Timber and Paint
99% of what we use in manufacture is Sapele or Red Grandis hardwood. Sapele (a member of the mahogany species) is normally sourced from Indonesian or South African commercially grown forests and has chain of custody trace-ability. We do not use endangered timber species or obtain timber from non commercial sites. Red Grandis is a member of the Eucalyptus species and is sourced from Northern Uruguay. We use these timbers because we want a very stable timber with no cracks, shakes or knots especially suited for manufacturing windows and doors. This stability is important as we do not want any warping, splitting or twisting to occur. Additionally, a tight grain and fine surface possible allows a superior paint or stain finish. Other timbers such as Meranti does not have these ideal qualities and Meranti won’t produce such a finely sanded surface. Oak can be used but not only is it rather expensive but can give structural problems as it can twist and move post manufacture. It can also go black or discolour due to air pollutants and oxidisation. With double glazed units installed, this oak timber choice can be seen to move and is certainly not as ideal as Sapele/Red Grandis to ensure the integrity of a window or door designed to keep the elements at bay.
However, for customers wanting oak we can use laminated oak – still solid oak – but designed to prevent the twisting and movement. The Red Grandis timber, being quite a light colour can be oiled or painted or stained to give an oak like appearance but without the high cost or movement seen in real oak. Red Grandis then a useful alternative. This is normally treated with Osmo oil or similar. ldigbo was used in days past and was often referred to as “poor man’s oak”. Generally, Red Grandis can probably steal that title now. Whatever you choose we are committed to using sustainable and ethically obtained timber supplies. Although a hardwood, a good thing about Red Grandis is that it is FSC certificated. Many hardwood and exotic timbers don’t have this and the fall back position is to have chain of custody trace-ability.
Manufacturing is based on unique tried and tested mitred and dovetailed corner joint method. This eliminates the most vulnerable and exposed end grain normally associated with traditional joinery, allowing continuity of moulds and shapes around the frames. We’ve adopted a well developed and tested European preservative and finishing coating
system. This special high build, water based, micro porous stain or paint acrylic product allows the timber to breathe and, when sprayed on, is equivalent to several normal brushed-on coats. The coating expands and contracts with the timber to minimise the risk of premature failure. The product is from SAYERLACK – an Italian multinational company.
In fact this finishing process is completed on each timber section unit prior to any final assembly ensuring complete coverage. This level of protection would be impossible to achieve on an assembled product. Even the bits you don’t see
are protected. We can normally match most colours and stains although we have a standard and proven range which you will see in the many pictures on our web site.
Why Use Timber Anyway?
Timber is unquestionably more environmentally friendly than aluminium or uPVC. Forests are being protected and managed by replanting more trees than are cut down. Most people don’t realise there’s now more than twice as much wood in forests than there was 100 years ago. Healthy forests also help to counter the “greenhouse effect” or combat global warming since the growing trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen.
Managed felling and replanting schemes increase this effect since young growing trees absorb and emit gases proportionally more than older, mature trees. It’s been estimated that a healthy growing tree consumes more than 9 kilos of CO2 and gives off about 7 kilos of oxygen each year. Unlike steel, cement, bricks or plastics, wood requires less energy to convert into useable form. There ¡s a minimal waste in the production process and residual material from timber components can be used in the manufacture of other products such as particle board, as a fuel source or in agriculture. In fact we often have local potters collect bags of our Sapele sawdust to use in kilns as part of the firing process for certain pottery finishes. In contrast to using a natural product such as wood, a uPVC window frame needs more than seven times the energy input in manufacture than a wooden window frame of similar size and design.
More on Red Grandis
Red Grandis is a wood that vanes in colour from pink to white cream to light rose but its claim to fame likely belongs to the fact that it is certifiably green. It is the trademarked name for hardwood from a plantation-grown Eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus grandis) that boasts FSC certification. The wood is described as straight-grained, medium textured and available in excellent widths and lengths in lumber, veneer and plywood. Red Grandis is touted as an alternative for a variety of hardwoods, including Sapele. Red Grandis’ durability can be similar to dark Red Meranti or Sapele with a dimensional stability that is similar to Cherry or Hard Maple.
Red Grandis was the award winner of the Sequoia New Product Award at the 2011 AWFS convention in Las Vegas, for product innovation and leadership in the woodworking industry in the category of Green/Environmental Leadership in raw materials.
Common uses include cabinetry, furniture, doors and windows, millwork, interior flooring, moldings, decking.