There was a time when paper, glass and wood were a part of everyday life. We used to drink milk out of glass bottles (some still do!). Our groceries were packaged in paper bags. All our furniture and cabinetry used to be made from solid wood (and some still are but at a premium price).
However, as populations grew, businesses grew, industries grew, and commerce went global; Logistics needed to be rethought for many of the everyday items. It was too expensive to ship heavy glass bottles, and furniture shops needed more efficient production and cost-effective materials.
 

Coming on the heals of WW2 came an interest and need for durable and cheap materials. Around the 1950’s plastic made an appearance and by 1970 almost every industry had switched to plastic in some capacity.

 

The downside with the switch to plastic is sustainability. Plastics are made from natural resources such as natural gas, oil, salt, and plant material. While plastics may be the best option for some products like piping that won’t erode, other products could be easily switched to a more natural material and the resources that plastics are made from could be used more effectively and lower other costs of needed products, just like fuel for our cars or houses. It also didn’t take long to realize that society has an issue with plastic waste.

 

Unlike glass and wood products, plastic will not decompose and is not easily recycled. Despite its cheap price and durability, there is a renewed spirit of reintegrating sustainable products into everyday life. We have been so reliant on plastic items, however, that veering away from them needs to be a common-sense process and not a cold-turkey switch leaving many businesses scrambling and consumers caught off guard as has been the case so far.
 

Sustainability is where wood has a large upper hand.

 

What does it mean for wood product industries to use sustainable materials? At its basic definition, sustainability is the “ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level” (Oxford Dictionary). In the long run, the materials we use today should be produced to meet our current needs without reducing the availability for the future.

 

In forestry, there is the FSC, Forest Stewardship Council and the SFI, Sustainable Forestry Initiative. These certifications ensure that strict sustainable processes are in place and used to manage forests. For a lumber company to obtain these certifications, they must be harvesting the trees at the appropriate size and quantity to ensure continued growth and availability.

 

Craftsmen Hardwoods purchases hardwood lumber, when possible, from mills that have obtained these certifications.

 

The way forests are managed is crucial to ensure sustainability. Many countries have taken steps to promote reforestation and afforestation. Reforestation includes planting trees in areas that have been forested or cleared, and afforestation is creating a new forest on previously unforested land.

 

According to the North American Forest Foundation website, it is recorded in 2020 that the softwood lumber industry planted approximately 3 trees for every 1 that was harvested. The U.S. plants over 1 billion trees annually, and Canada plants 600 million trees annually. In addition to lumber companies, various countries around the world practice urban forestry, planting trees in city limits.

 

Urban forestry claims to have several environmental and even health benefits. Some areas, including townships in south-western Ontario, offer free tree programs to the residents to promote local involvement in improving their communities.

 

The forest and lumber industries are also keeping up with technology to improve sustainability. The use of drones has been quite helpful for loggers to explore a forest to evaluate the overall health of the trees and identify which trees should and should not be harvested.

Some of these drones are equipped with sensors and radar that bounce light off the forest floor to give the loggers and forestry planners various levels of information including the height, depth, and slope of the forest floor along with other attributes to aid in managing and planning for the future.

 

RFID (radio frequency identification) tags are also used to track trees and any information about individual trees so the loggers can follow along through the logging process and utilize that tree in the most efficient manner.

 

Regardless of where individuals stand on the environment and government policies, it is very clear that if a resource is used without replenishment, it will not be an available resource in the future. The wood industry has some of the most successful practices in sustainability and unlike money, wood does grow on trees!

 

The strength and versatility of wood makes it one of the best choices in the manufacturing of countless products. Even the by-products of lumber are versatile in their uses. Wood pulp makes paper. Sawdust and wood chips make medium density fibreboard and particle core sheets.

 

Even dead or dying trees are useful for heating homes. There are countless benefits to using wood products and seeing the call for renewable resources brings hope that with technology and ingenuity, there will be numerous uses for wood well into the future.  

