Showing posts from February, 2013

Great Designs in Wood (38) - 2013 US Wood Design Awards

Bruce Canedy of Kilwa Biomass made me aware of the recent announcement of the winners of the 2013 US  Wood Design Awards, and what an interesting and beautiful lot they are. I thought about featuring one of the designs in this posting, but found it difficult to decide which was my favorite. Literally all of them have at least one interesting feature that caught my fancy.

So I leave it up to you, the Go Wood reader, to pick the favorite. Visit the Wood Works site at this link, click on the photos of each of the winners, and watch the ensuing slide shows. When you've seen them all, click back to Go Wood and register your favorite in the poll on the right-hand side of this page. We'll see how the woody public's taste is running these days. And if you care to share with us why you made your selection as you did, please do so in the comments section of this post.

By the way, you may want to bookmark the Wood Works site. It's well-organized and chock full of useful tools for…

Better Days Ahead

Earlier this week I received the following email...
"I'm a tree farmer in Southern Indiana and Central Kentucky. I think that one of the biggest problems that the NRDC and other environmental groups have in understanding forests is that they think of timber as being a natural resource instead of a agricultural crop. The only real difference between raising a crop of timber and a crop of corn is the length of time to maturity. By classifying timber as a natural resource instead of a crop, they set it up for being idolized instead of being used.  Markets for hardwood timber stumpage in my area are so bad, and have been for a long time, that I am starting to think that long-term timber management is not economically possible and is purely pie-in-the-sky. Stumpage prices for timber in Indiana and Kentucky are the same as they were 30 years ago, and inflation has increased more than 100%.  I'm in the process of seriously considering liquidating my holdings and putting my in…

Serious Wood Collectors - The IWCS

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet a new bunch of Woodites...and these folks take it seriously. They call themselves The International Wood Collectors Society, and they were holding their Annual Convention outside of  Eustis, Florida in a beautiful setting at Lake Yale.

There, nestled next to the lake, among the moss-covered live oaks and pines, were dozens of folks browsing through piles of wood samples of various shapes and sizes. All the samples had been brought to the conference by members as donations to the highlight of the meeting, the wood auction on the last day.  The auction items were labeled by species and represented species from all over the world. The most numerous, though, were the various rare species that grow in the diverse and unusual ecosystems of Florida and the other southeastern states.

Duane Keck, who describes himself as a "Tropical and Temperate Zone Wood Collector" on his business card, told me they  hold their annual meeting at Lake Yale …

Global Reset, 2013

A few folks have inquired how they could view a recording of my presentation to the Western Pallet Association last month. The answer is, as of yesterday, you can visit the Association's website by clicking here, scrolling down to my picture, and clicking on either the PDF or Powerpoint version of the presentation to download to your computer. The PDF is a quicker download, but the Powerpoint file has a recorded voice-over by which you can hear me explain the slides, which is probably better if you have the time, because there are some crazy and complicated slides. It takes a few minutes to download, and the entire presentation takes an hour to run, but if you're interested in global markets and how all this debt and politics is affecting them, you may find it interesting. New Go Wood reader Dave Powell watched it and called it "another great presentation".

Thanks, Dave...the check's in the mail.

Tip AmountOption 1 $2.00 USDOption 2 $4.00 USDOption 3 $10.00 USD

Great Designs in Wood (37) - Villa Miodula

If you're looking for a real escape, you might want to consider the Tatra Mountains, which form the border of Poland and Slovakia. I've made one trip to Poland, and found the back-country Poles warm, fun, and hospitable.

But the part of Poland I visited was far from Villa fact, most places are. Any lover of wood will marvel at this boutique hotel. It was built by Marta and Andrew Klimek because they disliked the larger commercial hotels of the region, and they wanted a place where they could "wake up and fall asleep in a cozy mountain-style interior, eat dinner by the fireplace, enjoy the sun on the terrace, and take a bath in a fragrant wood bathroom with a view of the mountains."

Well, what a vision it was, and what a dream destination it is. Located near the village of Koscielisko, 86 kilometers south of Krakow, it looks like a castle right out of a fairy tale. Built into the ground on a rock foundation, every part of this hotel oozes the warmth of wo…

Heating Decision Made Easy (Final Epilogue)

Al Steele at the US Forest Service made me aware of a development related to my previous heating project posts that seems to be important enough to pass along, with my usual unsolicited comments on the story. 

From ClimateWire comes this interesting story:
Lawsuit could force costly delay in new gas furnace standardsThe wait for more fuel-efficient gas furnaces just got longer. The Department of Energy has moved to withdraw a new rule that would require consumers in 30 northern states to buy 90-percent-efficient furnaces starting May 1. The rule would have saved 81 million to 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide between 2013 and 2045, according to DOE estimates, as consumers upgraded their furnaces from 80 percent efficiency to 90 percent efficiency systems.In a joint settlement of a case brought against it by the American Public Gas Association, DOE last week asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to vacate the new rule. The settlement needs to be …