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Muscanell Minutes


Muscanell Minute 01-25-12

We hope everybody’s New Year is off to a great start! At the mill, we have snow on the ground…which is the way it’s supposed to look in Colorado in January…but so far it’s been a very dry winter.

What’s Happening at Muscanell?
• Progress on our oil prefinished line continues! We are busy working on sample boards of our prefinished flooring with Rubio oil finish. We can’t wait to show you this beautiful product!
• Rustic Stair Treads & Risers. Did you know that Muscanell produces a limited number of rustic stair parts to match our flooring? Call the mill or your sales rep. for details.
• Woodchucks Fire Logs production is in full tilt, providing lots of homes with this clean, green efficient heat.
• Need FSC certified flooring? Ask us for a quote!

For those of you in CA, NV, AZ, NM, and the Northwest, remember to call your Muscanell territory manager Bob Bennett for your wood flooring needs. 970-560-5237.

Species Availability:
• A new load of Tanoak and Madrone lumber is on its way to us. These are both unique, durable woods from the Western U.S. with limited availability.
• We have good availability in most species. It’s always a good idea to call us before quoting.

General Industry News:
• Check out this interesting video, put out by a European building organization. It makes the case that using more wood products in construction “is one of the simplest ways to build a low-carbon economy” and promotes sustainable forestry.
• Hardwood Floors Magazine reports on a study predicting that financing will ease for homeowners wanting to spend money on remodeling projects, resulting in an increase in remodeling activity later this year. The study was conducted by Housing Studies at Harvard.
• The Nat’l Assn. of Homebuilders says that the rate of starts for single family housing in December was “the best pace since April 2010.”
• Despite economic concerns about Europe and world-wide debt levels, the Nat’l Assn. of Manufacturers reports “signs of strength” in the US economy. They site measures that show manufacturing activity has picked up some, including falling unemployment. Manufacturers remain “upbeat but cautious.”

Tech Talk: Properties of Hickory. We’re big fans of Hickory here at Muscanell, and over the years, we’ve become experts at buying, drying, and milling this tough-as-nails wood!
• is the hardest commercially-available domestic wood, with a Janka scale rating of 1820.
• is often sold interchangeably with Pecan (but not ours!).
• is the least stable wood we run. A 3% change in moisture on a 5” wide plank causes movement of .062” (this is about 1/16”!).
• varies in color by the region where it grows.
• contains color variations in every grade, even the highest.

Muscanell Hickory…
• is dried to 5-7% moisture, before milling, minimizing movement, especially in dry climates.
• is available in 4 different grades from Muscanell: Mesa, Casa, Madera, and Hacienda. Ask your sales rep. for information on width availability in the different grades.
• is available in widths from 3” to 10”.
• contains less “tear-out.” After 15 years of running this tough stuff, we’ve learned a few things about how to precisely mill Hickory. Less torn grain on the face means less sanding time.
• does not contain “sap stain”. This grayish or brownish discoloration can develop in freshly cut Hickory lumber that is dried incorrectly. We sort out this appearance defect.
• is harvested from regions of the U.S. where it has a nice brown and cream calico tones.
• contains NO Pecan, which has different coloration and properties than Hickory. Ours is a mix of Pignut, Mockernut, Shagbark, and Shellbark Hickories.

Muscanell Minute 05-16-11

General Industry News:
• NAHB reports that “builder confidence” remains at a consistently low level.
• Wood Products Mfg. Assn. reports that there is continued growth in the manufacturing sector, but higher costs for raw materials and energy are “taking a toll”, pushing the overall Producer Price Index higher.
• At Muscanell, we are staying busy and adding positions! We attribute this to our customers continuing to find added value in our quality.
• Hardwood Review reports that heavy rains in many parts of the U.S. may cause short term shortages of and moderate price increases in hardwood lumber. Because of our long-term relationships with mills, we do not expect to be significantly affected by availability issues, but may experience some price increases.
• Let’s all hope that fuel prices come down soon!

Projects Happening at Muscanell - We are on line for coming out with our solid wood, prefinished ½” flooring, featuring a UV-cured oil finish, by mid-summer. We are starting the process of moving things around to accommodate new specialized machinery that will be arriving soon.

Species Availability We continue to have good availability in most species of North American hardwoods, with the exception of rustic Red Oak. For items not in stock, we generally have lead times of 2-3 weeks. This may vary more on wider flooring.

It is a good idea to always check availability before quoting a job. Even if you are referencing our weekly stock list, availability and pricing are subject to change. So please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail Karen (1-800-978-9663, karen@muscanell.com).

What’s New? We received a new shipment of material that will yield Skipsawn White Oak, which we’ll be running in the coming weeks. This is a rustic product, featuring about 30% of the surface area of the floor with original saw marks, and the remainder planed.

Tech Talk From Doug “Cooling season is approaching. Remember the effects of evaporative (“swamp”) coolers if you are in an area where they are in use. Especially if the structure is not properly ventilated, but even with their “normal” use, wood flooring can absorb moisture faster on the top surface than on the bottom, resulting in ‘crowning’. Next time we’ll discuss the effects of flooring absorbing moisture from underneath.”

Muscanell Minute 06-07-11

A lot of you have smoky skies this week. I know the folks in Arizona and Montana wish the rain could be spread around a little more evenly!

General Industry News:

Species Availability:

Walnut: Prices on lumber are continuing to inch up. We have a good supply in the pipeline, but are working far ahead on order planning. Please allow lead time for Walnut orders, especially in Hacienda (Select) grade.

Red Oak: A sampling of new material arrived this week that will replace our “Mesa with grub holes” that we’ve been offering. We’ll let you know as soon as we know grading and pricing specifics.

One of the ways we’ve combated fluctuations in lumber supply over the years is to pay our suppliers on time, every time. A long track record of this policy means Muscanell is a priority customer on hard-to-find lumber items.

What’s New? We have some wide Cherry coming in this week that will yield 6” and 7” Mesa (rustic) flooring. It will be ready for orders soon.

Tech Talk From Doug Last time we talked about crowning. Another common movement in wood flooring is “cupping,” when the edges of the planks raise up higher than the middle, creating a dip in the middle of the plank. The main reason wood flooring cups is that it has taken on moisture faster from the bottom surface than from the top. A couple examples:

Next time we’ll talk about solutions for moisture issues.

Muscanell Minute 07-19-11

Hi from Muscanell Millworks. Although the big forest fires have dropped off the headlines of national news, there are many people still being affected by them. Some of us in the Southwest are welcoming the “monsoonal flow” and getting a little more moisture.

General Industry News:

Species Availability:

Walnut: We are maintaining a good inventory of Walnut, but we order material at least 6 weeks in advance. We have very limited availability on 5” Hacienda (like Select). Very good availability on 4” Hacienda.

Hickory: We still have good inventory levels, but supply is tightening more than the usual summer dip, due to unusually hot and humid conditions in the Midwest. This makes lumber mills extra wary of cutting Hickory lumber when it is most susceptible to developing stain.

What’s New? Although it was delayed almost 2 weeks, we just completed changes in our mill to accommodate new machinery for producing prefinished flooring. Thanks to our crew for a great team effort. They put in over 40 hours of overtime last week, contributing lots of sweat, muscle, and ideas to the process.

Tech Talk From Doug: What happens to wood flooring when you have unusually wet conditions for a short time, such as “Monsoon season” in the Southwest U.S.?

On wood flooring that is not yet installed, moisture is quickly absorbed from the ends of planks making it wider on the ends than in the middle. It can take a considerable amount of time before the entire length of the plank is affected.

What to do? Allowing proper acclimation time is very important in these conditions, to let the excess airborne moisture in the wood escape, and bring the wood to the same conditions as the installation environment. Airborne moisture is taken up as “free moisture” in the cells of the wood. This is different than “bound” moisture, which is trapped in the cell walls, and is much more difficult for the wood to lose. Kiln-drying removes both “free” and “bound” moisture. If the wood is kiln-dried to 8% or 9% and then needs to dry down to 6% to adjust to drier conditions, this takes a longer time, because at least part of that moisture is still “bound.” After we dry to 6% MC, the wood takes up and loses excess moisture from the surrounding air relatively quickly.

Next time we’ll talk about sources of excess moisture on job sites.

Muscanell Minute 10-12-11

Happy Fall from Muscanell Millworks! We are enjoying our little splash of color here in the Four Corners, with a few bright Aspen and Cottonwood.

What’s Happening at Muscanell?

As part of our stubborn optimism, we are keeping our facility in shape. In the last few weeks, we have completed an overhaul of our boiler system. This system efficiently burns sawdust to provide heat for mill buildings, drying wood, and melting ice, and is part of our total utilization of all wood fiber coming into the mill.

Welcome Bob Bennett! Bob joins Muscanell as Territory Manager for CA, AZ, NV, NM, and the Northwest. He is new to us, but not to wood flooring, having worked in different levels of the business: retail, wholesale, distribution, and manufacturing. We are glad to have his experience and enthusiasm! Bob has been training at the mill for the last couple of weeks and is looking forward to getting to know you! He is based in Reno, NV, and can be reached at 970-560-5237.

Species Availability:

We generally have good availability on all widths and species in our line right now! So let us know how we can help with your next wood flooring project.

General Industry News:

Muscanell Minute 11-28-11

Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

What’s Happening at Muscanell?

Species Availability:

Tanoak – We have received a new load of Tanoak lumber. This hard Western wood makes beautiful flooring. We’ll be cutting 3” to 6” widths from this load, so let us know if we can provide you with a quote!

Generally have good availability on all widths and species in our line right now! So let us know how we can help with your next wood flooring project.

General Industry News:

Muscanell Minute 12-19-11

What’s Happening at Muscanell?

For those of you in CA, NV, AZ, NM, and the Northwest, remember to call your Muscanell territory manager Bob Bennett for your wood flooring needs. 970-560-5237.

Species Availability:
We have good availability in most species. It’s always a good idea to call us before quoting.

General Industry News:

We wish you a safe, relaxing and happy holiday season!

Traditional Quality in Contemporary Solid Wood Flooring