January 22, 2007

Purdue Extension offers woodworkers a new resource

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Woodworkers and manufacturers of all skill levels have a new tool available at their fingertips: an informational CD about the properties of many types of hardwood lumber produced in the central Midwest.

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Each species of lumber has unique properties, so certain types of lumber are better suited for different tasks or aesthetic characteristics, said Dan Cassens, Purdue University Extension wood products specialist. If the right lumber is chosen from the beginning, woodworkers can avoid frustration and save time, money and lumber by not having to start a project over, he said.

"My hope is for people to use it as an authoritative source to learn what types of wood fit their needs the best," Cassens said. "The full-panel photos allow woodworkers to compare different quality levels in the same species and to see unique features of each."

The CD project was sponsored by the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen's Association and includes an explanation of the new Indiana Premium Forest Products Program, a state initiative intended to brand Indiana hardwoods as among the best in the world.

"Hardwood Lumber of the Central Midwest" provides technical and practical information about 24 hardwood species used in the lumber industry. The Purdue CD highlights unique properties of each species and provides color photos that can be enlarged and printed.

"This gives suppliers a tool to educate their customers about appropriate types of wood for different projects," Cassens said. "Customers can also print the large wood panel photos and compare them to products at the lumber yard."

The CD provides information about decay resistance, mechanical properties, the production process, purchasing and selling hardwood lumber, shrinkage of lumber, steam bending, understanding lumber, and wood machining properties. Bar charts and tables also compare properties of one species to another.

The "Hardwood Lumber of the Central Midwest" CD can be ordered for $25 online from the Purdue Extension Store at https://secure.agriculture.purdue.edu/store/ or by calling (888) EXT- INFO.

Writer: Becki Francis, (765) 496-1050, rfrancis@purdue.edu

Source: Dan Cassens, (765) 494-9644, dcassens@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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