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Craftsmen Hardwoods has been a distributor of Titebond glue for several years. When it comes to glue for the woodworking industry, Titebond has risen to the top in terms of quality and brand recognition.

 

Whether you shop at Home Depot, Home Hardware, or your local woodworking supplier, the odds are that they will be selling Titebond glue as their primary adhesive. With so many options at your fingertips, it can be daunting to decide which type of adhesive will work best for your project. My hope is that I can shed some light on what Craftsmen carries and the uniqueness of those types to better help you make an informed decision.

 

Before we delve into the different types and specs., there are a few general comments and terms we should define. First is Open Time. Open Time refers to the amount of time you have once the glue is applied to bond your pieces together before the glue starts to set. Second is Total Assembly Time.

 

This refers to the total time of initially applying the glue to needing to bond the parts and apply pressure. In general, you should allow at least 30 minutes of clamping or pressure time to ensure the glue sets, and the longer the better.   

 

 

1. White - Titebond White Glue is an exceptionally strong, economical white glue that sets faster than most other comparable glues. Its versatile formula is ideal for general woodworking applications, as well as many other porous and semi-porous materials. Titebond White Glue provides a strong initial tack and sets fast to reduce clamp time. It provides a translucent glue line, offers excellent sandability and is unaffected by finishes. Titebond White Glue is easy to use, non-toxic and cleans up with water.

 

  • General woodworking
  • 5-minute open time and 10–15-minute total assembly time
  • Excellent sandability
  • 24-month shelf life
  • Available in 1 gallon and 5 gallons

 

2. Carpenters - Titebond Carpenters Glue is a fast setting, economical product that produces professional results. It stands up to heat and solvents and offers good sandability. Titebond Carpenters Glue is the number one preference of woodworkers because of its diversity of applications. Titebond Carpenters Glue is easy to use, non-toxic and cleans up with water.

 

  • General woodworking
  • 5-minute open time and 5-minute total assembly time
  • Heat resistant
  • Excellent sandability
  • 24-month shelf life
  • Available in 5-gallon pails and 55-gallon drums

 

3. Original - Titebond Original Wood Glue is the industry standard for woodworking. It provides a strong initial tack and fast speed of set to reduce clamp time. It also develops a bond stronger than the wood itself, offers excellent sandability and is unaffected by finishes. Titebond Original can help any woodworker achieve professional-looking results. It is ideal for wood, hardboard, particleboard, leather, cloth, and most other porous materials.

 

Titebond Original is easy to use, non-toxic and cleans up with water.

 

  • General woodworking
  • 5-minute open time and 10–15-minute total assembly time
  • Excellent sandability
  • 24-month shelf life
  • Available in 16 oz bottles, 1-gallon jugs, and 5-gallon pails

 

4. Titebond 2 - Titebond II Premium Wood Glue is the only leading brand, one-part wood glue that passes the ANSI Type II water-resistance specification. It is ideal for exterior woodworking projects, including outdoor furniture, birdhouses, mailboxes, planters, and picnic tables. Titebond II Premium provides a strong initial tack, fast speed of set, superior strength and excellent sandability. It is FDA approved for indirect food contact (cutting boards) and is ideal for radio frequency (R-F) gluing systems.

 

Also available as a dark glue to blend easier with dark woods and finishes.

 

  • General woodworking
  • Safe for indirect food contact (cutting boards)
  • Good for exterior applications
  • 5-minute open time and 10–15-minute total assembly
  • 24-month shelf life
  • Available in 16 oz bottles, 1-gallon jugs, 5-gallon pails, and 55-gallon drums
  • Titebond 2 Dark available in 1-gallon jugs

 

5. Titebond 3 - Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue is the first one-part, water cleanup wood glue ever offered that is proven waterproof. The waterproof formula passes the ANSI/HPVA Type I water-resistance specification and offers superior bond strength, longer open assembly time and lower application temperature. Titebond III is non-toxic, solvent free and cleans up with water - safer to use than traditional waterproof wood glues. It provides strong initial tack, sands easily without softening and is FDA approved for indirect food contact (cutting boards). The ultimate in wood glues - ideal for both interior and exterior applications.

