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NC Wood-website for Supporting and Promotiong North Carolina's Wood Products Industry

The mission of Wood Products Extension within the Department of Forest Biomaterials is to increase the competitiveness and profitability of North Carolina's wood products industry, improve markets, and increase consumer understanding of wood products and their proper use.

Upcoming Workshops for 2018-pay attention! Lots of Educational and Networking Opportunities!

We are working with the Wood Education and Resource Center to host four workshops that support the hardwood forest products industry in the thrity-five states east of the Great Plains that are served by the WERC. Additionally we at NCSU Wood Products are hosting several educational events.

Workshop Schedule:

1-Automation for Cabinets, Furniture and Millwork Workshop-location is the Iredell County Agricultural Center in Statesville, NC.  The location is near Exit 148 on I-40 on the westside of Statesville.   The focus of this workshop is to discuss automation options for manufacturers to grow labor productivity and profitability.  We will have a room set aside for vendors to set up informational tables to promote their products and services.  We will have a dozen speakers covering one topic each about automation and how to implement affordable solutions.  Take this link for a pdf handout for more information.  There is no cost to attend this workshop and vendors will be providing lunch for attendees.  Take this link to register at

2-WNC BioMass Workshop-Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
, the location is the Buncombe County Agricultural Center in Asheville, NC. This event is sponsored by a an energy promotion grant by the Wood Education and Resource Center of Princeton, WV. This grant is working to assist businesses to better utilization biomass woody materials for thermal heat. The cost to attend is $30 per attendee and this is the workshop webpage

3-Thick Lumber - Live Edge Slabs Workshop-Thursday, May 24th, 2018 at the Burke County Agricultural Cente at Morganton, NC.  This workshop focuses on the proper production and marketing of thick lumber slabs that are often used for table tops, benches and shelving.  Small sawmills typically are used to create the thick lumber slabs using bar chainsaws and band mills.  This workshop focuses on sourcing logs, sawing, drying and marketing.  The cost to attend is $30 per attendee and includes lunch.  A tour of a thick lumber slab retail showroom and a production thick lumber slab sawmill operation are part of the workshop. We are working on a registration brochure and will update soon.  Take this link to register for the Thick Lumber Slab Workshop.

4-Dry Kiln Short Course, June 5th to 8th, 2018, campus at North Carolina State University.  An educational training event for training the basics of how to kiln dry hardwood lumber.  The class will dry in a conventional steam dry kiln a charge of hardwood lumber.  This is the website for more information

5-Profitable Small Firewood and Sawmill Businesses Workshop-Thursday, June 7th, 2018-location is the Wood Education and Resource Center at Princeton, WV.  This workshop is a one day event that discusses the business side of operating a small firewood or sawmill business.  The discussions cover equipment, drying, business management and marketing.  This workshop includes demos of firewood splitting on a firewood processor and sawing lumber on a portable sawmill.  The cost is $30 per attendee and includes lunch. We are working on a workshop brochure and will upload in the near future.  Take this link to register for the Profitable Small Firewood and Sawmill Business Workshop.

6-National Firewood Workshop-Michigan-Wednesday June 20th and Thursday, June 21st, 2018-Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.  This is the national eduational and networking event for the split firewood industry.  This is the nationally focused workshop that has been held in WV, NY, MD and NC.  Michigan State University and the State of Michigan are this year's sponsors.  We have not yet set up the online registration website yet but take this link for a pdf brochure.

7-NHLA Hardwood Lumber Grading Workshop, Tuesday, June 19th to Thursday, June 21st, 2018, NCSU campus, Raleigh, NC.  This is a three day short course that covers the basics of hardwood lumber grading.  This is the workshop webpage

Completed-Winter Upholstery Furniture Frame Training Session

Winter Upholster Frame Training Day-Thursday, February 22nd, 2018-location is the Appalachian State University Center in Hickory, NC off Tate Blvd on the east side of downtown Hickory. TriMech of Charlotte hosted the training sesson on 3-D modeling of frames + Quis Machinery hosting the session on cutting edge innovations on CNC machining of frames (lumber, plywood, OSB), and Daniel Hayes of Craftmaster Furniture teaching how to take stopwatch time studies to set labor rates for frame and upholstery manufacturing. Take this link for the informational handout. Lunch is provided by TriMech and Quis Machinery. There was no cost to attend. We will at a later date post the videos from the workshop on YouTube.

Completed-National Upholery Furniture Frame Workshop

Conover, North Carolina, Thursday, November 9th, 2017

The Wood Education and Resource Center of Princeton, WV sponsored the National Upholstery Furniture Frame Workshop that was held at the Conover Station Building in downtown Conover, NC on Thursday, November 9th, 2017.  We had 102 persons who registered for the workshop that was a one day event that discussed the cutting edge of knowledge of how to successfull make wooden frames for upholstered furniture.

This year we followed a new format where the day was divided into twelve sessions with a single speaker who focused on one topic in depth.  Our speakers included-Matt Upton of Associated covered lumber markets, Bill Blackmon of Quis Machinery covered the use of CNC chopsaws to process ripped lumber strips, Eddy Sipe of GLH Plywood covered plywood markets, Donahue Bottoms of BlueLinx covered plywood and OSB panel pricing systems, Cindy Fulbright covered the latest news from the CVCC Furniture Academy training program in Hickory, Roy Bearden of Craftmaster Furniture covered the latest news from the Alexander County CVCC Furniture Academy training program in Taylorsville, Roy also covered the difference between rail and bench layouts for upholstery production, Daniel Hayes of Craftmaster Furniture covered the topic of how engineered labor rates are made for upholstery furniture, Ryan Zeck of TriMech covered the topic of 3-D Modeling software, Scott Feimster covered the topic of CNC router tooling, Ross Gobble of Diversified Equipment & Supply covered the topic of collet selection and maintenance, Tom Flowers of Anderson America covered the topic of spindle options for CNC routers, Jim Petrin of KOMO covered the topic of machinery controlers, TR Herzog covered the topic of the use of roller holddowns for panel routers, Lewis Mabon of Leggett & Platt covered the topic using spring assemblies for eight way tie downs, and Thomas Tuck covered the topic of CNC material handling systems for CNC panel routers.

Four of the speakers used PowerPoint presentations that are listed below for download in pdf form:

1-Tooling-Selecting Router Bits-Scott Feimster, LMT Onsrud

2-Collet Selection and Maintenance-Ross Gobble, Diversified Equipment & Supply

3-Options for CNC Router Controllers-Jim Petrin, KOMO

4-Steel Frame Suspension Assemblies-Lewis Mabon, Leggett & Platt

5-Time studies and rates, Daniel Hayes, Craftmaster

Completed- National Firewood Workshop-Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Statesville, North Carolina-Location-Iredell County Cooperative Extension Office

The Wood Education and Resource Center of Princeton, West Virginia hosted together with the NCSU Wood Products Extension the National Firewood Workshop at the Cooperative Extension Office in Statesville, North Carolina on April 27th, 2017.  This one day event was the gathering of split firewood professionals that discuss all the aspects involved in operating a profitable firewood manufacturing business.

Take this link for our webpage for the 2017 National Firewood Workshop.

Take this link for the one year follow up survey from the 2016 NFW in Keedysville, MD.

Completed-Spring 2017-Landowner Workshops for Seeing the Value of Forest Products in Forest Stands
Four Locations for This Outdoor Workshop in North Carolina

This important workshop is for landowners that provided an opportunity to walk with industry professionals in the forest at four locations in North Carolina.  These workshops provided information on how forest stands are valued by the industry and how to see in the forest what will be come future forest products, like veneer, plywood, lumber, OSB panels, paper chips and firewood.  We at each of the four locations provided demos of a portable sawmill and firewood processor for converting logs into value added products. We did offer educational credits for foresterst.

The workshops were are at no charge and we offered lunch options for the attendees.

Locations and times:

1-Thursday, March 30th, 2017, Wayne Community College, Wayne County, Goldsboro, take this link for a pdf information sheet.

2-Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, Jordan Lake Educational NCFS Training Center, Chapel Hill, Chatham County, take this link for a pdf information sheet.

3-Thursday, April 6th, 2017, Jones Lake State Park, Elizabethtown,Bladen County, take this link for a pdf information sheet.

4-Thursday, April 13th, 2017, Haywood Community College, Clyde, Haywood County, take this link for a pdf information sheet.

Completed-2017 Winter Upholstery Frame Training Day

We held our annual Winter Upholstery Frame Training Day on Thursday, February 7th, 2017 at the North Carolina Engineering Center in downtown Hickory.  We attracted fifty attendees that participated in three two hour focused sessions on New Frame Design Methods by Lewis Mabon of Leggett and Platt, Using 3-D Design Software for Upholstery Frames by Ryan Zeck of TriMech, and Cutting Edge CNC Router Utilization by Jason Dingess of Quis Machinery.

Completed-Spring/Summer 2016 WERC Workshops

1-National Firewood Workshop-Western Maryland Research and Education Center, Keedysville, MD, Thursday, April 21st, 2016, 9 am to 4 pm.

This event is sponsored by the Wood Education and Research Center of Princeton, WV and focuses on how a business makes money in the firewood business.  We invite top firewood industry professionals to discuss these topics-firewood associations that support the firewood industry, sourcing logs in rural and urban areas, processing equipment, dry kilns for firewood, insect problems and quarantines, connecting to bundle buyers, split firewood markets, arborists in the firewood business, new ideas in firewood marketing, kindling equipment and markets, selling firewood to restaurants and stories from firewood business owners.  We will have outdoor demos of several firewood processors sawing and splitting firewood.

Registration by mail is $30 before April 11th and $40 after April 11th when paying by check made out to WMREC.  Registration by credit card is possible using Eventbrite at  Mail registration to Jonathan Kays, Western Maryland Research and Education Center, 18330 Keedysville, MD 21756, phone 301-432-2767, x323,  Make checks out to the WMR&EC.

The National Firewood Workshop provides a buffet lunch in the registration fee.  Harry Watt at NCSU Wood Products is the contact person, email at and phone at 704-880-5034.

Take this link for Highlights of the 2016 National Firewood Workshop in Keedysville, Maryland

2-Small Sawmill Workshop-Wood Education and Resource Center, Princeton, WV, Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, 9 am to 4 pm.

This event is sponsored by the Wood Education and Resource Center of Princeton, WV and focuses on how a small sawmill business makes money.  We invite top professionals to discuss these topics-latest information on small sawmill equipment-sawmills, edgers, resaws, etc., traditional dry kilns, solar dry kilns, sourcing logs, etc.  We also have demos outdoors where we will saw several logs.  Outside we also will discuss log and lumber grading. 

Online Registration at  There is a small charge at Evenbrite to register online.

Registration by mail is $30 before May 23rd and $40 after May 23rd by check made out to SEDKC.  Mail registrations to Harry Watt, 120 Beckham Road, Statesville, NC 28625. 

Download the pdf brochure for the Small Sawmill Workshop.

Take this link to review the highlights-photos and slide shows-from the 2016 Small Sawmill Workshop.

SAF Forestry Education Credits = 5.00 Total (Category 1 CF = 3.5, Category 2 = 1.50).

Take this link for highlights and slideshows from the WERC Small Sawmill Workshop 2016.

3-Southeastern Dry Kiln Club Meeting-April 21st and 22nd, Hickory, NC-this is the professional organization of dry kiln operators in the Southeast US, contact Phil Mitchell at NCSU Wood Products Extension, email at, phone at 919-515-5581.

4-Hardwood Lumber Drying Workshop-Raleigh, NC-June 14th to 16th, a short course that teaches the basics of grading hardwood lumber according to the National Hardwood Lumber Association grading rules, contact Phil Mitchell at and phone at 919-515-5581.

Projects in Progress or Just Past

1-North Carolina Forest Service/US Forest Service Wood Products Directory Project-an ongoing project

-this project is collecting basic business information about the value added wood products manufacturers in North Carolina that produce value added wood products like cabinets, furniture, millwork, pulp, firewood and treated products.  This project's information will later be placed on a USFS website that buyers and sellers of wood products can use online to assist the production and sales of North Carolina made wood products. 
Businesses can complete a short data collection form at this link.

Additional information about this project at this link.

2-Golden LEAF Foundation Sponsored Western North Carolina Promoting Wood Shops Into the Wholesale Market for Retail Furniture and Home Furnishings Market-"Make More Furniture in North Carolina"

-this project involves assisting wood shops and factories in the western fifty counties in North Carolina to produce wooden items for the wholesale furniture market.  Our goal is to focus on small shops and factories that are not now producing for the wholesale furniture market and work with them to develop new products and connect them to the retail store buyers.  Take this link for more information.

3-US Forest Service and NC Forest Service Promoting Local Public Furniture Project in North Carolina

-this is a project that is networking wood shops and factories in the western two thirds of North Carolina to the buyers in local governments and school districts in an effort to promote the local economies in rural and urban counties of North Carolina.  The goal is to develop the connections and knowledge needed for the state's wood shops and factories to compete with other materials, national and international manufacturers of the cabinets and furnishings that are purchased for public buildings.

Take this link that is supporting furniture and wood products buyers in local governments and schools as well as wood shops and factories, and vendors that are involved in the production of public furniture.

4-Wood Education and Resource Center's Four Workshops for Small Sawmills and Firewood Operations

-this project conducted two workshops in the Spring of 2015 and 2016 for the owners and operators of small sawmills and firewood operations in the thirty-five states served by the Wood Education and Resource Center of Princeton, West Virginia.  These workshops took take place in the month of May and June 2015.  The Small Sawmill Workshops was hosted at the WERC facility in Princeton, WV while the 2015 Firewood Workshop took place in the Albany, NY area.  In 2016 we will be hosting the National Firewood Workshop in Western Maryland near Hagerstown, MD and the Profitable Sawmill Workshop at the WERC in Princeton, WV. 

Take this link for reviewing highlights about the June 11th, 2015 Profitable Small Sawmill Workshop in Princeton, West Virginia

Completed-3-D Training for the Upholstery Furniture Industry-Thursday, February 26th, 2016

We hosted a one day training session for upholstery frame designers, manufacturers and vendors at the Appalachain State Engineering Center in Hickory, NC.  This event was sponsored by TriMech that is the reseller of SolidWorks solid modeling software.  Ryan Zeck of TriMech located in Charlotte lead the classroom discussions where he offered new users an introduction to 3-D solid modeling for furniture frames.  He also lead the discussion on advanced drawing techniques for SolidWorks users.  The attendees also were treated to a hands on session using SolidWorks in the computer lab.  Clay Bolick and Eric Hill of Plataine covered the topic of how to use their nesting software to gain material yield improvement by nesting curved parts cut out of plywood and OSB panels.

Randy Burns of the Appalachian State University Engineering Center discussed on how one downloads design information to a CNC router to cut upholstery frame parts.  He also discussed how to manage tool paths and vacuum systems for reducing cycle times on cutting upholstery furniture frames.  Randy provided the site of the workshop and operated a CNC router machining a plywood panel into a upholstery furniture frame.

Attendees were treated to a great buffet lunch provided by TriMech. The training day was free for attendees and forty industry professionals enjoyed a day of education and networking. Kristina Hering of TriMech managed the workshop and provided the buffet lunch.  Trey, inside sales, and Shelly Crump of the Charlotte office, and Chris of the Charleston, SC office, also assisted.

Ryan Zeck of TriMech Discussing How to Use
3-D Solid Modeling Software to
Design Upholstery Furniture Frames
Ryan Zeck of TriMech Overseeing a Hands On Session
on workstations using SolidWorks Solid Modeling Software to Design Upholstery Furniture Frames
Ryan Zeck Assisting Attendees on How to Draw Upholstery Furniture Frames Using 3-D Solid Modeling Software

Completed-National Firewood Workshop-Thursday, May 7th, 2015

We enjoyed a successful National Firewood Workshop in the town of Voorheesville, NY near Albany at the Albany County Cooperative Extension Facility.  We attracted approximately 120 attendees that include current and prospective firewood business owners and managers, equipment vendors, broker buyers, The workshop was both an educational and networking event that focused on how a business makes money in the firewood industry.  Our speakers included Eric Carson of the Empire State Forest Products Association, Walter A. of Sawmill Magazine, Paul Chaloux of the USDA APHIS, Geoff Friedman of Lost Coast Forest Products, Patrick Davis of CRD Metalworks, Marcus Steigerwaldt of MultiTek, Bill Smith of SUNY, and Niels Jorgesen of Kiln-Direct.  We enjoyed a great buffet lunch with ribs and fried chicken.

Outdoor demos were provided by Howard Boyden of OESCO, Tamara Zalar of Tajfun USA, Brandon O'Hara of Wood Beaver, and Ben Deschaine of Dyna.

Sponsors for the 2015 National Firewood Workshop included the Wood Education and Resource Center of Princeton, WV, the Wood Products Extension Department at North Carolina State University and Sawmill Magazine.

Great Buffet Lunch
Firewood Processor Demos Outdoors
Classroom Discussions on Firewood Businesses Issues on Making $ in the Firewood Industry

Completed-Upholstery Frame Workshop-Conover, NC-November 12th, 2015

The 2015 edition of the Upholstery Frame Workshop was held in Conover, NC at the Conover Station building in downtown Conover.  We spent the day discussing the cutting edge of how to design and manufacture upholstery frames of lumber, plywood and OSB.  The discussions were led by industry professionals that updated the attendees on material markets, equipment, tooling, design software, concepts in frame design and what to expect in the coming year.

Take this link for the PDF 2015 Upholstery Frame Workshop Brochure.


A Large Crowd is the Usual at This Workshop
Lunch Provided by Vendors
Jason Dingas Discussing CNC Routers

Our lunch was provided by these vendors-Quis Machinery, Thermwood, Accu-Router, Boise Cascade and SigmaNest.

Our industry professionals included-TR Herzog of Accu-Router, Keith Blackburn of Adams Wood Turning, Donahue Bottoms, Jr. of Blue Linx, AJ Webb of Boise Cascade, Matt Jenkins of CR Onsrud, Todd Norris of FrameCo, Eddy Sipe of GLH Plywood, Barry Simmons of HS Solutions, Allen Sigmon of Leggett, Chris Deal of MultiCam, Scott Taylor of SigmaNest, and Don Jones of Thermwood.

Stay tuned for our 2016 Upholstery Frame Workshop to be scheduled for November 2016 in Conover, NC.

Completed-Upholstery Frame Workshop-Conover, NC-November 13th, 2014

We held the Upholstery Furniture Workshop at the Conover Station Building in downtown Conover on Thursday, November 13th, 2014.  We had in attendance uphostery industry participants from North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Oregon and Canada.  A total of eighty attendees spent the day discussing these topics:  status of the lumber industry, status of the plywood industry, equipment for processing lumber, CNC panel equipment for making frames, CNC five-axis equipment for making frame parts, using OSB for frames, basics of 3-D modeling software, advanced 3-D modeling software and intregrating the design of frames, cushions, foam and fabric into one 3-D model. 

Take this link for additional information about the 2014 Upholstery Frame Workshop.  Assisting in this workshop was Catawba Valley Community College and CVCC's Manufacturing Solutions Center.  Take this link for additional information about the 2014 Upholstery Frame Workshop.

Eddy Sipe of GLH Discussing the Status of the Plywood Markets for Frames
Evertte Edwards with Louisiana-Pacific talking about using OSB in frames
Eddy Sipe speaking on the topic of the status of the plywood market for frames.  Jack Skinner of Associated Hardwoods also spoke on this topic.
Everette Edwards discussing the use of OSB for making furniture frames.
Andrew Rudistill discussing the intregration into one design operation the tasks of designing the frame, foam, cushions and fabric.

