Stability of Montana dead standing timber

Posted: December 30, 2011

Our locally harvested Montana dead standing timber is distributed across the globe. We have consistently received feedback about the amazing stability of our products, especially in humid climates. This prompted us to take a closer look at our wood under a microscope. We contacted Oregon State University College of Forestry and asked them to do some stability research on our rough cut boards. The results are quite amazing if you’re a wood geek likemyself.

We provided 6 samples of our 1×12 Montana dead standing douglas fir which were compared to 6 samples of 1×12 kiln dried Oregon douglas fir. In a controlled environment the samples were slowly dried to 6% moisture content, the samples were then placed in a humid environment and essentially “pumped” moisture back into the wood. Taking measurements every 3 days the end conclusion from Oregon State is; quote “If exposed to increases in humidity, the Douglas Fir from Montana would swell significantly less than Coastal Douglas fir”.

That was great news, but we wanted to know why. The only way to find out was to pay to get microscopic pictures of both specimens, so we did. Looking at the molecular level of both specimens it was apparent why. Wood cells look very much like straws. Our Montana dead standing douglas fir has undergone some sort of cell collapse or deterioration of the cell walls either due to intense heat from forest fires or the simple fact that it has been naturally drying for up to 8 years. The cells walls of our Montana wood had a “fuzzy” or collapsed appearance. The Coastal dougals fir specimen cell walls still remained intact much like a new straw.

Coastal douglas fir cell walls

Coastal Doug fircells

Montana dead standing douglas fir cell walls

Montana Doug fircells

So what exactly does this mean? Due to the fact that the cell walls in our wood are collapsed or deteriorated means once dried to approx 6% moisture content, our wood is basically resistant to moisture absorption. That may not sound overly exciting or sexy but if you live in a humid climate it is. To put this into terms most people can understand; if you purchase a wood floor, doors, or trim from us and you live in a humid climate the chances of our products swelling or buckling are significantly reduced. Most areas like Florida, Hawaii, or somewhere tropical typically cannot use wood flooring due to the fact that is swells and buckles, but according to the research provided to us from Oregon State University our flooring, doors, and trim will perform just as good in a humid environment as it would in a dry climate.

We invested 3 months and some cash for this research, but we believe so strongly in our products it was well worth the money and the wait. Now when you purchase our wood floors, doors, or trim you’re not only receiving a unique piece of Montana history, you’re also getting the peace of mind it will enhance your home for many years to come.

Montana dead standing test results:

dead standing montana douglas fir