An article this week in the Globe and Mail piqued Madison’s interest to discover the latest technologies and developments in manufacturing higher-value and value-added solid wood products.
An established skateboard manufacturer in Ontario has come up with a way to work veneers to make a totally new kind of skateboard.
“His innovative woodworking technique – called ‘pinching’ – could change the shape of the skateboard and furniture industries,” said the Globe and Mail Wednesday.
Ted Hunter, owner at Roarockit Skateboard out of Toronto, ON, “found a way to ‘pinch’ layers of wood veneer to make them ripple like the surface of the ocean, all while strengthening the product and still preserving the flat, rideable side of the board.
Quite different than the conventional process, which requires inserting pieces of veneer to make wood strips hold the contours.”
Madison’s reached out to Hunter this week for details but couldn’t get in touch before press time.
Madison’s will continue to cover this interesting development; the supply of logs suitable only for veneers continues to multiply in many North American regions. At the same time, emerging markets — especially in Asia — expect wooden items to be made from veneers.
Value-Added Wood Products
Elsewhere, Universal Forest Products credited the sales of value-added products for improved 2Q 2014 profits this week.
“The people of this company did the right things to drive sales and increase profitability to meet our strategic goals: they created a better product mix of value-added sales and enhanced operational efficiencies, driving success in the second quarter,” said the company’s quarterly financial results Wednesday.
Value-added wood products include unfinished strip flooring, mouldings, dimensioned components, S4S, and many others.
Still in the US, exports of softwood pressure-treated lumber, a key value-added item promoted by the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA), reached an all-time sales record of US$79 million in 2013, the agency said Monday. Exports have jumped sharply to regions targeted by the association’s international market development efforts, and are continuing to rise this year.
Total export sales of American softwood lumber nearly doubled in the past five years the SFPA said, reaching US$1.1 billion, the highest level in 16 years.
Aside from smaller items like furniture, veneers can also be used to make engineered building materials like glue-laminated or cross-laminated timber (CLT).
Some of the new designations can get confusing. For example, cross-banded LVL (LVL-C), whereby some LVL members are made with a few laminations laid up at right angles to enhance the strength of the member, is one such innovation, according to Architecture and Design Australia July 6. CLT panels with LVL outer layers, which give the product greater structural capacity with the same slab depth, are also available.
Hollow-core CLT floor and wall systems are yet another example of new developments. A hollow core takes the weight out of the panels whilst still allowing large spans. These types of systems are being developed into ‘sandwich panels’, where insulating materials are incorporated into the panels for external walls, roof sections and the like, said Architecture and Design.
Floor cassette systems are made up of a number of parts. The first is the timber floor trusses, or the joists within the cassette, with truss webs to be made of either timber or a V-shaped metal web. On top of the floor cassette is the flooring system, which is typically a yellow tongue particleboard.
Insulation can also be prefabricated into the floor system, as can strongbacks or lengths of timber that run across the joist to give it additional stability.
“As an upper-storey flooring system, the floor cassette system can be used in multi-storey buildings or the first floor of a residential project. It can be used in conjunction with CLT, which would be the wall system, or with LVL, which can be used within the floor truss itself to achieve better performance and longer spans,” explained Australian floor cassette system manufacturer Pryda’s Simon Healey.
The floor cassettes are lighter than reinforced concrete so mobile cranes can be employed to install the cassette panels, and they offer flexibility in design with longer spans and the ability to use the panels for all floor assembly types simply by varying the panel thickness. This system can be used to complement CLT.