Higher-margin strategy tough with wood

Traditionally, our approach has largely been that of selling commodities, of which dimensioned lumber for light timber framing (2 x 4s) and paper products have had the largest market share. Canada has a more than abundant supply of wood and with commodities frequently under pricing pressure, it has made sense to look at adding value […]

Heirlooms: Down through generations

Heirlooms. Now that’s a word that isn’t used very often anymore, unless we’re talking about tomatoes. The whole idea of valuable objects being passed along through the generations has pretty much passed away. When some of our most precious things have an effective lifespan that’s measured in months, the very notion seems a bit quaint. […]

Wood is slow

Now, that’s kind of a funny way to describe wood. Why would a description of movement be applied to wood? Wood doesn’t move, at least not by itself. But we move wood. In particular, we move it into tools or tools into it. And it is the nature of Wood is slow wood to require […]

How wood works

I think that I shall never see,a poem as lovely as a tree… — Joyce Kilmer. Actually, a tree is simply an apparatus that facilitates photosynthesis. It puts the little factories, the leaves or the needles, up there out of the way of other things where they can do their job. The tree itself is […]

Better all the time

Even before I became as involved with canoes and canoeing as I eventually did, I found it easy to admire this ‘frail craft of an aqueous navigation.’ All the lines were gentle curves, and, even when at rest, these little boats looked like they were in motion. While I was admiring one in particular, the […]

The Wood Age

When Curtis LeMay suggested that the U.S. ought to “bomb them (the Vietnamese) back to the Stone Age,” he was using a reference to a common way of describing the pre-historical technological development of humankind. The sequence is: Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age. What about the Wood Age? The uses for stone was would […]

In the woods

  I have been lucky enough to spend quite a bit of recent time in the woods. Specifically, the mid-British Columbian woods, which means a lot of spruce, some pine and some aspen, mostly. Anywhere in Canada, urban people like me flock to the lakes, to fish or swim and relax and maybe just to […]

Wood: A friendly word that describes material, work

Wood is what trees are made of, or at least part it. The main part. The part between the roots and the leaves. The inner part. Wood is basically cellulose fibres, held together with lignin. The fibres are mostly a water transport system, upwards, between the roots and the leaves. Lignin is the glue that holds […]

Ride the train of real-world design solutions

We designers typically start doing what we do once we have a clear idea of a problem that needs solving. These may be very tangible and public issues or they may be more vague and personal. But the addressing of a problem is what gets us moving toward an outcome: a result or solution. It provides us […]

Figures of speech – let me design my own rules

I hate grammar. I really do. Just the mention of the word subjunctive puts me into a state of despair. I don’t want to know which is the predicate and which is the participle. Leave me alone. It is not that I am averse to the use of words and especially the effective use of […]