Twelve Facts About Engineered Wood You May Not Know

Photo @ APA — The Engineered Wood Association

Photo @ APA — The Engineered Wood Association

Since launching as a small business distributing mill supplies to the wood products industry in 1952, we’ve always had the same credo: Partnering through service, innovation, and integrity. This core belief drives our quest to find custom, innovative solutions to serve the wood products industry. 

WVCO works to fulfill our mission by maintaining close partnerships with leading wood products organizations like APA – The Engineered Wood Association, a nonprofit trade association for engineered wood product manufacturers. Considered a leading resource for information about engineered wood products, APA regularly provides resources illustrating the benefits of engineered wood and mass timber products. 

Construction Benefits of Using Mass Timber Products
Here are just a few interesting facts you may not know about the benefits of building with engineered wood products like glulam, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), Structural Composite Lumber (SCL) and more:

➢ Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is just one example of engineered wood that can use insect-damaged lumber. While areas may be discolored, it’s still structurally sound, and the natural blue stain adds visual interest to the project! Learn more

➢Treated glulam is an ideal building material for exposed applications, like bridges, because it stands up to extreme weather conditions. Click here to learn more. 

➢ Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels are six times lighter than concrete. Requiring no set time and fewer laborers to install, CLT panels are a great building material for larger applications. 

Sustainable Impact of Wood Products
There are many questions about the environmental impacts of harvesting wood. APA recently hosted a webinar to clear up some misconceptions about using wood as a green building material.  Click here to access the webinar, Wood as a Sustainable Building Material. In the meantime, here are some quick facts about the sustainable qualities of building with wood. 

Wood products facts

➢ Forest management and replanting efforts have resulted in steadily increasing timber volume. 

➢ Industrial output per unit of wood input grew 40% over the last 50 years, meaning more wood fiber ends up as usable building materials. Click here to learn more about the efficient manufacturing process of engineered wood. 

➢ Engineered wood products are manufactured mostly with wood-based biomass fuels, reducing both the number of fossil fuels used and resources wasted in manufacturing. Click here to learn more. 

➢ A young tree’s vigorous growth increases oxygen production and CO2 absorption. The carbon is then stored in the wood when harvested. Click here to learn more benefits of using wood as a sustainable building material.

The U.S. wood products industry accounts for 60% of the nation’s bioenergy production and use. Discover more facts and learn how to #buildgreen with sustainable #plywood and #OSB panels at https://www.performancepanels.com/sustainability

➢ The U.S. wood products industry accounts for 60% of the nation’s bioenergy production and use. 

Discover more environmental benefits of engineered wood at www.apawood.org/green-building. 

Major Milestones of the Softwood Plywood Industry

Major Milestones in Plywood

Article Source: www.apawood.org/apas-history

The average person may not realize the significance of the softwood plywood industry to our economy and culture.

Since our roots are in the wood products industry, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the history of the softwood plywood Industry and the impact it has had on the United States.

What began as a product introduced by a small wooden box company in Oregon has grown into a major global industry. Today, the United States is the leading producer of softwood plywood and world’s largest producer of softwood lumber, followed by Canada and Russia according to www.state.sc.us/forest.

“Plywood is widely regarded as the original ‘engineered wood product’ because it was one of the first to be made by bonding together cut or refashioned pieces of wood to form a larger and integral composite unit. This idea of “reconstituting” wood fiber to produce better-than-wood building materials has led in more recent times to a technological revolution and the rise of a whole new engineered wood products industry.”-www.apawood.org

Here are some of the important milestones in this industry:

Portland Manufacturing Company Photo Source: APA—The Engineered Wood Association

1905
Portland Manufacturing Company, a  small wooden box factory, produced “3-ply veneer work”, the first commercial softwood plywood product to be introduced to the public.

The product, made of Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir, was displayed at the World’s Fair held in Portland.

Orders started coming in from door, cabinet and trunk manufacturers.
Other mills began making the product and the new industry spread north to Washington.

1913
The first Canadian plywood was produced at Fraser Mills in New Westminster, British Columbia.

1920s
Automobile manufacturers began using plywood for running boards.

1925
11 U.S. plants were producing 153 million square feet of plywood per year.

1933
Douglas Fir Plywood Association, the first nonprofit trade association in the industry, was founded in Tacoma, WA.

The new association developed a nationwide promotion program and helped mills assure consistent product quality.

Douglas Fir Plywood Association also helped to develop new markets and new business during the Great Depression.

1934
Waterproof glue was discovered which led to even more product application opportunities.

1938
A new commercial standard was developed and the product was promoted as a standardized commodity rather than by individual brand names.

1940
Plywood was being used as subfloors, wall sheathing, roof sheathing, paneling and in other building construction applications.

The industry had grown to 25 mills and production topped one billion square feet.

Eighty percent of production originated in the state of Washington.

1941
The plywood production industry contributed to the WWII effort. Plywood was used in PT boats, assault ships, airplanes, barracks, military buildings, shipping crates, footlockers and countless other military applications.

1947
The post-war baby and housing booms took off which caused the industry to grow dramatically.

The industry had expanded to 40 mills producing 1.6 billion feet.

1950
The Plywood Manufacturers Association of British Columbia was founded (which is known as the Canadian Plywood Association, or CANPLY today).

1952
The founders of Willamette Valley Company company recognized the lumber industry’s need for solutions to production challenges and to create better wood products.

