In the first article of our series, we discussed how increased access to Teak in the international lumber market could lead to some exciting advantages for home builders. We started off by mentioning how buying top-grade Teak in bulk is necessary due to the high-quality demands of boat builders. Then we touched on the process by which these boat builders may pick through large packs of Teak and only select a small number of boards for each specific application, leaving plenty of great material left over. Rather than this leftover material sitting around the shop, it may end up being purchased for some completely different purposes. But before looking at how the lumber will be used, let’s consider a couple more reasons why it is sometimes passed over by potential buyers.
Teak Lumber Could be Rejected for Various Reasons
Besides boat builders looking for a certain grain and rejecting lumber that doesn’t meet their specifications, another reason why certain Teak boards are rejected is that they have small pin knots. Even one seemingly insignificant pin knot on the rough sawn face may be enough to keep a boat builder from purchasing a Teak board. Even though most of the board may be perfectly fine, builders may not be able to cut out the imperfection without making the board too short to use.
Each builder has their own set of characteristics in mind when it comes to choosing wood for their projects. Whether the builder chooses half of the boards out of a 10-pack or only one or two, it all comes down to their specific needs. The lumber dealer’s job is to make sure the lumber yard has enough Teak lumber in stock for the various boat builders to comb through and select from in order to fulfill their customer’s orders.
Teak’s Value for Homebuilders
That brings us back to the question of what is to become of all that extremely high-quality Teak lumber that’s left when the boat builders are all done going through it? The answer may be found not in expanding boat building markets, but in introducing more Teak into the United States homebuilding market. After all, boats made with Teak lumber tend to be more of a luxury item. While not everyone wants to or can afford to build a luxury yacht, many more people consider building a home to be a huge priority.
If lumber dealers can start to present Teak to more of their home building customers, the market could really begin to grow and expand. This is already starting to happen in high-end home building markets across the country. Because of its strength and ability to withstand the elements, Teak lumber is an excellent choice for all sorts of home building applications, ranging from interior flooring and trim to exterior decking. The possibilities are truly exciting.
In the final article of this series, we’ll take a look at how even B-grade Teak lumber can find a viable place in the market. We’ll also wrap up our overall discussion of how current conditions in the international Teak market are ideal for home builders.
Learn More About the Lumber Industry
• Large Timbers, Cracks, and Why You Shouldn’t Worry
• Three Environmental Concerns with Composite Decking
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods and 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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