I have 25 years of experience in the hardwood industry, 16 of which have been as a representative of Frank Miller Lumber, the world’s largest quartersawn hardwood sawmill.
For the past several years I have been on a crusade of sorts as a consultant to architects and designers across the U.S., teaching them about the wonders and realities of sustainable U.S. hardwoods and the most beautiful form of those hardwoods, quartersawn. I tell architects and designers that it is my job to inspire the use of U.S. hardwoods in their designs where such inspiration might not exist. Further, I will teach them the differences between plainsawn and quartersawn hardwoods, helping to find the appropriate use for both.
The challenge is to take the unbridled imagination of designers and squeeze it through the funnel of reality so that the vision can be realized in the end. As is true of humans, every tree is unique, and there are limitations that need to be taken into account during the design process. Just because you can imagine 10,000 square feet of rift white oak flooring with a 10-inch face, all color matched with no medullary ray, it doesn’t mean it is possible to produce.
I will keep you apprised of my travels, observations and cautionary tales here in these blogs and on my Twitter feed, @QuartersawnGuru.