Households welcome use of kiln-dried wood

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

THE unabated price hike of goods has made many Filipino housewives more mindful of the way they spend money.

For mothers Jeannette Austria and Wency Carmelo, for instance, saving has always been a big concern, as they want to ensure that each hard-earned peso is well-spent. To save on house repairs, both had used kiln-dried wood in their homes as housing components and furniture.

“We made use of kiln-dried wood when we had our ancestral house restored in 2004,” shared Austria. “Our door and window jambs, flooring, bed frames, and stair tread and handrails are all made of kiln-dried wood.”


Kiln-dried wood is achieved thru the artificial drying of wood using a kiln-dryer, which is like a very large oven. The Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) offers a cheap yet effective kiln-dryer that reduces the moisture content of lumber to the desired level.

“Wood has a tendency to shrink or swell if not dried completely,” said Engr. Ruben A. Zamora of FPRDI’s Solid Products Development Section. According to Zamora, distortion or warping may cause problems especially when wood is used as a structural component such as beams and trusses, or in furniture pieces where each part should perfectly fit.

(Contributed photo)

Austria’s children enjoy staying in their house built partly using kiln-dried wood.

“Wood’s moisture content increases as humidity increases, causing the wood to expand. This explains why you have a harder time closing a wooden door during rainy months. The door and door jamb may not perfectly fit if you did not use kiln-dried wood,” explained Zamora.

“Kiln-drying lessens our worries that our wood furniture or house parts would shrink or get distorted. The money we save on house repairs and buying new fixtures is then used for other things such as food, payment of bills and other necessities,” said Austria.

Carmelo, meanwhile, used kiln-dried wood in her newly built house in Los Banos, Laguna. A Science Research Specialist at FPRDI’s Technology Innovation Division, Carmelo advocates the use of kiln-dried wood as it is cost-effective.

(Contributed photo)

Carmelo’s kitchen cabinets and door are made of kiln-dried wood.

“Kiln-dried wood may be more costly, but it is more economical than ‘green wood’ or air-dried wood in the long run. Kiln-drying, coupled with the proper wood preservation treatment and the right choice of wood species, makes your wood less susceptible to attacks of termites and powder-post beetles. It can prolong the wood’s service life to at least 10 years more,” ended Zamora.

Easy to install and operate, FPRDI’s furnace-type lumber dryer is economical as it uses agro-forest wastes as fuel. It dries lumber to moisture content acceptable to both local and foreign markets, and also comes in 10 capacities: 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 30000, 40000 and 50000 board feet. From 1986-2012, 185 FTLDs have been installed all over the country. (PR)


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