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Friday, 9 | 4 | 2015 Wild fires in the Pacific Northwest are expected to have an impact on Western Red Cedar, and Douglas Fir Timbers.  Experts believe that both species will be negatively impacted by extended ship times and rising costs.  Price increases of approximately 10-15% are already being seen in WR Cedar boards (1” trim and sidings), and upper grade clears in both Douglas Fir and WR Cedar.  At the mill level, ship times for WR Cedar are now reaching 60-90 days.  Framing lumber inventories are building in the South with several mills beginning to cut production by 20% to reduce inventory levels and hopefully stabilize falling prices.  Demand is dropping off, which should mean lower prices in the short term. Wednesday, 8 | 13 | 2015 Lumber grading is a little confusing to say the least, so the first thing I want to cover is grading and specifications that produce the most stable, functional and attractive timbers: Free Of Heart Center (FOHC).  This is the one specification that will give you the most stable, strong and beautiful product for your project.  FOHC means that the timber is cut completely outside of the pith, or “bullseye” of the growth rings.  The photo here shows how FOHC and Boxed Heart (BH) timbers are cut from a log. o All growth rings are severed in FOHC, allowing the timber to dry more evenly.  In the Boxed Heart timbers, moisture is trapped in the inner rings, and as the outside dries, surface tension is created through shrinkage.  The inner rings are still full of moisture and have not shrunken, so cracks (seasoning checks) appear as an escape route for the moisture.  This is the point where twisting, bowing, etc is likely to occur.
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