 

  • General woodworking
  • Great for indirect food contact (cutting boards)
  • Great for exterior applications, water resistant
  • Excellent sandability
  • 10-minute open time and 20–25-minute total assembly time
  • 24-month shelf life
  • Available in 16 oz bottles, 1-gallon jugs, 5-gallon pails

 

6. Melamine - Titebond Melamine Glue is designed for bonding wood, particleboard, MDF and other porous substrates to synthetic materials such as melamine, vinyl and HPL as well as metals. It offers a fast initial tack yet has a longer open time that allows for the accurate alignment of working materials. Titebond Melamine Glue is a water-based adhesive that is non-flammable, has low odor, dries clear and cleans up with water.

 

Its thicker formulation offers fewer runs and drips, making it easier to use and more effective for precise assemblies.

 

  • Use for bonding to MDF, particle board, melamine
  • 5-minute open time and 10–15-minute total assembly
  • 24-month shelf life
  • Available in 1-gallon jugs

 

7. Quick and Thick - Titebond Quick & Thick Multi-Surface Glue is the thickest, fastest-drying water-based glue available for use with porous and semi-porous materials. It is ideal for wood, pottery, ceramic, stone, glass, fabrics, leather, and most craft-type materials. Titebond Quick & Thick Multi-Surface Glue provides a strong initial tack and fast speed of set yet allows realignment of working pieces.

 

It also develops a bond stronger than the wood itself, dries clear and is unaffected by finishes.

 

  • Great for trim and moulding applications
  • Bonds various materials
  • 3–5-minute open time and 10–15-minute total assembly
  • 24-month shelf life
  • Available in 16 oz bottles

 

In addition to the variety of quality glues, Craftsmen also supplies a few related products. Bates Glue Release is a temporary protective coating that prevents glue from adhering to machinery and other surfaces, leading to less labor and equipment down-time for cleaning.

BATES Glue Release is applied to machinery in cold gluing operations and is available in 1-gallon cans. Craftsmen also stocks refillable bottles and bottle caps, silicone glue brush. One of the newest additions to our adhesive line is Akfix-705 Fast Adhesive. This is a 2-part adhesive that includes the adhesive and an activator. Make sure to work quick as this glue is a real instant bond!

 

As always, if you have any questions or would like to place and order, feel free to reach out through the website or give us a call!

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

For the seasoned, professional cabinet maker, hinges are an easy aspect to the job.

 

For those of us starting out or not long in the industry, hinges can be one of the more difficult aspects to figure out. There are so many options and unique configurations that it can be quite easy to get confused during your cabinet build.

 

Craftsmen is a distributor of Salice hinges, and it is my hope and goal to go over the basic configurations and options to make hinges easier and less of a headache for the future.

 

The main question when it comes to hinges is, “what do you want your door to do?”.

 

Are you needing the doors to have an overlay (sitting on top of the cabinet box or frame)? Or do you need the doors to be inset (sitting inside the box or frame)? Is one better than the other? Well, that depends on the end customer!

 

Both overlay and inset can have their own challenges, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. We will review overlay further on. Another question to help choose the right hinges and plates would be, “are you building face frame cabinets or frameless (Euro style) cabinets?”.

 

The hinge will be the same whether your cabinet has a face frame or not. The plate you use to attach the hinge to the box will need to be a face frame plate for face frame cabinets or a Euro plate for frameless cabinets. For face frame cabinets you can also build out behind the frame to make the plate flush with the face frame.

 

Next, we need to determine what size (thickness) of plate you need and there is a formula we can use. H=15+K-D. H stands for the plate thickness, which is what the formula is going to find out. 15 is how many millimeters of overlay are already built into the hinge. K is the distance from the edge of the door to the closest edge of the drilled hole for the hinge cup, which is typically 5 mm. And D is the required overlay (gable thickness minus desired reveal).  For example, if we want a full overlay for the door and we are using ¾” (18 mm) plywood for the gables, the formula looks like: (15+5)- 18 = 2mm.  So we need to use a 2 mm plate.

