© 2012 Burt Forest Products
Vaagen Bros Lumber is focused on making the best quality products that will meet and exceed your expectations. We produce over 130 Million board feet of lumber each year.
Specializing in the production of lumber from smaller diameter logs, Vaagen Brothers has been working in the forests of northeast Washington for more than 50 years. We’ve learned to take the best of traditional logging and lumber milling practices and combine them with advanced production technologies and forward thinking, sustainable forest management practices to create a company that’s as vibrant and growing as the healthy forests and ecosystems necessary to its success.
For versatility and beauty, few woods in the world match the magnificence of Douglas Fir and Western Larch. Unlike the structural grades, appearance lumber is milled and graded according to aesthetic rather than structural performance criteria. Color, grain pattern, texture, knot type and size are the factors that influence the grade. For this reason Douglas Fir and Western Larch are usually separated in the appearance grades and marketed as distinct species to allow a larger range of visual choices for discriminating end users.
Douglas Fir's light rosy color is set off by its remarkably straight and handsome grain pattern. While similar, Western Larch is slightly darker in color. Of the two species, Douglas Fir is more widely available in the appearance grades. Both species will "redden" over time when exposed to light. Their tough fiber make both species difficult to work with hand tools. However, both respond admirably to sharp power tools and machine to an exceptionally smooth, glossy surface. Both paint easily and can hold all types of stains and finishes.
In its unique way, Hem-Fir is a perfect combination of strength and extraordinary beauty and is quite literally one of the most handsome, elegant and versatile softwood species combinations on the market today.
Hem-Fir lumber is light and bright in color, varying from a creamy, nearly-white to a light, straw-brown color. It can be as light or lighter in color than some of the Western pines and is often considered, by those seeking a strong wood with a very light color, as the most desirable of the Western softwoods. Sometimes Western Hemlock may have a slight lavender cast, especially around the knots and in the transition area between the spring and summerwood growth rings. Attractive, delicate, dark grey or black streaks may be apparent in the wood. There is little variation in color between the heartwood and sapwood.
Hem-Fir lumber products are available in structural, appearance and remanufacturing grades. In strength properties, Western Hem-Fir is slightly below the Douglas Fir-Larch species combination, and above both the Douglas Fir-South and Spruce-Pine-Fir (South) species combinations. Hem-Fir is useful for a multitude of general-purpose framing applications and is capable of meeting the span requirements of many installations.
While Douglas Fir, Hem-Fir and Ponderosa Pine represent the largest volume of Western lumber produced each year, there are other species available ... Because many of these species share similiar strength characteristics, they are grouped in species combinations and design values are assigned by group rather than individual species.
This species combination, classed as moderately strong, is cross-continental in origin. Because of similar design values, the combination includes Engelmann and Sitka spruces and Lodgepole Pine from the West, along with Balsam Fir, Jack Pine, Red Pine and several eastern spruces from the U.S. Northeast.
In a structural performance context, the term, "Western Woods" specifically indicates a combination of the Western pines ( Ponderosa, Sugar and Idaho White Pine ), Mountain Hemlock and Alpine Fir because these species share similar design values. While these species are not the strongest among Western species, they can carry heavy loads when large members are used. Their real appeal and strengths are in the appearance grades: Commons, Alternate Boards, Selects and Finish, and in the Factory and Shop products.
Western Red, Incense, Port Orford and Alaskan Yellow cedars are grouped together for similar performance properties. The heartwood of these species is naturally durable against the harsh effects of exposure to the elements. They are favorites for decks, siding, planters, fences, and other outdoor amenities such as screened porches, greenhouses, pool-side structures, arbors, and trellises. The sapwood of these species also pressure treats well with preservatives for added durability.
Ponderosa Pine (pinus ponderosa) is one of the Western pine species that includes Idaho White Pine (pinus monticola), Sugar Pine (pinus lambertiana) and Lodgepole Pine (pinus contorta). The Western pines are distinct from the Southern Yellow pines which are denser and pitchier, with widely different characteristics and uses.
The annual production of Ponderosa Pine ranks third in volume after Douglas Fir and Hem-Fir (the two species preferred for structural framing), but second in total value. California and Oregon are the leading suppliers of Ponderosa Pine.
Characteristics & Best Uses:
Ponderosa Pine has a minimal amount of reddish-brown heartwood and an exceptionally wide sapwood which is honey-toned or straw-like in color. It has a straight, uniform grain which machines to a clear, smooth surface. When freshly sawn or surfaced, its pleasant smell is reminiscent of the forests where it grows. Ponderosa Pine is often specified when appearance rather than strength is of primary importance.
Dimensional Stability - All woods shrink and swell to some degree as their moisture content fluctuates with atmospheric conditions. However, Ponderosa is relatively unaffected by changes in humidity after drying, making it valuable for work that requires close-fitting joints. It has a uniform cell structure and shrinks only a moderate amount, in comparison to other softwood species. It seasons beautifully with minimal splitting, cupping, or warping.
Residential Construction - Appropriate applications for Ponderosa Pine include light framing, spaced sheathing, floor and roof decking. As a treated product, it is superb for decks and other outdoor projects. Although it is not as strong as some of the heavier, denser softwoods, Ponderosa's combination of dimensional stability, strength and workability is well adapted to most light framing applications including joists, studs, rafters, plates and soffits. The wood resists splitting when nailed which allows for the use of larger nails and increases nail rentention.
Factory and Shop Products - Ponderosa Pine is well suited for remanufacturing which requires clear, splinter-free wood, with a minimum of knots, resin and other unwanted characteristics.
The species is prized for moulding and for doors, windows, frames and drawers where durability under movement is essential. It has the ability to withstand scuffs, shocks and jars without spliting, which makes it the premier wood for these and other applications such as sashes, jambs, shutters, screens, columns, stairwork and fascia.
Paneling - Pine paneling is often associated with Early American decor in kitchens, family rooms, dens and bedrooms. However, new finishing techniques and patterns make it appropriate for contemporary or traditional settings.
Woodworking and Furniture - Many of the properties that make Ponderosa Pine a first choice for paneling also put it at the top of the list for furniture and architectural woodwork such as built-in bookcases, benches, cupboards, desks and kitchen cabinets.
Cabinetmakers and woodworkers appreciate the wood's uniform cell structure, scarcity of resin pockets, and resistance to splitting. Finished parts fit together snugly without binding. The lumber is easy to work with either hand or machine tools and converts readily into fine mouldings and cabinet work.
Our Lumber and Wood Products - Additional Information Regarding Each Species: