Locations Atlanta, GA North Georgia Birmingham, AL Clarksville, TN
Like us on Facebook

Blog Archives

American Cherry: A Stunning Wood for Centuries

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Confessions of a Wood Hoarder

Hard Maple Wood Highlight

Cypress Wood Highlight: Exterior and Interior Uses for Cypress

What Does Chain of Custody Mean?

Cypress Mills Say Rain Rain Go Away

Unique Uses of Ash

Woodtoberfest 2013

Rustic Alder Wood Highlight

Hardwood Finishing: Determining the Right Finish for Your Project

Vertical Grain Fir : Wood Highlight

Earth-Friendly Finishes

Basics of Hardwood Finishing: Part One

Meet Our Bloggers

Hardwoods Incorporated Blog

What's New for 2015: EcoWood™
A Green Alternative for Exterior Wood Uses

thermal treated ash ecowood_AHCEcoWood™ is a natural, chemical-free material which is treated under extremely high temperatures (400oF+). Sugars are cooked away leaving a safe, green alternative to chemically preserved wood. The deep rich colored wood is excellent for exterior applications where weather related decay and stability are essential.

thermal treated wood_kiln ecowoodAHCAvailable as domestically harvested poplar or ash, this product provides a Class 1 exterior durability rating. You can expect years of service with minimal maintenance from this sustainable alternative to tropical imports such as teak and ipe.

Why Use EcoWood™?thermal treated poplar_ecowoodAHC 

 - Class 1 exterior durability rating – ideal for porch flooring, decking, siding, cornice mouldings.

 - Increased dimensional stability – moisture related shrinkage and swelling is reduced by 5 - 15 times.

 - Repels moisture at the molecular level and lowers the equilibrium moisture content by 50%-90%.

 - Enhanced visually: the finished product has an even brown color consistent to the center of the wood and the grain structure is beautifully accented.

 - 100% chemical free – it is an extraordinarily green product, using green technology.


thermal treated siding_ecowoodAHC


To find out more about EcoWood™ offerings, contact us.

View or Download Full Specifications for Ecowood™.

The Making of a Trebuchet

If you attended Woodtoberfest last month you saw our trebuchet in action. If you missed it, you see it this video.

What is a trebuchet?
A trebuchet is a type of catapult that was first used in the Middle Ages. This battle machine threw heavy payloads at enemies. The payload could be thrown a far distance and do considerable damage, either by smashing down walls or striking the enemy while inside their stronghold.

How does a trebuchet work?
A trebuchet works by using the energy of a falling counterweight to throw a projectile. A long beam is attached to an axle. At the short end of the beam is attached the counter weight. The long end of the beam is pulled down, raising the counterweight. A sling, which has a pouch containing the projectile, is attached to the long end of the beam. Upon releasing the trigger, the sling and the beam swing upward, pivoting on the axle toward the vertical position, where one end of the sling releases, opening the pouch and allowing the projectile to fly towards the target. The stored energy of the counterweight is transferred efficiently to the projectile.

Why did we build a trebuchet?
Because it was a great challenge, good fun and because we could!

What wood did you use?
8/4 EcoWoodTM Ash Lumber
EcoWood© is natural, chemical-free material which is treated under extremely high temperatures (400OF+). Sugars are cooked away , leaving a safe and green alternative to chemically preserved wood.  The deep rich colored wood is excellent for exterior applications where weather related decay and stability are essential. Learn more about the technical specifications of EcoWoodTM.

Who made this?
Hardwood Incorporation wood enthusiasts and employees crafted this trebuchet in preparation for Woodtoberfest 2014. Special thanks to Jason Howard, Robert Downs, Jordan Mallard and Jason Mitchell for their time and talent.


Plan on Attending Woodtoberfest 2014

Next weekend we will host our annual Woodtoberfest, an event celebrating all things wood. We hope you’ll make plans to join us. With a variety of demonstrations throughout the day, there was something for everyone.

This is a great opportunity to wander around and take in all of the beautiful woods in stock (and there are plenty!). There will also be a variety of demonstrations from talented woodworkers that are from the Atlanta area.