 

Now we need to go back to the overlay your doors need. There are 4 main mounting options for hinges: full, half, ½”, and inset. On a frameless cabinet full overlay means the door will essentially cover the gable end, and you will need a 2mm plate for use with ¾” gables or a 4mm plate if using 5/8” gables.

 

On face frame cabinets, full overlay hinges will cover 5/8” to ¾” of the frame and needs a 1mm face frame plate.

 

The next overlay option is half overlay. A half overlay door is primarily used if 2 doors are needing to share the same gable. The door will sit halfway on a frameless gable using a 2mm plate for 3/4” gable or 4mm plate for 5/8” gable. On a face frame cabinet, half overlay hinges can achieve 3/8” overlay using a 1 mm face frame plate, ½” overlay with a 4mm face frame plate, OR inset is possible if using a 5 mm face frame plate.

 

Another overlay hinge is ½” overlay, NOT to be confused with half overlay. A ½” overlay will give you just that, a door that is ½” on the gable or frame. As with the full and half overlay, the ½” overlay on frameless cabinets needs a 2mm plate for 3/4” gable or 4mm plate for 5/8” gable. With a face frame, you will need the 1 mm face frame plate. You may also achieve a full overlay on a face frame by using a 4 mm plate.

 

The last main application for hinges is the inset hinge. If you are using either ¾” or 5/8” plywood for frameless cabinets, you will need to use a 4 mm plate. If your cabinets have a face frame, inset doors can be achieved, but you need to go back to the half overlay hinge and use a 5 mm plate.

 

There are also multiple options and configurations beyond the 4 different mounting options mentioned. The standard door opening is angled at either 105 or 110 degrees.

 

If you are needing to angle your door because of the space allowed in the kitchen, there are varying degrees of openings available like 15, 30, 45, and 155. The 155-degree hinges are also known as zero protrusion. If you have drawers behind the door, this hinge will move the door clear out of the way to give the drawers the clearance they need.

 

Another great feature of the Salice soft close hinges is the soft close adjustment on the Silentia+ line. This adjustment allows the soft close to activate at either 30 degrees or 10 degrees of the door closing. This comes in handy when dealing with various weights of doors. With lighter doors, you can set the hinge to the minus side (10 degree) as the lighter doors may take a while to close if set at the 30-degree setting.

 

However, if you have larger, heavier doors, setting the hinge at 30 degrees will prevent the door from blowing through the soft close mechanism. In some cases, it may be desirable or beneficial to set one hinge at 30 degrees and the other at 10 degrees, creating a mid-way option for closing.

 

Salice hinges do come in a few different options for attaching doors to the cabinet. A common method for mounting hinges and plates is with wood screws, preferably a Wood-Maxx #6 x 5/8” flat head wood screw. Hinges with dowels are great for the CNC shops where a hinge machine can drill the holes and then press the hinge in. Ribs on the dowels prevent the hinge from coming out.

 

Salice Logica is great toolless hinge that uses a flap that presses a rod into dowels and the dowels push against the holes creating a tight fit. One of the benefits to the Logica hinge is you can install the doors on-site without any tools. 

 

Some other options that not many shops may be aware of are 2 different finishes and covers for the hinge arm and plate. You are likely aware of the regular nickel finish that is in most cabinets. The other option is a titanium finish. This is a darker, almost black or onyx looking finish that goes well with darker tones. If you are staining cabinets dark, especially if you are using walnut, the titanium finish lets the hinge and plate blend in with the darker tones and gives a clean, classy appearance.  Salice’s Titanium finish is not applied finish. 

 

The nickel hinges are double dipped in an acid bath that chemically changes the colour of the metal, meaning that the colour never dulls or wears off.  The cover caps for the hinge arm and plate give a sleek final touch to the cabinet.

Salice also offers an in-line plate where the mounting screws are concealed for a more visually appealing look. 

 

There are more applications and specialty hinges and plates available, but I hope this blog gave you more understanding of Salice hinges and some of the great options and features included in the line. Don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email with any questions or to place an order.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Sia Abrasives

Craftsmen Hardwoods has been a proud supplier of Sia brand sandpaper for approximately 4 years. Sandpaper is an essential product to get the best finish possible out of your lumber and impress your customers.

 

Sandpaper was first introduced to the world around the 13th century in China. Originally made from sand, crushed shells, and broken glass, it was known as glass paper. In the late 1800’s, Sia Abrasives (along with a few other manufacturers) brought sandpaper mainstream and into a variety of industries.

 

Sia has been developing and manufacturing high quality abrasive products in Switzerland since 1875. Since their founding, Sia has evolved to become the third large Abrasive mfg. in the world.

 

Sia Abrasives has been imported into Canada since 1984 by JJS Canada. They operate a 40,000 square foot facility which includes disc, sheet and belt conversion for the wood, metal, and automotive industry.

 

All sandpaper will be composed in the same manner where grit is applied to a substrate or backing i.e., paper or cloth, with a resin adhesive. Where manufacturers differ is the materials used. The backing is often either a paper or cloth material. Sia does offer products with a combination of paper and cloth or fiber, film, nonwoven, net, and bonded options.

 

For most sanding applications a paper backing product is recommended as it offers great life, some flexibility and a good finish. If you are sanding extreme curves or working in corners and hard to reach areas a flexible cloth product is ideal.

 

When using an orbital sander and if you are looking for best dust collection try a SIANET product, it helps capture nearly all the sanding dust in combination with a good tool and dust extractor. Did you know, there is even an option of washable wide belts that are Ideal when working with resinous woods?

 

Once the belt is clogged, soak it in water and spray it down with a pressure washer, then let it dry and you can keep on sanding. You can repeat this process time after time ensuring more life out of each belt.

 

Sia Abrasives grits are essentially diamond shaped and adhered to the backing using an electrostatic method. This method ensures that the grits are situated well on the backing, and with the bigger side embedded into the resin adhesive on the backer.

 

Aluminum oxide is the industry standard and a great option, as it has good durability and is cost effective. SIA is using a Blue Fired Aluminum Oxide in many products. This new grit provides great sanding life and through its use, exposes a new, sharp point that will ensure consistent and easy sanding.

 

Silicon carbide is another mineral used for making grits and is ideal for very hard surfaces such as glass, fiberglass and clear coats like lacquer and sealer. Silicone carbide grit provides the cutting edge you need as it tends to be sharper, but more brittle.  If you are looking for a more aggressive, highly durable sandpaper, consider spending a few more pennies and go with ceramic grit.

 

During use under high pressure the grit will fracture itself and create a new sharp edge for continuous performance.

 

Craftsmen stocks a variety of Sia products such as discs, portable sander belts, foam sanding blocks and pads, sanding sheets and Festool pattern discs. We even stock belt cleaner sticks to help you unclog your belts and extend their life. While we do not stock long or wide belts, we can order in the size you need.

 

If you have an edge sander, don’t forget that the graphite canvas on your backing plate wears out as well. Craftsmen stocks and sells graphite paper by the yard. This 6” wide canvas aids in extending the life of the belt by reducing heat and friction.

 

We welcome you to look through our sandpaper offers to get a quote on what you need.

Don’t see what you want? Contact us and let us know what you are looking for and we will do our best to get it for you.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

White Oak

In the previous blog, I went into depth on walnut. This time we should investigate white oak. Another “luxury” species, white oak has seemed to gain noticeable popularity over the past year or so. It seems almost every shop needs white oak lumber and sheets for flooring, furniture, millwork, or kitchens. 

    

White oak has always been a favored species among certain industries. Whiskey barrels, flooring, millwork, and furniture depend on a consistent supply of white oak lumber. There are a few hindrances, however, to the supply chain.

 

Due to a relatively warm winter, many of the white oak forests, and forests in general, have been almost too wet and muddy for the loggers to get their equipment in and the logs out. Also, global demand for white oak has increased over the past year.      

