Sure, any lumber supplier can stamp the word “Quality” on their boards, but have you ever wondered exactly what they mean by that? The definition of “high grade; superiority; excellence” is probably what they mean, but how do you know it’s true?
At J. Gibson McIlvain, we’re committed to providing truly high quality lumber, and we take painstaking steps to ensure that we do just that.
As we purchase lumber from across the globe, we actually visit each individual mill from which we purchase lumber. We research their harvesting, sawing, drying, and shipping practices. We examine individual boards. All that occurs before we allow our first order to leave any given mill.
Even after we’ve begun to receive high-quality lumber from a given mill, we continue to verify their credibility. We build relationships. We check up on them. We even hire third-party independent graders to inspect the lumber with our own grading forms.
Does this reduce the number of mills with which we’re willing to do business? Most surely it does. But quality, not quantity, is our goal.
When any shipment of domestic or exotic lumber arrives at our Maryland headquarters, it’s unloaded and inspected. Board by board. Yes, really. Our staff inspects each and every board, by hand, employing their in-depth, species-specific training in order to recognize unique characteristics of specific types of wood.
Our highly trained professionals know that not all species can be graded alike, due to how the trees grow. They also know the specific requirements of some of our customers and can identify particularly sought-after boards that will appeal to those in various industries.
After the initial on-site grading, boards are sorted, stickered, stacked, and dried. Some lumber is air dried, while other lumber is kiln dried, depending on species specifications. Almost all the stock we receive needs to be dried in our yard for a period of time before it reaches the North American standard of 6-8%; one notable exception is Ipe decking lumber.
Most exotic lumber species require between 1 to 4 months for air drying before the lumber can be kiln dried. Most domestic species require little to no drying, unless we’re able to purchase the lumber directly from the mill. When we are able to make direct purchases, our customers benefit with decreased prices.
After drying, each board is sorted and again hand inspected by our graders. Any boards with saw marks or defects caused by kiln drying are removed at this point, and the remaining lumber is stacked and covered in order to await sale.
When a customer places an order, our dedicated lumber professionals select and grade the lumber once again, keeping the specific customer’s requirements in view, from size to quality and grain. This strict evaluation allows us to provide you with a minimal amount of waste.
From that point, we’re ready to ship your order directly to your job site! We ship throughout the contiguous United States as well as to Alaska, Hawaii, the Canadian provinces, and the Caribbean islands. View the estimated delivery times.
Because of our multi-step quality control process, J. Gibson McIlvain Lumber promises to continue its centuries-long legacy of excellence for many more years to come.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums. Contact a representative at J. Gibson McIlvain today by calling (800) 638-9100.