Completed-Profitable Firewood Processing Workshop-April 17th, 2014-check out the highlights!

We held the Profitable Firewood Processing Workshop at the US Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 with forty-five in attendance from eleven states.  For highlights of this important workshop for the firewood industry, take this link for highlights.

Steve Milauskas Greeting the Attendees of the Profitable Firewood Workshop
Brian Madden of Madden Brothers discussing the marketing of firewood
Bill Mollard of Dyna giving a demo on a firewood processor
Steve Milauskas of WERC greeting attendees
Brian Madden discussing how his company is now averaging $700 a cord on split firewood
Bill Mollard giving demos on a Dyna firewood processor

Co-sponsors of this workshop include the Wood Education and Resource Center, North Carolina State University Wood Products Extension, Independent Woodlot and Small Sawmill Magazine and WoodShop News.

Support for the Wood Products Industry-Update December 2014

We have started three new grant projects in the last six months that will support the wood products industry in North Carolina as Well as the 35 states east of the Great Plains.

1-Wood Education and Resource Center-New Four Workshops Grant-two firewood and two small sawmill workshops in 2015 and 2016.  The National Firewood Workshop will take place in May 2015 in Upstate New York near Albany in a location yet to confirm while the May 2015 Small Sawmill Workshop will take place at the WERC in Princeton, WV in May 2015.  In 2016 the National Firewood Workshop will take place in Western Maryland and the Small Sawmill Workshop will again return to the WERC in May 2016.

2-US Forest Service Region 8/North Carolina Forest Service North Carolina Directory of Secondary Wood Products Manufacturers grant. In this grant we will contact approximatel 1,800 of the state's secondary wood products businesses to populate an online search website for finding wood products manufacturers. The USFS plans to have the searchable website of North Carolina wood businesses launched sometime during this summer.

3-GoldenLEAF Foundation-a project for Western North Carolina to connect smaller wood shops to develop products for the wholesale furniture and home furnishing retail stores. The goal is to grow sales and profitability of small shops by connecting small shops to long term regional markets. This project was started in January 2014 and below are the links for two support websites for wood shops wanting to sell wood products to retail store and the website for retail store buyers to find wood shops that sell wood products. On the site for the wood shops is an additional search option to find North Carolina vendors that supply lumber, plywood and additional materials needed to produce wood products. These websites are in the beginning states of being populated, so check back regularly to see our progress.


WPE Priorities:
* Assist NC wood products businesses to grow sales and profitability
* Assist NC wood products businesses to develop new products and and new markets
Assist NC wood products businesses to improve competitiveness
* Assist employees of NC wood products businesses in wood knowledge and wood business skills



Business Listing of North Carolina Veneer and Plywood Businesses

NCSU Links North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension LogoCollege of Natural Resources LogoLink for NCSU Wood Products and Wood Science Alumni

Link for New GoldenLEAF Foundation Grant for Small Woodworking Shops

GoldenLEAF Logo Image

New Wood Education and Resource Center/NCSU WPE Workshops 2016

1-Firewood Workshop-Thursday, April 21st, near Hagerstown, MD, link to register-

3-Profitable Small Sawmill Workshop, Thursday, June 2nd, WERC, Princeton, WV, link for workshop brochure with registration form



Contact: Harry W. Watt, Wood Products Specialist, cell 704-880-5034, email

Wood Products Extension Department supports the wide variety of wood products businesses in North Carolina and assisting the Cooperative Extension network of county offices that serve the people of North Carolina.


Primary Wood Products

Sawmills, Pallets, Plywood and Veneer, Lumber Drying and Distribution

Log Pile Photo

Secondary Wood Products

Cabinets, Casegoods Furniture, Upholstery Furniture, Institutional Furniture, Flooring, Millwork, Woodcrafts
Case furniture chest


Lumber, Plywood, Glues, Finishes, Hardware, Packaging, Equipment

Five Axis CNC Router


NC Cooperative Extension Offices and Homeowners

Locate Your Local NC Cooperative Extension County Office


Seminar audience

Best Business Practices Program for the Primary Wood Products Industry