NICK COOK – Wood Turning
Nationally known woodturner, he lives in Marietta, where he owns and operates his studio. He grew up around his father's woodworking equipment and became interested in the art of woodturning in the mid-70s after several years in furniture design and manufacture. In addition to creating one-of-a-kind pieces and gift items, Nick teaches and lectures on various woodturning topics, has written articles for several woodworking magazines, and produced two woodturning videos.

JIM DILLION – Hand-cut Dovetails
Jim Dillon has been teaching at Highland Woodworking since 2000. His day job is as Cabinetmaker at Fernbank Science Center, building exhibits. He was self-employed as a custom furniture maker for 8 years, and before that, taught college English. He finds that coaching other woodworkers to develop their problem-solving and hand skills is an inspiration for his own work.

JASON HOWARD – Building a Farm Table
One of our very own and a woodworking guru and the co-founder of The Woodworking Channel, Jason will be constructing a farm table throughout the day. Stop by to observe, critique or heckle. He’ll take them all.

JEFF COVEY – Festool
Jeff will be on-hand to answer all of your questions about Festool products. He’ll also be demonstrating various tools throughout the day. See Festool tools in action.

We’d also invite you to participate or stop by the Tool Swap. There’s nothing like trading tools you never use for some new gizmo from someone else. There are always great conversations happening on the merits of various tools, from planes to drill presses.

NEW TURNING BLANKS were added today just for this weekend’s festivities!
Check them out.


  NEW STOCK IN WOOD TURNINGS - All set for Saturday!


The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors

What is the best way to clean my hardwood floors you ask? The answer may sound perplexing… There is NO one best way to clean your hardwood floors. What’s best for your floor depends on how old your floors are and what type of finish is on your hardwood floors. If you don’t know what type of finish is on your floor, do your best to find out.    

To tell the difference in a pinch, just rub your finger across the floor. Be sure to do this on a clean floor. If no smudge appears, the floor is surface sealed. If you do create a smudge, the floor has been treated with a penetrating seal, oil finish, shellac, varnish or lacquer, and then waxed. Consider when your floors were installed as well. If you have a newer wood floor, it is likely surface sealed. For more on determining your hardwood floor finish, refer to this blog on common floor finishes.

Use floor mats near your entry doors. You can reduce hardwood floor cleaning time and wear by adding mats at your entrances. Position mats both outside and inside exterior doors to lessen tracked-in dirt. Tiny particles, like dirt, can act like sandpaper and scratch your wood. By placing a floor mat at each entryway and encouraging family members and guests to wipe their feet, the majority of dirt and grime will remain on the mat.

In snowy or rainy weather, include a boot or shoe removal area to avoid damage from water and de-icers. Prevent marks by using floor protectors under furniture and by using rugs in play areas to ensure children's toys don't scratch the floor.

It might seem a little old-fashioned but the best way to clean your hardwood floor from day-to-day wear is sweeping with a high quality broom or using a microfiber cloth. If sweeping isn’t enough or those edges and corners need some attention, pull out the vacuum. Be sure to vacuum without the beater bar rotating which can scratch your hardwood floor finish.

When possible, use cleaning products recommended by the flooring manufacturer. In some cases failure to follow the recommendations can result in voiding your warranties. If the floors were finished on-site, talk with the installer for product recommendations. If neither is known, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner which can be purchased at a retail flooring store. Always test the cleaner first in some obscure corner, such as closet or pantry to make sure you are using the right product.

Never use anything with wax or petroleum-based products in it, unless you know for sure that your floor is a wax finish (this is no longer very common). Wax and oil will actually hold onto the dirt, and then when you step on it, it will scratch the surface. Also, if you use a wax or oil, it can eliminate the ability to buff and coat your floor--a full refinish could be required, because the finish won't adhere and will peel off.

Some hardwood flooring manufacturers now offer their own brand of hardwood floor cleaner. Flooring brands like Armstrong, BellaWood, Shaw and Bruce offer their own hardwood floor cleaners. Other hardwood flooring manufacturers and installers often recommend the following products: Bona, Method, Libman, Blanchon, EcoMist, Dr. Bronner Sals Suds or Wood Wash. Dust and dirt on your mop head acts like sandpaper and should be avoided. Be sure to use a mop with a removable mop head or microfiber mop for easy cleaning.