 

White oak prices have backed off compared to prices last year, but we are anticipating on price increases in the next coming months due to the potentially low supply.

    

A common question that is asked is “What is the difference between red and white oak?”.

Starting with the tree, the leaves of a red oak will be pointed at the tips, while white oak leaves will be rounded.

 

White oak is rot resistant which makes it a good choice for exterior projects, even for boats. There usually are colour differences between the species, but not always, so colour should not be used alone to identify white oak.

 

Red oak may have pink tones, and white oak may have olive/ light brown tones. As well, with the many sub-species of each, colour is not a dependable identifier.

 

While red and white oak grain may look similar, the white oak grain will not be as open or wavy as red oak. The end grain is a sure way to know which is which. Ideally looking at the end grain in the heartwood, red oak will have open pores and white oak will have tight, closed pores. Another sure identifier are the rays (lines) in the flat sawn boards. White will have long lines usually 1” or more, while red oak will have short lines roughly ¾” and shorter.

    

When working with either, white oak will be denser and harder to cut through, while red oak is lighter because it is more porous. One downside to the density of white oak is that it can be difficult to dry properly in a kiln, especially in boards 5/4 (1-1/4”) and thicker. This may lead to checking (small cracks in the surface of the board) or even worse, honeycombing (holes in the middle of the board). One last, unusual difference is white oak has an acidic, almost pickle-like, smell.

    

White oak will come with a higher price tag due to a smaller supply than red oak. If you are needing a durable species for outdoor projects or a beautiful species for furniture or flooring, white oak is a great option.

 

Craftsmen Hardwoods stocks a variety of thicknesses and lengths in white oak lumber that are flat cut, quarter cut (fleck pattern) and rift cut (straight grain) boards along with white oak veneer plywood and edge banding to go with it.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Walnut

Few species have stood the test of time as being luxury, high valued item like walnut. With a mix of straight and irregular grain and a nice dark colour, walnut is a beautiful species.

 

Walnut, however, is known as being difficult to work with due to the defects that are allowed in its grade. One walnut mill commented that if regular walnut was graded like a normal hardwood, it would grade 1 Common at best.

    

Walnut is in a league of its own when it comes to grading. Knots and cracks are allowed in the face-and-better grade that we stock. We do carry another option, a “superior” grade, or “red oak rules” as some may know it, but only in a few thicknesses. The superior grade means the walnut is graded as if it were any other hardwood. Superior grade does come with a premium price, but the defects are fewer.

    

So why does walnut allow for more defects? To start, there is a limited supply of furniture grade walnut. Walnut trees tend to have quite a few wild, twisted branches, and the trunks don’t always yield long lengths. If all the walnut lumber was held to the “higher” grading standard, there would be barely any walnut available in the market. Also, most walnut logs that are high quality are sent off for veneers, leaving less options for lumber.

    

Another notable attribute of walnut is its dark color. Before drying, the sapwood is white and the heartwood is dark, giving a very distinct contrast. In some species this color contrast is desirable, however, the majority of consumers prefer a more consistent color when it comes to walnut.

 

To minimize the contrast, walnut goes through a steaming process. Steaming draws out moisture from the green lumber and the chemicals in the lumber oxidize, which darkens the sapwood.

 

As mentioned before, working with walnut may be frustrating. Due to the number of defects allowed, the waste may be higher in walnut than other species. Most shops we deal with figure in a higher waste factor when ordering walnut, some 30%, a few up to 75%, and even the odd shop that just doubles the order right away.

 

If you are wanting to work with walnut, please know that defects are a part of the grade. If you are willing to pay for the superior grade, your waste may not be as high. If price is a factor and the budget does not allow for walnut, poplar could be a good alternative depending on the application.

 

While poplar is not a dense as walnut, it does have a similar grain pattern, and with a few more steps in the finishing process, it can be stained to appear very close to walnut.

 

Craftsmen Hardwoods does also carry walnut sheet stock, as well as walnut edge banding.

