While the J. Gibson McIlvain lumber company (visit website) has hardwoods down to a science (we should after over 200 years of working with them!), we’re just now learning the many unique needs of softwoods. A decade after entering the softwoods market, we finally feel like we’re getting it down. We’ve learned that softwoods are quite different than hardwoods, and that knowledge has led to our changing the way we purchase and store these boards. Of course, specific species of softwoods act differently than others, as well, and we’re constantly growing in our understanding of each unique product.
In keeping with the business model we established years ago with hardwoods, we’re determined to deal with only high-quality softwoods suitable for high-end applications. For those looking for construction-grade materials or lumber with C and lower grades, McIlvain lumber is not where you’ll find those products. While there are many retailers who carry such products, we’ve chosen to specialize in A-grade and appearance-grade timbers and specialty products. Our inventory consists exclusively of top-notch softwoods timbers and products such as the following:
- Clear Vertical-Grain Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir
- Select Structural-Grade Douglas Fir
- Premium Alaskan Yellow Cedar
- Rustic Face Treatments
- Bevel-Edged Siding
We’ve realized that storing softwoods separately from hardwoods helps us to keep them in peak condition. As a result, we added a dedicated softwoods center near York, Pennsylvania, in order to help us receive, store, and ship them out without damaging them.
Because of the relative softness of softwoods, they typically require greater care in order to avoid damaging them with forklifts or other equipment. For hardwoods that are gouged by such equipment, a run through a planer is enough to skim off damaged areas. Since softwoods arrive already surfaced on all 4 sides, we can’t afford to have these timbers damaged. The sensitive surfaces of such finish-ready products can also be compromised by the kind of dust and dirt that’s typically kicked up in lumber yards. At our softwoods yard, we keep the lumber wrapped and under cover in order to keep finished surfaces undamaged during storage.
As we receive and send out shipments of softwoods, we take special care, as well. Due to the delicate nature of these products, we carefully package and band them for optimum protection as they are loaded in and out of trucks. The result of these careful measures is a higher quality product that’s just as perfect when it arrives at our customers’ job sites as it was when we received it.
At J. Gibson McIlvain, we consider our customers’ trust a valuable commodity. When it comes to softwoods, we realized that keeping up with our hard-earned, centuries-old reputation for unusually good service and high-end lumber would mean taking extra effort, and we made the necessary changes to ensure the quality for which we’re well known. To find out more about our softwoods products and dedicated softwoods lumber yard, contact our softwoods specialists today by calling (800) 638-9100 or visit mcilvain.com.