February 08, 2023
As you search Craigslist, Facebook market place or check out some local sawyers for some slabs, you might notice that some slabs are cheaper than others. Often the cause of the price difference is due to the product being air dried or kiln dried.
Air drying costs the sawyer time but generally no money, so its cheaper than kiln drying. If a sawyer can purchase a log, or has access to their own wood, they can produce slabs to be air dried for not a lot of money, so they can sell the slabs cheap. But cheap isn't the best route when you're making indoor furniture.
Kiln drying lumber increases the cost of production due to both purchasing the kiln and running it. Kilns are not cheap but once a wood product is properly kiln dried it produces a substantially better end product then air drying.
At Maine Urban Timber Company, we don’t sell air dried lumber. We utilize an iDry vacuum kiln which has the capability to kiln dry thick slab lumber. Our slabs can be used for an indoor piece of furniture and will be more stable than any air dried piece of lumber.
If you are going to spend the time, energy and cost to build a piece of furniture, its important to use the right material. Kiln dried slabs will produce the best end result and will save you time, energy and money from having to redo the project.
February 02, 2021
November 02, 2020
Traditional lumber is predictable, it comes in specific sizes, colors and shapes. When people want cherry, ash or maple, they picture rectangular pieces with specific colors and grains. These pieces of lumber can only come from a very specific portion of a tree…so what about the rest?
Urban lumber still allows the user to get quality wood but in ways that traditional lumber cannot compete. Urban lumber allows us at Maine Urban Timber Company to produce a product with five distinct advantages over “normal” lumber.
Provenance: When you pick up some lumber from Lowes, do you know where it comes from? Of course not. At Maine Urban Timber company, we track where our lumber comes from all the way to the point of sale. When you pick up your live edge slab lumber, you will know where in Maine it comes from, down to the street. You cannot do that with regular lumber.
History: Some trees are more than just a tree from a city or a front yard. Certain trees have historical significance. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a live edge slab from a tree at a local university planted by the class 1915? How about lumber to make a table that was planted by a historical city figure. It would make that table an even more impressive piece once completed.
Figure, color and dimension: You can still get the wood that you can buy commercially with urban lumber but with much more character. Urban live edge slab lumber gives you wood with figure and colors that are normally removed from commercial products. The figure that comes around crotch figure is beautiful and would specifically be cut out of commercial products. If color and figure were not enough, the dimensions of urban slab lumber is significantly larger. At Maine Urban Timber Company, we can cut up a 45” diameter tree which can give us slab lumber over 40” wide. You will not be able to get that at any commercial lumber store and it will be difficult to find it anywhere else in Maine.
Community meaning: At Maine Urban Timber Company, we track our lumber from the time of cutting it down to the point of sale. This allows us to return trees from specific parts of a town to its residence to be used in furniture pieces or to a local community center to be enjoyed by all. Wouldn’t it be great to have live edge mantel from a tree in your town or a coffee table from a tree in the community park.
Personal meaning: How many people have a tree that a family member planted or has special meaning. If a storm blows it over, keep that special part of the tree alive by making the tree into lumber and building something. Having a beautiful dining room table is one thing, but having the table made from the oak tree that you played in as a child is another.
October 22, 2020
Why should you only buy kiln dried live edge slab lumber? Enduring quality and no bugs! "Green" or non-kiln dried lumber will be more susceptible to seasonal wood movement than kiln dried wood. This can cause your beautiful slab table to warp, cup and crack!
All the slabs that are sold by Maine Urban Timber Company are kiln dried to an average moisture content of 6-8% which makes the wood more stable and kills all the bugs that once lived in the wood.