If you are needing to glue a walnut panel, we also offer Titebond Dark glue, which will hide your glue lines and blend right into the walnut. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or to place an order!

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Sheet Goods Part 3 - MDF

The final installment of our sheet goods posts is focused on MDF, medium-density fiberboard.

 

In 1925, an inventor named William Mason was searching for a way to use leftover wood chips and sawdust. As with most great inventions, a mistake was made! He forgot to turn off his machinery, and in the morning found the wood chips and sawdust had formed into a thin sheet. By adding resin, heat, and pressure, MDF was conceived!

    

It wasn’t until the mid 1980’s that MDF gained popularity. Today, MDF is found in almost all products that you would find solid wood. Cabinetry, trim, doors, and furniture are just a few products where manufacturers have incorporated MDF.

    

Since MDF is a by-product, its price, availability, and versatility make it attractive to use. There are varying grades, or densities, that allow the manufacturer a wide range of options depending on their application.

    

We stock products like Roseburg or Ranger, which offer MDF sheets on the lower range of density. Higher densities are produced by Trupan (which we stock), Ranger Platinum and Plum Creek.

    

If you need an MDF that will be easy to finish, a denser product would be best suited. If weight and price are more of a factor, the less dense options tend to be lighter and more economically priced.          

    

There are a few downsides to MDF. One would be the possible exposure to moisture. If not sealed well enough, MDF will expand and bubble. MDF is offered in a moisture resistant option such as Extira for exterior applications, or where moisture cannot be avoided. When painted and sealed well, moisture should not be a concern. Another downside is MDF has the tendency for its fibers to fuzz up in the sanding and finishing process. This is where the denser sheets have the upper hand, but a slight possibility is still present.

    

Here are some benefits to MDF. First, using MDF in place of solid wood should result in more stability.

 

For instance, when making 5-piece cabinet doors with solid wood, the center panel needs to be built with a loose fit to allow expansion and contraction from relative humidity. This loose panel will then shake and rattle. (Rubber spaceballs are a good solution to help with that!). If using MDF for the center panel, you will have minimal movement.

    

Another benefit of MDF is due to the manufacturing process, it will not have core voids or the potential wavey core as sometimes seen with veneer core sheets. Also, because MDF is made from finely ground wood fibers, it is great for machining and routering as it leaves a nice smooth finish and is ready for paint or stain.

    

I hope these sheet goods blogs have helped in your search for the right product for your application.

 

As always, if you have any questions, or want to know what we have, feel free to scan the website and submit your quote, or give us a call. We look forward to serving you!

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Sheet Goods Part 2 - Particle Core

In the last post we discussed the pros and cons of veneer core. In this post we will focus on particle core. What does a particle core consist of? Essentially, particle core is wood chips ground into small wood particles and mixed with glue or resin, formed and pressed into a sheet.

    

The manufacturing process enables a more consistent thickness than veneer core and because of the refined wood fibres, it is also more stable and less prone to warp from relative humidity.

    

Particle core is heavier than veneer core. For example, a ¾” white melamine with a particle core will weigh around 95 -100 pounds. A sheet of ¾” veneer core maple will weigh around 70 - 75 pounds. Another downside is its reaction to moisture. Sealing the edges well will increase resistance to moisture damage. If moisture does happen to seep into the core, the particle core will swell up and fail.

    

Particle core sheets will not be as strong as veneer core. If you are building a shelf to span a distance greater than 30” it will be prone to sagging over time, whereas solid wood installed on the edge will help reduce that. Particle sheets will not hold the amount of weight that veneer core sheets. If you need an economically priced sheet, with stability and consistency, this is your sheet of choice!

    

There are several great colors and textures of melamine that are adhered to particle core sheets which makes melamine a great option for someone price-conscious and looking to achieve a specific colour or unique grain design.

    

Particle cores with melamine on the front and back also relieve the shop from the extra labour of sanding and finishing the sheet. Once the panels are cut to size, all that is needed is edging applied, and the panels assembled. Just remember, we stock matching colours and textures in edge banding and even have a Benjamin Moore edge tape program!