1954
The number of mills had grown to 100. 47 of them were in Oregon, 36 were in Washington, 17 were in California.

Softwood plywood production had grown to four billion square feet.

1960
U.S. production exceeded 7.8 billion square feet which beat what analysts had predicted by 15 years.
Canadian production topped one billion square feet.

1964
Georgia-Pacific Corporation opened the nation’s first southern pine plywood mill in Fordyce, Arkansas.

The Douglas Fir Plywood Association changed its name to American Plywood Association (APA) in recognition of the emergence of the southern pine plywood industry.

1982
The industry had expanded to 175 softwood plywood plants with a combined production capacity of nearly 23.1 billion square feet in the United States.

1994
American Plywood Association (APA) was renamed again to APA—The Engineered Wood Association to better reflect the broadening product mix and geographic range of its membership, which now encompasses a wide array of engineered wood products manufactured in both the U.S. and Canada.

2005
Lumber mills in the South were producing 10 billion square feet (two-thirds of U.S. softwood plywood production).

Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana produced the remaining one-third—some 4.8 billion feet. Oregon has been the number one producing state for the last half century.

The residential construction market still accounts for about one-third of plywood market demand in the U.S.—an estimated 5.4 billion square feet.

Present Day
Plywood is commonly used for subflooring, wall and roof sheathing, siding, soffits, and stair treads and risers.

The largest single U.S. market for softwood plywood today is the industrial sector, including such applications as furniture frames, truck trailer linings, RV floors, agricultural bins, shipping containers, and pallets.

More information about softwood plywood and other engineered wood products can be found at www.apawood.org.

About APA—The Engineered Wood Association
APA—The Engineered Wood Association is a nonprofit trade association of and for structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, laminated veneer lumber and other engineered wood product manufacturers throughout North America. Based in Tacoma, Washington, the Association was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association. APA represents approximately 150 mills throughout North America. APA members range from small, independently owned and operated companies to large integrated corporations. The Association’s primary functions are quality auditing, applied research, and market support and development

What is the difference between Synthetic Patch, Epoxy and Putty?

Epoxy

By now, you already know that WVCO offers a wide variety of wood products solutions to the wood industry including patches, fillers, extenders, coatings, inks, abrasives, tapes, and a wide variety of outstanding application equipment and parts.

But how much do you really know about Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) products? One of the questions we often get is “What’s the difference between Synthetic Patch, Epoxy and Putty?”. Unique details about these products are outlined in this video, but keep reading for more info.

What is a Synthetic Patch?
Synthetic Patch is a two-component polyurethane that is dispensed through a metering system.

What does it do?
Synthetic Patch, often referred to as “patch” or “poly” repairs veneer voids, knot holes, splits, and cracks in plywood panels, MDO, HDO, laminated wood, and lumber. The polyurethane flows in and sets up in seconds to form a sandable patch that can be treated much like the wood it repairs. It can be nailed, screwed, painted, finished or overlayed. Patch comes in a variety of colors to compliment the wood being filled. Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) Synthetic Patch has passed the rigorous standards of the APA-Engineered Wood Association.

A great example of this product is WVCO’s CU-100 Synthetic Patch, designed and APA approved to fill and up-grade plywood panels, laminated beams, mouldings, door blanks and other wood products. It is a two-component ambient temperature cured polyurethane resin system that is mixed and applied using WVCO’s dispensing and meter equipment.

What is Epoxy?
Epoxy is a two-component product, hardener and resin, that is mixed on-ratio either by hand or through a metering system. WVCO Epoxies come in a variety of set times and in one-to-one and two-to-one ratios.

An example of one of our Epoxies is E-100 Epoxy, an ultra-clear, high-gloss finish, faster set epoxy. This easy-to-use, 1:1 mix ratio is ideal for house hold and craft projects. For industrial or large projects it is best applied using WVCO metering system. It is versatile enough to be used on most surfaces: especially wood either smooth or rough, stained or painted. E-100 forms a thick, durable, high gloss, clear finish for tables, clocks, game boards and furniture.

What does it do?
Epoxy creates a tough repair that bonds tenaciously to the wood in large voids and knotholes in lumber, laminated beams, siding, molding, and plywood. Once cured, the epoxy can be treated just like wood: sawed, nailed, screwed, sanded, painted or stained. Epoxies are produced in various wood colors. WVCO Epoxy’s have passed the rigorous standards of the APA-Engineered Wood Association.

What is Putty?
WVCO Wood Putties are water-based pliable putties that can be hand or machine applied. They are designed for softwoods, hardwoods, and particleboard edge filling. WVCO Putties are used by cabinetmakers and on large production lines to fill core voids, larger holes, and splits in wood. The putties come in a variety of colors to blend with the woods being filled. Putty is easily sanded, is stainable, and takes a finish. WVCO Wood Putties have passed the industry standards of the APA-Engineered Wood Association.

WVCO’s Famowood is a good example of a putty. Famowood S/F FTS Birch is an acrylic-based wood filler used to repair defects in all types of wood. This product is supplied to the customer in a ready to use form and is formulated to be smoothly applied with a flexible putty knife or automated system. Once dried, it can be easily sanded, stained or painted.

To learn more about these and other wood product solutions, please visit www.wilvaco.com/WoodProducts or email your question to info@wilvaco.com