Hardwood Blog

Perspectives and insights on the hardwood lumber industry.                     

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Could changing your perspective on hardwood lumber grades allow you to buy materials that meet your needs more effectively? A custom grade of hardwood lumber might be exactly what you need! The grading system that is used for the hardwood lumber industry was established over 100 years ago by the National Hardwood Lumber Association, (NHLA). Unlike softwoods, which are graded on the entirety of the board, hardwoods are graded based on the amount of clear…
Generally speaking, in the hardwood lumber industry, relationships mean everything!  The act of buying and selling lumber usually happens with suppliers and companies you know, trust and depend on.  That is why we find it is important for us to constantly be focused on developing strong, long lasting relationships. One way to do that is by trying to become a more valuable business resource for our customers.  From our experience, we have found that these…

Are you considering yellow birch?

  • Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:18
For most of us in the hardwood lumber industry we typically think of yellow birch when we think of plywood. But there are many other applications birch can be an excellent choice for! Yellow birch is one of those species commonly harvested throughout the New England States, New York and Pennsylvania. You will also find it in parts of Appalachian region as well. In general birch represents about 5% of the overall hardwood lumber production…

Four Tips for Touring a Sawmill

  • Friday, 08 December 2017 14:06
In the hardwood lumber industry, sawmill tours are the norm. When customers can visit a sawmill, they can get a better idea of the suppliers capabilities, products and ability to service them.  Many times, especially for someone new to the industry, customers find it interesting to see firsthand how a log is processed from a round log to a bundle of random width and length boards. However, not all sawmill visits are the same. We…

Using Customer Feedback for Improvement

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017 16:43
We know how competitive the hardwood lumber business is. From firsthand experience, we have learned there is no room for complacency when it comes to meeting the needs of your customers. It is important to think of each interaction with your customers as an opportunity for your team to provide significant value and further enhance your customer’s overall experience. These interactions can also be of great value to your any your organization and lead to…
Many business leaders understand the importance of delegation. But delegation isn’t always easy. Some contend it’s in the psychological makeup of business leaders to insist on doing (or trying to do) everything themselves - or at least insist on overseeing how others get things done. Here at American Lumber, we are constantly reminding ourselves f the importance and value of proper delegation. We work hard to leverage best practices in this area and constantly monitor…
Manufacturers that use hardwood lumber to produce their products typically order lumber is random width and length bundles.  However, some request their hardwood lumber suppliers to provider them products in special width sorts or even SLR2E ripped-to-width lumber they can use as moulder ready blanks. From our experience, we find the manufacturers that request ripped-to-width blanks are using this type of hardwood lumber product to manufacture specific cabinet parts, face frame, mouldings, custom flooring and…

Is Rustic Grade Hickory for Flooring on the Rise?

  • Wednesday, 20 September 2017 14:09
Rustic grade lumber has been a popular request for some time now. We often receive inquiries for rustic white oak, cherry and even walnut. But recently requests for rustic hickory have been on the rise. People define rustic grade lumber in numerous ways. In general, it is boards described as having all of its natural characteristics present.  The lumber is structurally sound with tight knots, color variation, and a general natural appeal included. We find…

Focusing on Teamwork Can Pay Dividends

  • Wednesday, 06 September 2017 21:07
Sometimes bringing individual employees together to transform business practices and work as a high-performing team can be one of the more difficult decisions for a leader. At American Lumber, we know firsthand how important, and how difficult, building and maintaining a culture of teamwork can be. We promote it constantly because we recognize it is one of the best ways to make the organization better. From green hardwood lumber buyers and kiln drying supervisors to…
One of the less requested North American hardwood lumber species is American beech. This species, (fagus grandifolia), which is sometimes alrso referred to as red beech, white beech and gray beech, grows throughout the hardwood forests in the eastern United States. It is found mostly in the States of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky and grows side by side with more popular species such as soft maple, hard maple and cherry in most…