|We carry a wide variety of both hardwood and softwood species indigenous to
the northeastern United States. Our primary focus is hardwoods, mainly oak.
We carry a significant quantity of other hardwoods in log form, but availability
is dependant on what we have in the log yard (or stored away in a few trailers)
Oak, Ash, Maple, Hickory, Locust, cedar, and
Oak: Everybody loves oak. Unfortunately most people never get a chance to experience it.
We are a bit biased, but we see oak everyday. Most people, when they think of oak,
envision RED oak, in some form of laminate on a table, chair, cabinet, etc. We've met
many people who think it is all the same. Well it sort of is, and sort of isn't. Two other oak
species are highly preferred, black and white. There are many, many species all having
their own 'personality'. Some species are good for cabinetry and fine art, some are even
better for structural work (trailer decking, truck side boards, etc ...). What's the difference?
If a person wants oak, we ask why. Typically they want the properties of a hardwood
species. Right now oak costs more. If you want something that is going to sit on the
ground and last a while, white oak or locust is where you want to be. If you want
sideboards for a truck, you want an uneven grained oak which would be less susceptible
to splitting (straight grain=split). If you are looking for furniture grade, you are looking for
stability and straight grain (a characteristic found in Red oak). If you want something
unusual, wood will make you pay. Typically the harder it is to work with, the more beautiful
it will become (I used to quote this from an old guy years ago, but I guess I am sort of
getting toward that age :)
Hi all, the following was written by Eric and is his own personal opinion. It is written in a
simple format and should be taken at face value. The intent is to solely give a bit of
information to people and probably includes my own personal bias. We take our
business seriously, and enjoy meeting good people ... E
Maple: Well there are many species which are sold as "hard" and "soft". Hard maple is
typically more expensive, soft maple is easy to work with and has a lot of character. Maple is
a complicated wood which is hard to explain. Simply put, hard maple is very hard. It is hard
to work with and hard to machine. It can have the most beautiful characteristics, and the
most amazing finishes. It also warps, twists, and gets cabinet makers jumping on toes and
throwing hammers (of course I was being proverbial!). Hard maple has a few 'figures' like
birdseye, which can cost up to $21/bdft as I saw in a retail chain. That's not what we do ... so
let me move on. Soft Maple has a tendency to get fungal inclusions which I think are neat.
The term is spalting and it has a tendency to follow the grain. Quite a site for a cabinetmaker
who knows what they are doing. Some of the best turning stock I have seen has come from
soft maple. The offset for soft maple is that it is not as hard as it's cousin. It is still as good,
and maybe better than the softwoods for many applications.
Ash: I call this the premium wood of the early 1990's. Ash prices were out of this world.
Primes were selling at a premium and seconds were used for backdrop materials such
as cabinetry 'fillers'. Long ago, and still today, it has been a premium wood for turning (i.e.
baseball bats). The downside is that it splits, cracks, and does all the bad things people
hate when they put a lot of effort in it. A good thing is that it takes stain well and can look
like many other species when it is finished. This is a wood which I would say 'it is what it
Hickory: A much harder and stronger wood than oak (similar to hard maple), which is
adored for its flavor and smell when burned. Hickory has the same machining
characteristics (difficult, tough, ... much cursing involved ... ) as hard maple. It's probably
one, if not the, strongest wood species we have in the area. Tough for us to saw, but is
Locust: A wood which was very plentiful up to 20 years ago. It is known and adored for
it's ability to resist rot and be there for a lifetime (20-40 years). The old 'locust posts' were
simply seedling locust trees which were cut down, cut to length, and plopped in the
ground. Once in the ground, cover boards were nailed and replaced as needed.
Presently black and honey locust wood are sold under the same name (black locust is
better). On a personal note 10-15 year service mixed hardwood is comparable at a more
reasonable cost. (please don't compare our product with the stuff sold in retail chains,
this is offensive to us ... sorry a sore spot for me!)
Cedar: There are basically two types we deal with. Aromatic red cedar and Atlantic
White. A similar species to Locust, both are tough to come by and we charge a
premium. If you are looking for smaller boards (1" x 6") used to make cedar chest or line
closets, we probably have it. Larger sizes and specialty markets take time as we have to
negotiate with vendors. Typically Cedar is sold on a case by case basis. Beams
typically come out of Canada (which we have chosen vendors) for home construction.
It's up to you if you want to do it yourself.
Poplar: Considered a dunnage (junk) wood for many years, this wood has gained
acceptance among the elite for windows and window frames. This wood can be your
best friend or worst enemy. Poplar is known for its extraordinary growth (it's leaning
over my house) as well as the green hues it has in cut form (i.e turn bowls). The
primary use at this time is for residential coverage (covering 'rustic' areas such as a
garage or work shed). Premium stock goes into moulding and door frames. Seconds
go into cabinetry filler, siding, and construction materials.
Walnut: mmmm ... I like walnut. It's like looking into my first cup of morning coffee. It
has the dark color (a warm feeling), depth when finished properly, and figure that
comes out unexpectedly. We get tons of calls from people who say, (and very excitedly
stated) ... WE HAVE A WALNUT LOG! ... in their back yard. They go on to state they have
talked to 'people' and its worth a lot of money. Yes it could be, but in 99.9% of the cases
the cost of taking it down, moving it, checking for metal, cutting it, drying it, preparing it ...
did I say moving it?? far outweighs any cost of getting it off your property. We'll always
be willing to talk to you, but selling a log (or a couple) won't pay for taking it down.
Walnut is hard to describe, it has a number of different colors. From chocolate brown to
light tan in the sapwood, and even green hues in the right light. Our primary sales are
to Mantle buyers and local wood trades. We have cut 8" x 8" x 12' long beams for a
centerpiece beam in a house, to fireplace mantles, to boards for cabinet makers. We
get logs in from time to time for specialty requests. We have a good stock on hand, so
it's best to check for availability.
Cherry (and Birch): This family is best described as a premium grade lumber with all
the characteristics described in our Walnut section (Figure, Color, Size). The main
difference is color. Cherry has a reddish color with a variety of color contained in
sapwood and heart. Birch colors work between yellow, red, and brown when finished.
Figures tend to be more prominent than in walnut due the lighter colors.
Unusual: Sometimes we get 'what's it's'. These are typically logs we get in and see
some unusual characteristic and set it aside.
Sycamore: A beautiful wood and hard to work with. It's like hard maple and hickory.
It's tough to work with, tough to age and prepare, but given the right piece it becomes a
'one of a kind'. Color changes as it ages. When fresh sawn, it has a lot of variety in
figure and color. It splits, cracks, warps and does all the things we don't want it to do. A
challenge for experts ...
a division of Montana Mountain Lumber LLC
245 Millbrook Rd.
Washington, NJ 07882
ph (908) 689-6365
fax (908) 689-1499