Hemlock

For individuals looking for a wood that’s strong, weather and wear-resistant and reliable, the Hemlock wood species is the ideal solution for their search. Hemlock is one of the main players in the construction industry, and you will find many projects made with the wood including frame and door panels, floors, paneling and moldings. Because of its durability, it is also a stealth component for ladders and stairs projects. Adding to the popularity of the Hemlock is the wood’s ease of finishing and machining. This has also made the wood a popular and attractive alternative for other homeworking wood projects like hardwood furniture designs and hardwood cabinetry. It is also a preferred wood for other places in the home like dry heat saunas because it lacks pitch and resin, two things that you’ll likely find in other wood species that would not be conducive to saunas.

Before its popularity and high demand came onto the forefront, in the last century the wood was substantially less expensive than was the bark of the tree. It was the leather tanning industries also along with fur processors and manufacturers that required and demanded the Hemlock wood. Its production of high tannic acid content is what was needed by both of these manufacturing industries. Products like hides and skins that were infused with this tannic acid solution is what made the items strong and soft. This demand on the Hemlock product made it scarce, and as a result, Hemlock normally found in Canada and the eastern United States were slowly stripped of this precious bark. As a result, the trees were left to die, that is, until the 1940s-housing boom. This is when the wood-framed house became popular and Hemlock was the wood that was used as lumber in manufacturing the houses. Areas on the West Coast provided this Hemlock, and as a result, the Hemlock once again began thriving and growing in response to the demand. Hemlock today comes from Washington and Oregon. British Columbia is also a large suppler and over 60% of the Hemlock species comes from the coastal forest that is provided there.

Hemlock is easy to work with by hand, or with power tools. The wood is efficient at griping screws as it’s manufactured, and is accepting of glue materials of all kinds. It’s also workable with various types of paints, stains and clear finishes. Today, Hemlock is used predominantly in hardwood projects, and is a lower cost alternative than traditional hardwood. It’s stronger, easier to work with and easy to obtain. Its durability is also satisfactory, and this strong species gets even stronger and more durable as it ages, as opposed to other wood species that sometimes denigrate as it ages.