Wood Finishing: Torn Between using Seal or Varnish

Part 1/2

Being in line with wood workshops, I am frequently asked about the distinction between whether to seal or varnish a finished project. Both are efficient and great finishing methods especially when applied in an appropriate element.

Did you know that the internal component of wood comprise a lot of microscopic tubes or cells that run to and from the timber grain. These series of cells carry with them nutrients that are important for the growth of trees and, as soon as dried and cut, they continue to contract and expand under similar conditions of humidity and extreme moisture.

Even after a synthetic finished has been utilized to the wood surface, the wood continues to expand depending on the outside temperature in which it is stationed. It is not a method that you are going to find out easily but there are some ready indicators that this is not occurring. For example, during a wet weather, you may notice that an exterior garage door or a wooden gate will stick and swell a lot. You may even have a difficulty in opening a timber window. This is because of the fact that the wood has expanded as an outcome of excess moisture that was absorbed in the wood.

In turn, the expanded wood will basically revert back and dry out to its original condition, although sometimes minimal sanding down may be needed. Taking these basic factors in to consideration, when deciding what kind of finishing to apply to your wood projects, it helps to have an idea about little information beforehand.

 Herringbone flooring being varnished

Herringbone flooring being varnished

What is Varnish? Varnish is an infusion of oils and resins that are utilized and applied to the wood surface to supply a safety layer to protect against damage. Varnish is available in several formulations from matt finish to semi-gloss to gloss finish. Polyurethane varnish is the most commonly used varnish for finishing.

It is known that varnish does not specifically penetrate into the wood. It is the other way around. The first coat of varnish practically blocks the wood surface to supply added protection from unwanted moisture.

But, because of regular contraction and expansion of timber, the layer of varnish may perish and crack overtime which gives freedom for the moisture to go inside the wood and simply aggravating the problem.

So, are you enticed? You basically know something about the components and features of a varnish. On the next article, we will discuss some relevant facts regarding a sealer. And to conclude the topic, we will give you some tips and tricks on how to use either a varnish or a sealer. This article will aid you in choosing what to use as wood finishing. And after reading the whole of it, I am pretty sure that you will have something in mind.

The positive and negative impact of deforestation

Part 2/2



On the initial installment of this article, we talked about the positive impact of deforestation. Today, we will discuss the other side of the coin. And unfortunately, the disadvantages of deforestation far outweigh its benefits. Listed below are some of the negative impacts of Deforestation:

1.      Soil is purposely exposed to rain and heat. When forests are being cleared, vegetation which acts as soil cover is removed as well. The bare soil is exposed to extreme scenarios which are produced by the natural rainwater and the heat of the sun. With these natural alternating activities, the soil has a tendency to immediately compact. As rainwater flows through it, nutrients are washed out as well as other organic materials which make the soil fertile and rich. Further, regular cropping, grazing and tilling slowly results in degradation of the soil; making its quality inferior.


These activities are crucial concerns in areas where forest locations are much dry. Agricultural activities on top of deforestation can practically result in the desertification of majority of vast lands. Desertification is also a direct impact of the demand to the soil to product more because of increase in its population, thereby lessening to a serious degree of the lands occupying capacity.


2.      Non-suitability of deforested areas for conversion. A lot of the areas that have experienced deforestation are basically not suitable for long-term agricultural activities like farming and ranching. As soon as deprived of its forest cover, the lands immediately degrade in quality, thereby losing their arability and fertility.

The soil in a lot of deforested regions is similarly not suitable for maintaining annual crop products. A lot of the grassy communities are also not as productive as compared to more arable regions and ergo, unfit for cattle grazing and poultry raising.


3.      Flooding. Deforestation can bring watersheds that do not have the capacity to regulate and sustain flow of water from streams and rivers. Trees are immensely efficient in the process of absorbing water in volumes, maintaining the amount of watersheds in a normal level. The forest is also regarded as ca cover to prevent seepage and erosion. As soon as they are gone, big amount of water may result into flashfloods, a lot of which caused disasters in parts around the globe.