Wipe up any spills immediately, using a soft, dry or slightly damp cloth. Start at the edges of the spill and work toward the center. Allowing spills to remain on hardwood floors could damage the finish, as well as the wood. Be sure that the floor is dry after clean up.

When your hardwood floors need a more thorough cleaning, don’t grab a bucket of water and wet mop it! Use a damp mop on the floor and be sure to use a well-wrung mop. Do not over-wet the floor – this can change the moisture levels and, over time, cause a floor to expand, resulting in cupping.

Remember, every wood floor is an investment, and you want do everything possible to ensure your investment lasts for decades. Luckily, to keep wood flooring looking its beautiful best for longer, you simply need to give it a little regular care and maintenance.

Special thanks to the Hardwood Distributors Association and the American Hardwood Information Center for providing information used in this blog.


Finishing and Painting Cypress

Cypress readily accepts paints and stains. However, many homeowners and design professionals select cypress for the appeal of its honey-like hues, which can be maintained with a clear sealer or permitted to weather to a dark gray. Regardless of the finish applied, cypress delivers lasting performance and timeless beauty.

outdoor shower cypresscypress siding

To select the best finish, consult a local building products retailer or paint supplier and strictly follow the directions and recommendations provided by the product manufacturer.

Cypress decking or siding should be finished promptly at the time of installation to protect against moisture absorption, discoloration from rain, and mildew. However, under no circumstances should decking or siding be finished when the wood is wet. Before finishing (or refinishing), repair all nail holes and surface irregularities. All surfaces should be clean and any caulking should be in good condition.

A high-quality water-repellent sealer should be applied to all sides and ends as soon as practically possible (do not apply if the wood is wet). For siding applications, allow the water-repellent sealer to be absorbed and dry to the touch so the solvent will not react with foam sheathing. Clear coating must be reapplied at frequent intervals to maintain protection.

As with any wood, sealer should be reapplied to cypress decking and siding every one to two years. For best results, an exterior wood cleaner should be used to remove dirt and mildew before any sealer is reapplied.

The best sealing products are those that actually penetrate the wood. Most also contain a moisture inhibitor such as paraffin wax and a binder. Some also contain a pigment to add color.

When purchasing a sealer, be sure to distinguish between “paintable” sealers, which contain lower concentrations of water-repellent (to facilitate the application of paint) and stand-alone sealers, which contain a high percentage of water-repellent. Consider using a water-repellent preservative, which usually contains a mildewcide along with a moisture inhibitor.

If you want to stain your deck, penetrating transparent or semi-transparent oil-based products formulated especially for decks usually work best. You can use more than one coat as long as subsequent coats are applied while the previous coat is still wet (usually within 30 to 45 minutes). If the stain has already dried, subsequent coats create a film that will eventually produce unsightly cracks in the finish.

Do not use a stain formulated for siding or other such surfaces. Paint or heavily pigmented stains (solid color stains) also are not recommended for cypress decks.

Siding: Cypress takes stains very well, however, semi-transparent stains do not last as long as paint systems. Most semi-transparent stains provide adequate protection for 18 to 24 months, depending on weather conditions. Consequently, they require reapplication at regular intervals to protect the wood siding from warping, checking, shrinking, and loosening of nails.

Selecting Primer and Paint: Use a high-quality primer compatible with the paint being used—most paints will require an oil-based alkyd primer. High-quality, 100-percent resin acrylic/latex paints are recommended. Certain paints contain water-sensitive polymers and/or surfactants that might absorb moisture, causing the siding to swell or creating an environment suitable for biological degradation. These additives are present in a variety of paints, at different price levels, and their presence is not necessarily reflected on the label. The only safe approach is to use paint specifically recommended by a paint manufacturer for use on exterior wood siding. Light-colored finishes reflect heat more than dark colors and reduce the possibility of shrinking, checking, warping, and loosening of nails.

Applying Paint: Always follow the primer and paint manufacturer’s recommendations. Priming all sides and edges of wood siding provides superior performance over all types of sheathing. After the prime coat has dried, apply two coats of high-quality paint to all exposed surfaces and edges. Brush application is recommended because it provides more uniform coverage. Time of day, temperature, dew, fog and rain influence the quality of the paint job (consult the manufacturer’s recommendations).

Special thanks to the Southern Cypress Association for this information.