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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.

Just 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