Once the topsoil which is fertile, is flooded into lower regions, a lot of coral reefs and coastal fisheries suffer sedimentation which is caused by the flooding. This may result in negative effects in the economic viability of several businesses and significant fatalities in the wildlife habitat.


4.      The eradication of indigenous communities and their ethnical way of living. When governments decide to undergo deforestation mainly to open its doors for civilized communities, access to forests’ natural resources by ethnical groups are basically taken for granted. To tell you the truth, ethnical groups are often ignored in political and economic decisions that mainly affect their lives. This encroachment makes their rights taken for granted as much as it takes away the natural resources that their forefathers have bestowed on them.


5.      The loss of significant amount of biodiversity. This is practically the most serious disadvantage and impact of deforestation. Simply put, it means the extinction and destruction of a lot of animal and plant species, a lot of whom remain unknown and whose benefits will be left undisclosed. Every year, as deforestation continues to emerge, a lot of the wilderness from which we avail of a lot of benefits and would have continued to benefit will forever be eradicated. With it are tons of chances in the form of wildlife that could supply us tons of medical and economic resources to issues we are currently facing.


We cannot deny the fact that deforestation has given us chances to enhance our lives; we have not mastered the perfect kind of responsibility that goes with having control over the earth’s resources. As an outcome, we and thousands of other species on earth suffer immensely from the consequences of our actions.

This article is too short to discuss a lot of issues relative to deforestation. Let us slowly unravel what this has to offer in our future articles.








The positive and negative impact of deforestation

Part 1/2 - Part two will be published next Monday.


Mother Earth, and every living creature that depends on its captivity – from the smallest living organism to the largest living sea creatures rest on a very crucial element which is balance. A sole, intense harmless disturbance that would hinder balance has different outcomes that are two-way. It can be both advantageous and disadvantageous. One of these elements is the so-called DEFORESTATION.

 Forest, the lungs of the planet

Forest, the lungs of the planet

What is Deforestation? Basically, deforestation has been a household name especially in a lot of developing countries. It has made a great impact to the development of civilization as we know more of it at this point in time. Unluckily, a lot of the ill effects of deforestation are caused by inappropriate agricultural and farm practices, greed, neglect and ignorance of government.

Why forests are essential to mankind? Aside from its natural beauty, forests are in-charge and accountable in sustaining and maintaining global ecosystem. To tell you the truth, a lot of the quality of life we are experiencing as of the moment, we owe it to the forests. It is also considered as the habitat of nearly more than half of all the organisms and creatures in this planet.

From the staple element, food to herbal medicines and other components of survival, forests supplies the human kind a plethora of gifts that give significant immeasurable amount to our way of life.

Now let us pay attention on the advantages of deforestation. It is basically dependent on the needs of the social community concern; deforestation has helped communities to be built. Forests are the key ingredients in building residential houses, factories, and buildings. Government has the capacity to construct roads to make transportation and trade faster and a lot convenient to people. This turn is the realization of the development of each community.

On the other hand, deforestation can also be regarded as the conversion of forest land to productive land destined for poultry and agricultural components. The outcome is an efficient and plentiful production of material and food, seemingly avoiding periods of needs and lack. On the economical side, deforestation has contributed a lot in supplying communities the chance to make positive changes in their way of living.  But, it is not advantages at all. There is a counterpart disadvantage of reforestation and the negative consequences of it will surely make a big impact in the world.

On the next article, we will tackle the negative consequences of deforestation and how the world reacts to rampant deforestation. What are the impact, isolated or not, of deforestation, not only to the way of living, but to humankind as a whole. You will be able to see in the next article that the disadvantages far outweigh its advantages. The effects are seriously scary.

It is one of Kaltimber missions to promote an eco-friendly and sustainable way of using wood materials to protect our forest.


The Advantages of utilizing Reclaim Wood as Furniture

Based on its studies, the United Nation Environment Program, there are presently twelve species of trees that are on the watch and regarded as an endangered. A lot of these have been famous choices to make cabinets, furniture, musical instruments, and several other items utilized by people. On a yearly basis, with an approximation of forty (40) million hectares of the earth’s forests are swiped for this purpose. As our limited resources immediately comes to a close, consumers and companies alike are searching for methods and techniques to consolidate environmental responsibility in to their way of living.

 Ulin log transformed in stool and finished with a butterfly joint.

Ulin log transformed in stool and finished with a butterfly joint.

Energy conservation, paper-less theory, and recycling have been there long before.  Another efficient way to become environment-friendly is by furnishing your home with reclaimed wood furniture.

Instead of being thrashed, old woods from dismantled buildings and homes is refurbished, harvested, rejuvenated and given a renaissance as dresser or coffee table. The use of reclaim wood can supply a positive environmental impact beyond the preservation of virgin trees. A lot of builders also utilize non-toxic paints and glue as well as natural oil finishes.

The main objective is to come up with a high quality, beautiful product while giving the environment a breather and develop as soon as possible. Reclaimed wood yields stylish yet rustic type of furniture. In several cases, it is difficult to regard the piece is not brand new. In some cases as well, evidence such as rustic nail holes or saw marks are retained for a purpose, supplying an antique feel, well-worn appeal. It can be tailored to suit a vast array of homeowners’ tastes and feels and can be blended with traditional, rustic, or contemporary tastes.

There is also a sense of mystery surrounding a piece of reclaimed wood product. Your night shelf could emanate from a turn of the century raw house or a barn. Or maybe it was salvaged from a neighbor’s unused deck. Whatever the case is, it has a story to tell and history of its own.

At the end of the day, the cost efficient factor of this type of furniture is a lot more enticing to buyers. Even though hand-made furniture can be expensive, reclaimed materials are basically cheaper as compared to brand new items. Reclaimed wood is basically treated and pre-cut, lessening expenses significantly.

Any property owned with a taste for nostalgic feels, an eye for a stylish theme, and a goal to protect and preserve our natural resources would be wise to mull over buying reclaimed wood furniture. Whatever your goal is, reclaimed wood is the “in” thing as of the moment. Let’s just say that yesterday’s pieces are the most loved pieces of today and still embraced until tomorrow.

As for us, at Kaltimber, we are not fully dedicated to furniture but to decking and flooring in reclaim wood. All the character and history carried in each and every single piece makes all our projects unique. Our leftover are used to create unique piece of furniture on occasion.

How to Identify the Best Lumber for Your Woodworking

One of the major reasons for people to not make their own furniture or woodwork is the lack of knowledge to choose the right lumber. While identifying which lumber to use is an extremely confusing process, knowing a few basic tips can get you through the process a lot more easily. So, here are a few pointers that will help you decide which lumber to use for your next woodworking project.

Hardwood or Softwood?

Whether you need hardwood lumber or softwood depends entirely on the type of woodwork you are building. Some projects can also require a mix of both, for instance, a violin has a soft Spruce to work as a soundboard and the back of it is made with hardwood like Maple. Similarly, the bottom of a workbench is made using less expensive softwood and the top is made with durable Hardwood.

By using common logic we can figure which parts of furniture are needed to be durable and which parts to be cheap. Use durable wood for the places of furniture where it is more likely to take a beating and use easy softwood for the places that do not take much tension.

Janka Wood Hardness Test

Lumber industries often use Janka Hardness Test to determine woods for hardness. On the basis of this test, they rate common woods for hardness. This technique involves a steel ball pressed hard into the wood, then the pressure required to gauge the ball halfway inside the wood is calculated and the hardness of that particular wood species is determined based on the pressure calculated.

Obviously, for a common man to carry a steel ball to gauge into the wood can sometimes prove to be difficult, hence it is much simpler to ask the factory men itself and depending upon their results, you can choose which wood is perfect for your woodwork or consider the chart below.

 Janka rating for some US wood

Janka rating for some US wood

Different Types of Wood Milling Cuts

If you are creating a fine piece of furniture or woodwork, it is recommended to use the most stable wood you can find. However, to know which plank of wood is most stable, you first need to understand the different types in which the wood is cut. Mainly, there are four different types of wood milling cuts, namely Flat Sawn, Rift Sawn, Quarter Sawn and Riven Sawn.

Among these four types, the most stable type is Riven Sawn. The most stable planks are obtained by cutting or are “riven” directly from the log. These are considered as the most beautiful wood boards with the best quality flecks pattern and design. So why don’t lumber factories sell these “Riven Sawn” boards more often? That’s because they don’t have it as they use powerful sawing machines to get the most wood out of a single log.

The best way to get hands on these Riven Sawn boards is by cutting them yourself. Riven boards require more of muscle power and hand tools like chain saw, wedges and hatchets. However, if you cannot do it all by yourself, you can buy the “Quarter spawn” as they too are similar to Riven Sawn and have beautiful flecks pattern.

 Milling wood lumber cut chart

Milling wood lumber cut chart


You can always look for advise of a professional woodworker. We. at Kaltimber, are always happy to share our knowledge to carpenter enthusiast and be part of your project.

Oak and Maple: The Mutt and Jeff of Hardwood Flooring


In the United States and all over the globe, the most famous trees grown are the oak tree and the maple tree. While we are on the subject, these two trees are regarded as the world’s Mutt and Jeff in the hardwood flooring industry. These woods possess classic character and appearance, aesthetically fit for any type of home designs and structure, extremely durable, and suitable for an array of interior design tastes. Being grown domestically, they are also considered cost efficient and affordable.

Oak belongs to the Quercus family while Maple to the Acer family. Both woods are sold in hard and soft qualities depending on the needs. But Hardwood Oak and Maple for floorings are the bomb in the wood industry!

The crucial distinctions between the appearances of these classy hardwoods are the large markings and pores of the oak tree. You will immediately know that it is oak when you see it because of the large natural rings that run through the wood. On the other hand, the pores of the maple trees are so negligible to invisible. This gives the maple tree a smooth effect and texture. And in terms of appearance, it makes it more applicable to super gloss finishes.


Further, oak and maple trees both reacts effectively with antiquing system like hand-scraping, dyes, and can be paired both in engineered and solid products. Colors and pigments and different stain naturally settle into these woods and highlighting the beauty as well as their natural rings and grooves which is totally not distracting. Furthermore, Oak and Maple do have same characteristics. Being both durable and lightweight, these woods are mainly used not only in floors but also in cabinetry, balusters, bowling lanes, baseball bats, and other custom woodwork items. Oakwood is highly resistant to fungal and insect infestations.  The Oak tree blooms in spring season while Maple blooms in late winter or early summer.

However, Oakwood is best recommended for properties that calls for a need to have it water-resistant or even decay resistant wood. Oakwood supplies a lot of options when talking about grain patterns. It will surely offer a classy look when paired with steels on a conventional-barn steel-wood design. Maple wood is lighter, cost efficient, and blends well with contemporary designs for indoor projects. Maple and oak can even last for more than a hundred years when maintained and treated properly. And the more they aged, the higher the value it will shell out to your property.

More often than not, these two species are great elements of a home especially when it is utilized and positioned properly. Either of the two when used will add value to your property. The only thing that you have to consider is to know your style and what will suit you. But hey, you can never go wrong with the Mutt and Jeff of Hardwood floors!





How to Identify Lumber Defects

It is every persons wish to use the best lumber they could find for their woodworking project, however it is not easy to identify which lumber has defects and which not. Sometimes, there are minor factors that we ignore and later that same minor causes a major damage. Therefore, to help you guys ease some pain; here are a few common lumber defects that you can identify during your next woodworking project.


Wood Knots

wood knot

Everyone must have seen a wood knot on a lumber; these are the most common defects you can find in lumber. Although, they don’t particularly cause any major damage, they do prove difficult for woodworkers using hand tools. Also, wood knots fall out in time; mixing epoxy with sawdust is the easiest way to solidify the knot. However, it is still considered better to avoid them altogether.


Sapwood with Insect Holes

borer holes

Sapwood is the inside part of the tree that is responsible for transportation of water and minerals in trees. Hence, this part of the tree is very nutritious and a perfect place for insects and worms to live their lives. Therefore, make sure that your wood is free of any insect holes and worms.


Common Movement Defects

CF our articles from February 27, 2017

These defects generally occur due to lack of proper storage and piling techniques. When wood lumber is not stacked, sealed and dried properly, it tends to bend in all directions and is hence called Movement defects. There are mainly four types of movement defects namely Cup, Twist, Bow, and Crook.

Cupping and Twisting occurs when the wet boards aren’t properly stacked. In cupping, the board turns into a cup like shape, while twisting is where the board ends are twisted in different ways. It takes a lot of time to plane out the boards which are cupped or twisted and so it is not really recommended to buy them. Make sure you examine the boards you are buying properly to avoid any boards that fall in this category.

On the other hand Bowing and Crook are similar to each other. In bowing the boards change their figure to a bow like shape and in crook the same thing happens, but the arc is made the other way. Sometimes bowing can be much difficult to fix than cupping and twisting while fixing crook is a lot easier.


Wood Checking

ends check

Checking is a situation where the lumber dries too quickly or unevenly. In this case, the dried boards generate cracks that travel along the board and are hence, best to avoid. If you are cutting your own wood, then checking can be prevented by using a good quality wood end grain sealer.


Knowing the common defects found in wood lumber can help you pick the right boards for your woodworking. All the defects mentioned above are commonly occurring wood defects and anyone with a little practice can identify them. We provide the best kind of wood you can find with minimum possible defects and nicely chopped even boards.

All the above issues are common sight in the reclaim wood industry. Luckily our Ulin ironwood suffer no borer and only little movements. We have adapted our procedures and techniques to work with the material and give it the second life it deserve for you to enjoy forever.

You should contact us to get more details.

Industrial Woodworking Machinery at its Finest: A Cut Above the Rest

If you are on the verge of looking for the best woodworking tool, it may seem like the price is the significant difference between a piece of hardware and a further similar make. But the price difference between equipments basically enunciates where the real distinction lies upon: in the grade construction of the equipment.

Based on studies, woodworking equipments are manufactured in three distinctive grades; each having an inferior quality and production capability as compared to the next grade. These are hobby grade, mid grade and industrial grade. If you are in a high volume woodworking business, you will eye industrial woodworking equipments. It basically supplies the most intense and highest production efficiency and rate. It also possesses the most significant resale value and lifespan.


 Choosing the right board for your project is another important part of the process

Choosing the right board for your project is another important part of the process


While the difference might be obvious, one should not be blinded on purchasing the wrong type of woodworking machine. Further, the mishandling is because of selecting an inferior grade of equipment in hopes of cutting significant amount of money. However, it can also lead from over investing in hardware that supplies exaggerating capacity, not to small.

Woodworkers are recommended to take a short course on how each grade of woodworking equipment are dealt with before they buy it. As its name applies, hobby grade equipment is destined for hobbyists, which work is not mass produced. To add, it does not need that the tools are overly capable like the ability to cut on ten sheets. The resale value is also restricted because of its lifespan, hobby grade equipments are always purchased in brand new. Furthermore, in relation to capacity of its production, this is a very crucial factor in its distinction from mid-grade to industrial grade.

Mid grade working equipments possesses a restricted capabilities and a much shorter lifespan. However, their capabilities may be enough to answer for short term industrial basis. Simply put, a mid grade router may attain the rate of production of an industrial model but it may be on a limited span of time because of intense operation. This might also lead to significant breakdowns since it is not destined absolutely for these types of operations. Although the use of mid grade equipment in lieu of industrial machines is cost effective in the long term, the cost of the latter tempts people to utilize a lesser grade of woodworking equipments.

Ergo, the proper equipment is crucial to produce high quality work. Although mid grade and hobby grade equipments is cost efficient as compared to industrial equipments, neither their capabilities in production gives freedom for one to produce similar volume and quality of work at a given time vis-a-vis industrial equipment. When the cost of the equipment is a hindrance in getting the equipment one requires, purchasing the equipment as used is a practical choice than utilizing an insufficient grade of equipment just to cut costs.

At Kaltimber, all our machines have been chosen with care and our team highly train to guarantee a great final result to enjoy for generations.


Ten Tips and Tricks to Immortalize Your Hardwood Flooring

High quality hardwood flooring materials when treated properly can be immortalized. The most efficient treatment methods comprise preventive maintenance tailored to secure your hardwood flooring from moisture and scratches that destroys your hardwood flooring.

The National Wood Flooring Association began almost twenty (20) years ago for hardwood flooring specialists’ portal of ideas, enhance their knowledge and hone their skills. At this point in time, with almost four thousand (4000) members all over the globe, it is an extraordinary source for training, technical know-how and more importantly, industry information. Listed below are several tips and tricks to maintain your hardwood flooring with the help of hardwood flooring specialists:


·         Do not over wax your hardwood floors. Instead of over waxing it; just buff a dull hardwood floor.

·         Use rugs to avoid scratches on your hardwood floors. Position them in high-traffic areas to aid in preventing dirt, small debris that causes scratches, and grit.

·         Stay away from using tile floor care products and sheet vinyl on hardwood flooring. There is a tendency that products like acrylic waxes may lead to a dull and slippery hard wood.

·         Stay away from using wet-mop. There is a great chance that improper amount of water can make the floor finish dull and has a tendency to damage the wood.

·         Spills can cause discoloration specially when there is high chemical content. So you have to wipe up any spills immediately.

·         Glides can aid you in preventing scratches on your hardwood floor. These are beneficial in avoiding scratches and scuffs. Put glides under the legs of all your furniture especially if it is prone to produce scratches.

·         Do not walk across your hardwood floors in sport shoes, cleats, or even high heels. This type of impact produces friction that can leave a dent on the surface of your hardwood floors.

·         When moving furniture and re-designing your interiors, you have to be extra careful by not sliding it. Instead, pick your furniture up to prevent from touching it when moving.

·         IN order to secure your wood kitchen floor from possible moisture, put an area rug in front of the kitchen sink. This will prevent water and moisture from spreading all over the kitchen. Rugs can easily absorb moisture. Replace them from time to time, depending on the use.

·         Humidifier can be a best way to battle wood shrinkage and movement which is very prone during dry seasons and in countries with arid climates; these places are prone from wood warping and discoloration, depending on the climate and temperature. No matter how good your adhesives are, there is still a possibility or wood warping, so humidifiers can counter that trauma.

Truly indeed, hardwood flooring does not only make you home the center of attention. Hardwood floors can play a very important role in the value of your property. If maintained and secure properly, hardwood floors become classier over time. And at the end of the day, you will surely realize significant increase in the value of your property.

 Hardwood flooring with finishing

Hardwood flooring with finishing





Source:NWFA,"PreventiveMaintenance", www.woodfloors.org/consumer/maintReg.aspx



Reinventing Materials: See through the Wood

A French architect managed the Tour de force to make translucent wood. A feat obtained by removing the lignin from the fiber and injecting into its micro cavities a bio-monomers. This hybrid material is also three times more rigid than its natural equivalent and, icing on the cake,  at the same time can't rot. Currently in pre-industrial research phase, this treatment proposed by the company Woodoo opens up new perspectives to the use of wood in construction as in decoration. Especially since it can be applied to essences considered as "non-noble".

Looking forward to see through Ulin ironwood in 2018!

 Translucent wood

Translucent wood