If there’s one thing J. Gibson McIlvain would love to be known for, it’s quality control. We don’t aim to offer the lowest prices around or the most extensive inventory or even the largest number of species; we do, however, aim to offer the highest quality lumber possible in each of the species and products that we do carry. We also endeavor to educate our customers, helping them understand more about the lumber products they purchase from us, including decking lumber. As our top-selling decking species, Ipe is definitely worthy of our educational investment — and extra care in quality control.
Typically used for outdoor applications such as furniture, decks, docks, boardwalks, and rain screen siding, Ipe is an amazing product. Kiln-dried Ipe could be used to create an attractive and highly durable indoor flooring, as well. Because of its amazing stability and hardness, this species is highly prized for use in outdoor settings and high-traffic areas. The high density of Ipe allows it to absorb minimal amounts of moisture and, as a result, to experience minimal amounts of movement following installation. With a class A fire rating and a high level of resistance to decay and insect infestation, you can understand why this species is so highly acclaimed.
Ipe Supplier Evaluations
Decking products, in general, pose a particular difficulty to our quality control process, because many of them are milled overseas, making it more difficult for us to carefully monitor their quality from the initial phases of production. Ipe is typically milled in Brazil before it’s shipped to us. We work carefully to research each supplier before we make an agreement with them, starting with the land concessions. We become familiar with the geographic region’s unique regulations and visit both the mill and the coordinating land concession before consulting with local lawyers. We then monitor the quality of the forest and evaluate the limitations of the mill’s supply before progressing. If we decide to begin purchasing lumber from the mill, we make sure that our first purchase is of lumber we have graded ourselves. Once we receive that initial lumber order back in our lumber yard, we assess how the shipment compares to our initial evaluation of it. If any delays or export issues occurred, we look into those, as well.
Ongoing Independent Inspections
Once we’ve conducted initial evaluations ourselves and have found the quality of Ipe acceptable, we employ local buying agents to inspect shipments periodically, based on specific criteria. Once we place an order, we contact our local agent who then visits the mill, takes pictures of our order, and completes our inspection form. Not only do these local inspections keep our suppliers on their toes, but they also help us provide added documentation that can be helpful in the case of any Lacey Act disputes that may come up.
Continue with Part 2.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums.
For more information on J. Gibson McIlvain’s lumber products and services, call Monday-Friday toll free (800) 638-9100 to speak with one of their representatives.
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