It is important that your wood is from well-managed forests and not from some clear or over felling area where reforestation and appropriate care for the re-growth is not appreciated.
My choice is local wood, because you automatically exclude these risks without having to find out from badly informed suppliers.
1. The origin of the wood
To transport wood from one continent to the other is affecting our environment and costs energy. You, as a customer want to be sure your wood is not from a radioactive contaminated area (e.g. Chernobyl, Fukushima)!
Then you can be sure that your floor can return to nature and stay in the natural cycle. No matter if you want to buy a bedside table or build a whole family house in wood, to attain the wood quality we are talking about in this book, it is helpful to think about the following questions, before you choose your supplier.
Maybe you would like to see that forest and absorb the environment where your floor came from.
It is best you can treat your floors with natural resins and/or beeswax instead of sealing it with synthetic applications.
Can it be burned without being harmful to humans and the environment?
In Europe nowadays, there are wood suppliers who can even give you a photograph of the forest where the wood for your floor has grown.
Has it been imported from overseas, the tropics, Russia or the far north? Do you know the components and surface treatment of the laminates? Is your floor releasing toxic fumes? Is this material safety compostable and biodegradable?
Convenience is often seen as a positive quality and most likely you will be able to take your new laminated flooring material home straight away.
However, do you know where this wood came from?
Questions you should ask when buying wood
Imagine you want to replace an old carpet with a wooden floor. You would visit a building supply or parquetry distributor where you can choose between different colours, quality and price.
But when it was shrinking, it suddenly became clear
There was a gap now.
This is when our wise Lord spoke:
My dear wood, this is how you will be recognized.
Gaps too are part of your nature,
Understand this man, don't try to outsmart me.
(Made available by Andreas Scheiblmasser, Baden)
This poem of an unknown writer is quite fitting here:
God created wood, some hard and some soft.
However, one thing is always the same
It will never rest or be inactive.
It will move and work constantly.
Then he bestowed the wood with cells.
So it could shrink and also expand.
We can work with wood in a natural way and choose the most suitable tree, harvest it at the right time and allow it to dry naturally to produce a quiet, solid quality wood which doesn't need to be treated!
(while a board with standing growth rings only shrinks about 5% and hardly warps.)
The shrinkage and movement of wood is due to changes in moisture content and are normal. The approach we take towards this natural phenomenon makes all the difference.
The tension is rising until its core is cracked by sheer force.
Squared wood free of its heartwood doesn't have these kind of tensions and rarely cracks.
(A board with lying growth rings shrinks approximately twice as much (8-10%) and therefore warps more)
The older part in the center of the log shrinks less than the younger wood the periphery. With a round log or a stronger piece of squared wood, the outside and younger growth rings hold the inner, older growth rings like staves which keep a barrel together.
... and comes to a point where its moisture content hardly varies anymore. This drying process is the reason for a loss of volume, called shrinkage and causes the wood to move in different ways.
Let's have a closer look at shrinkage:
Freshly cut log / The same log some months or years later.
Expansion and shrinkage of Wood
Round wood and freshly sawn boards have higher moisture contents than wooden furniture and wood that has been built with. Wood dries until it has adapted to the surrounding climate...
For aluminum it is 6 miles while for wood it is (depending on type and structure) 6-18 miles. The results for wood are excellent when considering the context between volume, its weight and ability to insulate acoustically and thermally.
You can work out the specific strength of a material by using the 'self-support length' method - the maximum length of a vertical column that can suspend its own weight. For steel, this length depends on the steel's quality and is around 2-4 miles.
Wood - a very peculiar material
Wood is not homogeneous like for example metal, glass or some synthetics. It consists of a variety of ingredients, combination of cells, pores, capillaries and provides a plethora of fantastic characteristics.
This book's purpose is to answer your questions and to inspire you to find a new option. Making changes is not easy and requires overcoming inertia. So don't expect to get a hug when you turn up at the sawmill with your checklist and questions.
When are the best days to harvest for building wood? How long should wood be air-dried before you can turn them into furniture? Is it necessary to paint the external cladding of the house? Not everyone can ask their grandfather for advice like I could.
Embracing the gift of our forests is the easy way to bring the mystery of trees into our hearts. Enjoyment, fulfillment and finding our own mystery will be our reward.
Part Three - Information and Service
If you are a mother looking for toys for your children, a builder, worker, architect, wood sawyer or forester in the forest, we all can work on this huge task from our points of view. By consciously working with nature, we enrich, enliven and keep her riches for our children.
It is possible to work with wood in ways where synthetic chemicals are not needed. Natural wood can last for hundreds of years and after its usage it still can safely be returned to nature. As ash and mulch it provides nutrients for the next generation of trees and the natural cycle closes.
The decay to humus is the basis of existence for the next generation.
This brings us to the conclusion
Trees are living beings and they connect the divine air element with the earthy, dense and dark energies of the soil.