    

Melamine is not the only option for particle core sheets. For example, Craftsmen Hardwoods stocks domestic maple veneers on a particle core. The benefits to this option, as opposed to veneer core, are a less expensive sheet, greater stability and will tend to have a slightly higher quality of veneer.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Sheet Goods - Part 1

“What kind of plywood do you recommend I use?” While it is a difficult question to answer it is my hope in the next few blogs to break down the pros and cons to help you decide which option is best for you. These blogs will address the core only, not the specific veneer wood species.

    

We will first discuss veneer core sheets. Some shops may refer to veneer core sheets as plywood or plywood core. Sheet stock with a veneer core will have layers of thin sheets glued together. These sheets are often thought of as the best option for sheet stock. Because they are thin sheets of layered wood, they will have greater stability then solid wood and reasonable strength.

 

The domestic made cores will have thicker “ply’s” (layers that make up the core) than their imported counterparts and will manufacture it with the ply’s grain direction alternating, for stability and strength. Our domestic supplier, Rockshield, makes the veneer layers out of aspen as it is light weight, stable, and creates a smooth veneer resulting in a great core to work with.

    

There are some obstacles that can come with veneer core, such as the uneven thickness of the sheet. Because the ply’s are layered and glued, and being a more natural wood product, veneer core thicknesses come with a variance. The sheets should not be thicker than it’s stated size but may be down by 40 thousandths of an inch, or roughly 1 mm. We understand that may bring headaches in the shop if the sheet is not a consistent thickness, but they should be fairly even overall.

    

Another obstacle that can be frustrating is core voids. The ply’s may be butted together to make a full layer. Occasionally 2 pieces don’t line up exactly, so there is a void created in that layer. That can be frustrating if you are screwing into the edge of the panel and the screw hits a void and has nothing to hold on to, or if you are cutting the sheet on a table saw and a void shows up on the edge of the panel that you were planning to keep exposed. There is also edge-tape that many use to cover the edge of the core. Unfortunately, some voids are allowed in the process of making veneer core.

    

Despite the obstacles, veneer core plywood is durable, holds screws well, and is great for spanning long distances. These cores should be suited to span up to 32” wide without sag depending on the weight put on them.* If you need a shelf 32” wide or more you may benefit from either doubling the sheet, or putting a support bar underneath the shelf, or simply add a facer strip along the edge that’s a little wider than the thickness of plywood being used.

    

Veneer core overall is a great choice for many common projects! In the next few blogs, we will lay out the pros and cons of particle core and MDF.

 

*Specs are opinion only, not from Rockshield or any grading rules

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Who WOOD have thought we’re this CRAFTY?

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad the days of side-by-side wood toilets are a thing of the past! Most, if not all, people enjoy privacy especially in the washroom.

     Now, accidents do happen, and because of the privacy in washrooms, we don’t always know who the culprit is unless someone fesses up. A few months back there was an accident in one of our washrooms. The individual was not hurt (except maybe their pride), but the poor toilet got the brunt of the damage. For quite some time the tank lid sat in shambles, a constant reminder of the excessive strength used by the guilty party.

     Do you know how difficult it is to find a replacement toilet tank lid? Apparently extremely difficult! After some time of searching and calling around, we were faced with the reality that this poor toilet tank could be lid-less for all eternity.

     But not for long. Gavin Martin, one of our outstanding warehouse team members, decided he would do something about the lid. Putting his head to the toilet, I mean grindstone, he was able to come up with a plan to make a lid out of maple. After all, we do have SOME lumber hanging around the warehouse. He expertly crafted this lid, bringing an end to the pitiful looking toilet. But the lid was not good enough. Caleb Martin, one of our expert truckers, took it one step further, and with his recently purchased laser machine added some personality to the toilet lid. Now that is a Crafty team!

     By the way, we do have more maple for sale. And you can use it for other things besides toilet lids, although I must say it worked quite well.    

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn