Ways on How to Stack and Season Apple Wood as Fuel for Wood Stoves

apple wood

Apple wood is regarded as an efficient wood burning fuel. It is tagged as a hardwood which simply connotes its heaviness and will burn for a longer period of time as compared to softwoods. But, if your apple wood is not yet seasoned or dried, then it will be a bit of a complex to burn it the right way.

Success with seasoning apple wood is extreme heat and low humidity. Seasoning apple wood is not a bit of a complex per se. Just simply cut your wood stack and throw it in piles and dry it. Cure it for at least ten months. But if you are eyeing on seasoning your wood at a slower pace, do not be frightened to run a sprinkler over the top of it during summer time. By sprinkling the wood, it will aid you in regulating bugs that might damage your wood.

Apple wood is prone to these small bore mites that drill small holes in to the wood. Your wood will still burn, but you need to take a closer look at your stack so they will not overrun it. It is best recommended to burn this wood as soon as it is seasoned. Apple wood can be a bit of a complex to stack because it has several sizes and the shapes are irregular. But, as you start to stack your wood, you will immediately be able to fill in the holes with several other smaller stacks.

Wood burners who are located in a town or city should put their wood in a place that will not acquire water from yard sprinklers. The wood that will get wet can take up to maximum of two years to get dried completely. As for maintaining your wood covered, that is a personal choice. The advantage of covering wood during cold months is that it will season fast, but out west with our dry season, that is not a big deal.

If you are uniform with cutting wood and each year you cut more wood that you need it, it will only take you a short period of time to stack wood for the next three years reserve. It simply means that during one cutting season you will not worry because you have a stack for the next couple of years.

On the other hand, if you want to purchase a cord of apple wood, there are places that will charge at about a hundred dollars per cord that is all limbs. These small limbs burn efficiently, but they can never be relied to burn all night.

At the end of the day, it is really a matter of planning and close coordination. You will realize your effort and significant savings in no time. Just have a free time and energy in doing such kind of task that will surely save you big bucks.

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.

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.

Your beneficial friend the forest: Shinrin-Yoku

The Japanese practice of forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production (cortisol), boost the immune system, improve overall feelings of wellbeing, lowering anxiety and anger, increase of natural killers (specific cells fighting cancer), positivie regulation of heart rate, etc...

Forest bathing—basically just being in the presence of trees—became part of a national public health program in Japan in 1982 when the forestry ministry coined the phrase shinrin-yoku (meaning Forest bathing or Forest showering) and promoted topiary as therapy. Nature appreciation—picnicking en masse under the cherry blossoms, for example—is a national pastime in Japan, so forest bathing quickly took. The environment’s wisdom has long been evident to the culture.

Forest bathing works simply: Just be with trees. You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything.

From 2004 to 2012, Japanese officials spent about $4 million dollars studying the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing, designating 48 therapy trails based on the results. Qing Li, a professor at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, measured the activity of human natural killer (NK) cells in the immune system before and after exposure to the woods. These cells provide rapid responses to viral-infected cells and respond to tumor formation, and are associated with immune system health and cancer prevention. In a 2009 study Li’s subjects showed significant increases in NK cell activity in the week after a forest visit, and positive effects lasted a month following each weekend in the woods.

This is due to various essential oils, generally called phytoncide, found in wood, plants, and some fruit and vegetables, which trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects. Forest air doesn’t just feel fresher and better—inhaling phytoncide seems to actually improve immune system function.

Experiments on forest bathing conducted by the Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences in Japan’s Chiba University measured its physiological effects on 280 subjects in their early 20s. The team measured the subjects’ salivary cortisol (which increases with stress), blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate variability during a day in the city and compared those to the same biometrics taken during a day with a 30-minute forest visit. “Forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments,” the study concluded.

In other words, being in nature made subjects, physiologically, less amped. The parasympathetic nerve system controls the body’s rest-and-digest system while the sympathetic nerve system governs fight-or-flight responses. Subjects were more rested and less inclined to stress after a forest bath.

Trees soothe the spirit too. A study on forest bathing’s psychological effects surveyed 498 healthy volunteers, twice in a forest and twice in control environments. The subjects showed significantly reduced hostility and depression scores, coupled with increased liveliness, after exposure to trees. “Accordingly,” the researchers wrote, “forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes.”

City dwellers can benefit from the effects of trees with just a visit to the park. Brief exposure to greenery in urban environments can relieve stress levels, and experts have recommended “doses of nature” as part of treatment of attention disorders in children. What all of this evidence suggests is we don’t seem to need a lot of exposure to gain from nature—but regular contact appears to improve our immune system function and our wellbeing.

Beneficial effects from a onetime exposure can last for up to 30 days. Time in 2018 to plan some forest trips!

Your beneficial friend the forest.

Your beneficial friend the forest.







Many articles are available online regarding that subject. Le Point from November 2, 2017 offers a wide range of article in relation to forest intelligence and Forest bathing.

Beauty in waste

Kaltimber is a hardwood decking and flooring specialist company which aim to provide high quality standards of production and finished goods. Our wood has been reclaimed or salvaged from ethical and legal sources. Hardwoods take thousands of years to grow and they deserve our utmost respect; as such we have a ‘full circle’ production, where we reduce waste and utilize our woods to the max.

With that in mind we aim to reuse as much as possible anything available. A good example is the piece in the picture here under. This a deco item made of a 4x15x20cm feet (leftover from a production - reclaimed from a bridge in East Kalimantan) and a 4x15x55cm board eaten by clams after many years serving as underwater structure of a harbor.

Wood inspires us with unique creations, we do not constrain wood to our ideas



papan kayu ulin

Your decking is a great drug!

Ulin ironwood tree

Dayak ethnic group is the indigenous people of Kalimantan Island and mainly live in a remote area. Dayak ethnic group in West Kalimantan is divided into 151 subethnic groups and their languages are classified into 168 groups. Since their residential areas are isolated from other villages, they depend on their environment, especially, the forest. It functions as a place to meet their basic needs because they have the knowledge how to utilize natural resources. Especially, plants have been used as medicine to treat diseases. Therefore, medicinal plants are known as their local wisdom and survival knowledge related to environment. Nowadays, the utilization of medicinal plants is facing several threats due to the scarcity of this knowledge and forest condition. Generally, this knowledge of the utilization of medicinal plants is not well documented since it is orally transferred from generation to generation. While younger generation accepts new culture from outside of their village, the knowledge of medicinal plants is fading. Forest conversion also contributed to the decreasing number of medicinal plant species. Approximately 21.51% of 9,125,486 ha of forest that functions as the main habitat of medicinal plants in West Kalimantan have been lost since 2010. Therefore, to conserve the knowledge of medicinal plants, it is necessary for the Dayak people to use them continuously to treat diseases. The documentation of medicinal plants utilization of several Dayak sub-ethnic groups is already reported. Dayak Uud Danum means a Dayak sub-ethnic group who lives in the upstream areas of Ambalau and Serawai river of Sintang Regency. In Dayak Uud Danum community, people use 95 species of medicinal plants. One of them, Tebelion (Eusideroxylon zwageri) has been used to treat diseases such as diarrhea, fever and allergy as the decoction of leaves by hot water. These diseases often caused by infections induce inflammation. Therefore, these medicinal plant is suggested to have anti-inflammatory activity. Inflammation is one of causes of diarrhea and plays an important role in the allergic disease such as delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH). Diarrhea is difficult to be fully recovered in a patient with an inflammatory bowel disease. Prolonged inflammation of intestine may lead to the increasing risk of colon cancer. Not only in cutaneous skin infection, but also in patients bearing transplanted tissues and tumors, DTH must be considered. Since both IFN-γ and TNF-α are involved in the inflammation of DTH and colon epithelial cells, it is useful to examine the anti-inflammatory effects of medicinal plants on DTH and the inflammation of colon epithelial cells. E. zwageri has anti-melanogenesis activity (Arung et al. 2009). The activity of their plant extracts was reported.

Medicinal plants have been used to treat diseases caused by the malfunction of the immune system. Many reports have been published to prove that chemical compounds from medicinal plants have immunosuppressive effects. Currently, it is well known that secondary metabolites from natural products such as medicinal plants have a broad spectrum of biological activities, and the anti-inflammatory activity is one of them. Flavonoid group, one group of secondary metabolites, has anti-inflammatory activity and is used to develop a new type anti-inflammatory agent. Recently, E. zwageri is identified to have bioactive compounds through phytochemical screening. It is reported to have alkaloid, phenolic, flavonoid, saponin and steroid compounds. Among these medicinal plants used in this study, there are various bioactive compounds that might contribute to the suppression of ear thickness in this model of DTH response. It is also conceivable that secondary metabolites of medicinal plants may have anti-inflammatory activities and affect to several pathways of various phases of inflammation. Presence of potent bioactive compounds such as phenolic and flavonoid compounds may contribute to antiinflammatory activities.

Inflammation has an important role as one of natural protection mechanism and it has a dual nature like a double edged sword. Over production of several inflammatory mediators leads to a chronic disease. Therefore, in order to explore anti-inflammatory reagents from natural products, various criteria must be applied to screen medicine. It is well known that many indigenous people around the world use medicinal plants as anti-inflammatory medicine to treat several diseases. In West Kalimantan Indonesia, although government has been providing adequate health facilities and modern medicines, some people who live in poverty or in remote areas from government health facilities still rely on traditional medicinal plants to treat diseases such as fever, allergy, and diarrhea. Dayak Uud Danum, indigenous people of West Kalimantan, Indonesia is one of the communities who still use and preserve knowledge of medicinal plants as their local wisdom. Through an ethnopharmacological approach, activities of many bioactive compounds from plants will be determined. Although E. zwageri has anti-inflammatory activities in term of suppressing delayed-type hypersensitivity, further experiments are necessary to determine the mechanisms of potential plant extracts to regulate the inflammation.


Additional info;

Although the seeds are poisonous, the fruit and seeds have medicinal uses, and are used locally to treat swellings. Seed extract was shown to have anti-melanogenetic properties, indicating a potential for use in skin-whitening cosmetics. The screening methods used were melanin formation inhibition assay using B16 melanoma cells. The extracts of Eusideroxylon zwageri (seed), showed DPPH radical-scavenging activity of more than 70 percent at 100 microg/ml and extracts of E. zwageri (seed, 100 microg/ml) strongly inhibited the melanin production of B16 melanoma cells without significant cytotoxicity. These findings indicate that this plant from Central Kalimantan are potential ingredients for skin-whitening cosmetics if their safety can be confirmed.



Source: Kuroshio Science, CABI Encyclopedia of Forest Trees, Journal of Natural Medicines v. 63(4): p. 473-480, 2009.

Hardwood and Softwood, what is the difference?

red elm end grain

Hardwood is not necessarily a harder material (more dense) and a softwood is not necessarily a softer material (less dense).

Different types of construction projects call for different kinds of timber, both hardwood and softwood are used for everything from structural to decorative.

Softwood and hardwood are distinguished botanically in terms of their reproduction, not by their end use or appearance. All trees reproduce by producing seeds, but the seed structure varies.

Softwood trees are known as a gymnosperm. They reproduce by forming cones which emit pollen to be spread by the wind to other trees. Pollinated trees form naked seeds which are dropped to the ground or borne on the wind so that new trees can grow elsewhere.

A hardwood is an angiosperm. Angiosperms usually form flowers to reproduce. Birds and insects attracted to the flowers carry the pollen to other trees and when fertilized the trees form fruits or nuts and seeds.

The hardwood/softwood terminology does make some sense. Evergreens do tend to be less dense than deciduous trees, and therefore easier to cut, while most hardwoods tend to be more dense, and therefore sturdier. In practical terms, this denseness also means that the wood will split if you pound a nail into it. Thus you need to drill screw or bolt holes to fasten hardwood together. But structural lumber is soft and light, accepts nails easily without splitting and thus is great for general construction.

To sum up

Hardwood tend to be darker, heavier, more expensive, last several decades, naturally resistant to weather.
Softwood tend to be lighter in color, lighter weight, cheaper, last for a decade or so and can be weather resistant but needs to be treated.