Alaskan Yellow Cedar

sail boat - channel lumberTransformational Sailing is an organization which helps Veterans and others with stress related disorders find relaxation through sailing. Their motto reads “The Power of Healing Through Wind, Sea, and Sky”. The organization is also involved in boat building for which Channel Lumber recently donated Alaskan Yellow Cedar.

Sailing is an activity which can provide a climate for community building, safe communication, working as a team and relying on others, to name just a few of the benefits. For veterans who have become disconnected through war related trauma, Transformational Sailing offers participants a chance to recover a normal, healthy lifestyle, and relate to others with similar experiences.

The Transformational Sailing website features several videos where the participants are asked what the highlight of their day was. Gerry, a former WWII captain answers “getting the feel of the helm again. It’s good to get back on the wheel”. Jason, another Veteran, simply answers “To feel human again. To get to be just like everybody else.” The testimonials are heartfelt and powerful.  They communicate what a needed and transformational experience these sailing voyages provide.

The sailing trips are typically about three hours throughout the Bay. Newcomers often just sit and enjoy the adventure, but over time participants learn sailing skills, and have progressively hands on experiences including manning the helm.

To find out how to get involved and or make a donation please visit the Transformational Sailing Website.

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Channel Lumber is Friends with the Napa River

napa river

Friends of Napa River (FONR) is a community organization whose mission is to “be the community’s voice for the protection, restoration, responsible development and celebration of the Napa River and its watershed through education and advocacy.”

The organization recently hosted the “Living River Celebration” event at the Westin in Napa to honor the elected officials who have supported FONR, and specifically the Oxbow Bypass Flood Channel project. Channel Lumber has been a long-standing supporter of FONR, and was a donor for the event.

Historically, the Napa River is prone to flooding. In downtown Napa, the river makes a hairpin turn and when water levels are high, the river naturally floods into a straight line. This causes damage to infrastructure, and has prevented the downtown from being developed as insurance companies would not cover flood damage in the area.

Twenty years ago, the Army Corp of Engineers proposed a cement channel to redirect the river in downtown Napa. The residents of Napa did not like the aesthetic of the channel, and subsequently the “Living River Plan” was created. The plan involved buying land along the river, removing infrastructure and toxic soil. It also included a more appealing Oxbow Bypass, which eventually became a park and trail network along the river known as the Oxbow Commons.

The community voted to fund the project with a small sales tax. The tax along with matching grant funds and private donations has paid for the Living River Plan so far. The strategy has been successful with the ecosystem being restored, animals returning, and development in downtown Napa. There are still more phases of the plan to be completed and FONR is actively working with the community and government to fulfill the vision of the Living River Plan. Please visit the Friends of Napa River website for more information.

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Net Zero Energy Library in Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is building a new 22,000 square foot library with Channel Lumber providing products and services throughout all phases of construction. The library will be a Net Zero Energy (NZE) Building, with LEED® Silver of better certification. The project is in partnership with BHM Construction.

Side of building

A look at the siding as it is placed.

In addition to a book depository, the new facility will focus on multi-use areas for meetings, events, and internet connectivity.

construction site

A view of the second story, which will be enclosed in glass.

construction site

The unfinished walls for both stories with be finished with glass.

The contemporary design will feature teen literacy facilities, a children’s learning area, an atrium and rooftop deck.

side of building

The wood siding is nearly complete.

two buildings

A new perceptive of the grounds.

building construction

Close up of one of the facilities nearing completion.

Channel Lumber is proud to support this new library and its commitment to achieving the highest Green Building standards both during constructions and as a functioning facility.

Please contact us for more information on our services and products.

Photo Credit: Channel Lumber

Making the Grade

Because wood is an organic product, a wide variety of factors can affect the usability, structure, look, and strength of a given harvest. Even within a species of tree, great variations can exist. This is why lumber grading exists. Lumber grading is the process of assessing the quality and characteristic of the lumber. This way both the producer of the dimensional lumber and the builder can agree on what the product is and how it can be used.

To insure the highest level of consumer trust, and professional consistency, Channel Lumber employs the West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau (WCLIB) to inspect and randomly pull grades to insure that Channel Lumber is shipping ongrade products.

What are the specific grades for lumber? This is a complex question, given the different species of lumber, and the diverse milled products on the market, but let’s try to simplify. Hardwoods and softwoods have different rating system. We will only be talking about softwoods here, as these are most common in general construction.

The rules for grading softwood are written by the American Lumber Standard Committee. The rules vary regionally to address local conditions of logging, etc. Softwoods are generally graded into three categories:

  • Appearance (wood that will be seen, like flooring and siding).
  • Factory and Shop Grades (wood for remanufactured products like doors, and window frames).
  • Structural (graded from strength. Appearance is secondary or non-consideration).

For more information about our mill work, products or services, please contact us.

Evolution of the Sawmill

Old time sawmillThe earliest type of sawmill, or lumbermill,  was the sawpit. The sawpit was a pit overwhich the log was positioned and held in place by saddleblocks. The “top” sawyer would balance himself atop the log, and guide the blade for accuracy. This required strength, stamina, and skill. The “bottom” sawyer worked in the pit below, primarily providing muscle. The pit was often a basin of water, and the pit sawyer had to battle a constant downpour of sawdust. The two men used a two handled “whipsaw” to rip the lumber. Using this system the team could produce roughly a dozen boards per day. This was tough, demanding work. Sawpits were integral to early ship building.

As early as the 3rd century AD, the water powered mill was invented, and was widely used up until the industrial revolution. The water powered mill operated essentially the same way as a modern mill with respect that uncut lumber enters at one end and cut/dimensional lumber exits at the other end. The watermill used basic crank and connecting rod technology. As the watermill evolved, eventually water was also used to float the timber into position, thus alleviating the need for intensive manual labor to handle the timber. Windmill sawmills were also prevalent during this time period, and used the same connecting rod technology, simply substituting wind power for the water wheel.

With the arrival of the industrial revolution, several advancements were made, First, the circular saw had been invented. The greatly increased the speed of production, while decreasing maintenance needs. The second improvement was the introduction of the steam engine. This had several impacts. First, because of steam engine trains, lumber could be easily transported in larger quantities. Previous to the train, mills had to be built near rivers or lakes, which were the primary means of transporting heavy timber. With the train, sawmills could be built on site, wherever they were needed. An added advantage was that timber by-products, sawdust, branches unusable timber, etc. could be used to fuel boilers and kilns.

Today, sawmills have advanced to become highly efficient, computer controlled machines. The saws themselves are similar to their predecessors, with faster,  better components. Now when log arrives at the mill, it is analyzed by lasers which tell the machinery which types of cuts will provide the most yield. Furthermore, 100% of the wood fiber is used. The sawdust, chips for the kiln, bark for much, and miscellaneous pieces for paper, or composite forest products.

For more information on Channel Lumber millwork, or other products and services, please contact us.

Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis

Channel Lumber Holiday Party

Employees and guests of Channel Lumber gathered at the Monterey Plaza and Spa to celebrate the holidays, and a year of teamwork and success. A good time was had by all. Here are a few photos of the event.

Arriving to Monterey. Nice day for a party!

Parrot

Town Greeter.

Dinner Menu

The delicious menu.

Getting into the Holiday spirit.

Enjoying a fantastic meal with coworkers, family and friends.

Christmas Dinner

 

Speech at dinner

Cheers!

 

Dessert Buffet

And at last…a Holiday Dessert!

2017 was great year at Channel Lumber; thank you for your partnership and business!

Happy New Year!

Five Tips to Keep Your Holidays Green

sustainable holidays

Sustainability is one of our core values, here are five tips to your holidays green.

 

  1. Purchase a live christmas tree. There are many advantages to having a live tree. For starters, a live tree will be more fragrant than a cut tree. Although many tree farms are sustainable, you won’t be paying for a dead tree, nor contributing to the costs of transport and disposal. You get the joy of having the same tree year after year, and once is has become too big to handle, you simply plant it in the yard. Start a tradition with a live tree. Find your sustainable Christmas Tree here.
  2. Reduce packaging and reuse wrapping paper. Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. This year consider using your own shopping bags, buying sustainable foods, avoid extra packaging and reuse wrapping paper.
  3. Make hand-crafted gifts and DIY decorations. 35% of Christmas gives end up in the closet, never to be used. Make the holidays more personal and creative by crafting a gift by hand, and making a wreath with material from your own yard.
  4. Give a gift that supports your community. This could mean buying local products, giving tickets to the theater, a museum membership or art classes. Make a donation in someone’s name.
  5. Conserve electricity. Those festive lights use electricity. Try switching to LED lights, and rethink the importance of over the top lighting. Would candles in the window be better choice to create the feeling of warmth and community?
The list of ways you can have a more sustainable Holiday goes on. Use your imagination and enjoy creating traditions that feel good and support the planet.

Form and Function: 4 Types of Concrete Forms Available at Channel Lumber.

At Channel Lumber we specialize in concrete forms. We can meet the specifications of concrete formnearly any project large or small. There are several types of concrete forms we carry, and here is a description of the primary ones.

  • BBOES: BBOES is concrete forming plywood made from Fir trees. It is a popular and widely used solution for concrete forming. It is a stable, high strength 7 ply Fir veneer. The outside layers are B grade, and are sanded providing for a smooth finish on the concrete. Furthermore, the wood is oiled which makes it easier to separate from the concrete. It is reusable and has a long life span. BBOES typically comes in a standard ¾”x4x8 format.
  • Medium Density Overlay (MDO): MDO concrete forming plywood provides the builder with the option to choose the outside layer of the plywood, thus affecting the finish on the solid concrete. Typically the three outside layers would be Standard (best finish), High Mask (better), and High Resin (good). Aside from appearance, each finish offers other characteristics, for instance High Resin is the most durable. The panel faces are coated for for better separation from the concrete, and the edges are sealed to prevent moisture from seeping in and delaminating the plywood. MDO forming plywood comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses.
  • High Density Overlay (HDO): HDO is a great option when a smooth or gloss concrete finish is desired. HDO plywood has minimal grain telegraphing, and offers the highest standard of quality assurance. If handled and cared for properly, HDOs can withstand 10 or more pours, which can make it a cost effective product.
  • Finland Form: Finland Form refers to a category of Birch Plywood, typically from Finland or Russia. Finland form is smooth, strong, durable, and performs well in avariety of applications. Finland Form comes is sanded smooth as a standard feature, and also can be ordered with a variety of overlays for desired concrete finishes. It is lightweight, relatively easy to machine, and custom sizing is available.

 

Channel Lumber is an industry leading supplier of concrete forms. Please contact Channel Lumber for all your concrete forming needs.

Resysta®: Seven Facts about this Leading Edge Product

TruGrain productTechnology is transforming the lumber industry, and Resysta® is at the leading edge. At Channel Lumber we are pleased to distribute and represent this Green building product. Here are some facts about Resysta® that can help you decide if it is right for your next project.

1. Resysta® is made of agricultural waste. About 25% of this is rice husks, a renewable product in great supply.

2. Resysta® looks like wood, and be repaired and treated like wood. It can be drilled, painted, oiled and sawed, with the advantage that it does not splinter.

3. Resysta® is not susceptible to insect infestation. It is water (even saltwater) resistant, slip resistant, and has a lifespan longer than wood.

4. Resysta® comes in a variety of formats, including decking, siding, and facade.

5. Resysta® does not contribute to deforestation.

6. Resysta® is class A fire resistant, will not absorb moisture, and shows no evidence of fungal decay in tests.

7. There have been many synthetic wood products that have come and gone over the years. Although many had excellent structural attributes, they simply did not have the warmth and look of natural wood. This is where Resysta® shines. It looks and feels the woods that are most popular in design and construction.

Channel Lumber carries a variety of Resysta® products. Please contact us for more information.

Photo Credit: WehoCity

Carquinez Bridge

Carquinez BridgeThe Carquinez Bridge which spans the Carquinez Strait between Vallejo and Crocket is actually two bridges. The eastbound span is a cantilever bridge completed in 1958. The westbound span is a suspension bridge completed in 2003, with Channel Lumber providing products and services throughout various phases of its construction.

The original Carquinez bridge was built in 1927, and provided for three lanes of traffic. This was the first major structure built for crossing the bay. Prior to the bridge, Carquinez Strait was navigated via ferry service six miles from the current bridge crossing.

After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the 1927 span of the bridge was surveyed and deemed no longer safe for passage. At that time traffic was consolidated on the 1958 cantilever span, while the original bridge was demolished.

The new Carquinez Bridge is outfitted with 33 wireless “nodes” which collect and transmit data about the structure. This allows engineers to monitor the bridge closely, and undertake any needed repairs efficiently. The bridge currently operates 8 lanes handling 100,000 cars per day.

Contact Channel Lumber for more information about our projects, products, and services.

Photo credit: Jeffrey-Anthony