I recently visited a North American sawmill located in the Province of Ontario, the company name was Cherry Forest Products. Apparently they are one of Ontario’s largest lumber producing hardwood sawmills. I was provided a company tour by Jacob Baranski, the company Vice President and he showed me some lumber that had been thermally modified which sparked up some further conversation.
Having the woodworking bug this thermally modified lumber looked incredibly beautiful. Thermally modified wood is put in specially designed sealed chambers which modifies the woods cell structure and allows the wood to become more durable and stable. By not allowing moisture to re-enter the wood this greatly reduces the expansion and contraction wood can take on if moisture was allowed to enter and remain in the wood and apparently the process is all done using no chemicals.
The lumber I was looking at was a species called White Ash and having worked with this wood before in some of my woodworking projects the color seemed off. I was use to Ash having white sapwood and dark heartwood but this Ash was a consistent light brown color and it was very hard to see any color variation in the wood which as a woodworker is very appealing. The lumber was 2″ thick and will be the same color from the surface of the wood to the center of the piece which if you have ever done any wood turnings is another additional benefit.
Mr. Baranski said that the Ash was harvested locally here in Ontario and was FSC certified which means the harvesting of the forest was done with a well managed strategy to ensure the forest environment will thrive for many generations to come.
Cherry Forest Products not only has thermally modified lumber for sale but they also have a full line of decking and siding products that are made from thermally modified lumber. Glad I had the tour and you call them anytime and they will gladly show you this wood and the many others they produce from well managed forests right here in Ontario.