technical briefs for each product.

OSB: Oriented Strand Board
The Structural Board Association gives you a history of OSB, an overview of the manufacturing process, some fast facts, frequently asked questions, free literature and an online video.

Here is the online Plywood Handbook from the Canadian Plywood Association. It covers manufacturing, grades, standards, applications and specialty products.

5. Process: Calculating, Installation, Connections

Calculating Board Feet
For a fast and accurate way to calculate total board feet and area coverage of different dimensional lumber you can use this handy online tool from the Canadian Wood Council.

Technical sheets on selection and installation of engineered wood products for floors and walls are on the Engineered Wood Association site. Click “Free” links on the right side.

Wood Connections (PDF FILE)
Connections are one of the most critical items in any structure. This excellent online slide show (with notes) from the American Wood Council covers all types of connections.

6. Issues: Durability, Moisture Content, Carpenter Ants

The Wood Durability site from Forintek and CWC offers you lots of good information on moisture and buildings, resistance to decay, termites, and treated wood.

Moisture Content & Shrinkage In Green Lumber
Washingtron State Univeresity has a technical guide on framing lumber and heavy timbers. It explains moisture content standards, average dimensional change, effects of climate, mould and mildew.

Carpenter Ants & Termites
Inspecting for and controlling carpenter ants and termites will be made easier by reading this tech report form the University of Massachusetts Building Materials & Wood Technology site.

7. Resources: Handbook, Newsletter, Wood Fair

Wood Handbook
The online Wood Handbook from the US Forest Products Laboratory contains detailed information on almost everything you’ll ever want to know about wood products and processes.

Electronic Newsletter
Wood Insite is a free monthly e-mail newsletter from the Canadian Wood Council. It contains industry news, technical articles and tips for builders, architects and engineers.

Wood Solutions Fair
Seminars and a wood products trade show highlight the Vancouver Wood Solutions Fair, presented by the Canadian Wood Council on March 10th at the Westin Bayshore hotel.

8. Ken’s Top Pick: Canadian Wood Council

Canadian Wood Council
Almost every wood topic is covered somewhere on this great Canadian Wood Council site. If you have time to surf only one site from today’s issue, consider this one.

Dittie For Today: On Challenges
Adversities cause some men to break, and others to break records.
      - William A. Ward

 © Copyright 2004               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved