FSC WOOD or not?

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Blog entry by rkoorman posted 04-14-2011 09:37 AM 2460 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello LJ’s

A question or something to think about :

We use up a lot of wood between us LJ’s.
Is all your wood FSC ? Until last year i never really thought about it much but from now on i’ll only be using FSC-wood of else reclamed timber.

All the little contributions help a lot!!

What are your thought about this problem?


17 comments so far

View Bill Davis's profile

Bill Davis

226 posts in 4661 days

#1 posted 04-14-2011 09:56 AM

OK I give. What is FSC?

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3659 days

#2 posted 04-14-2011 09:59 AM

Reclaimed and recycled wood from scraps and overcuts are my preference. Aside from being cheap, there are different varieties of wood that can be found on scraps that nowadays are not available.

-- Bert

View Erik van Baarle's profile

Erik van Baarle

85 posts in 3607 days

#3 posted 04-14-2011 10:45 AM

If i buy new wood its always FSC
The rest are scraps of wood i get from people
I love scraps of wood. :-) Its for free. :-)

-- Erik, Merksem Belgium

View Schwieb's profile


1899 posts in 4198 days

#4 posted 04-14-2011 12:06 PM


I was raised by very frugal parents, so wasting anything was never acceptable. We learned to recycle everything we could, including wood and even the nails. It’s second nature to me to plan cutting up materials for a project to get the most out of it and to save the cut-offs for smaller projects. That said I am not familiar with the designation FSC, perhaps it is a European thing. I do use new materials when I need to and then I am looking for something specific and the best price. I’ve never been aware of such a designation.

I often buy lumber from local sawmills or independent sawyers because I like to support the “little man” as far as the business side of things. I have never bought hardwoods from anywhere other than rough cut and dried at a sawmill. I love running it through the planer and seeing what comes out.

Tell me more about FSC.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3541 days

#5 posted 04-14-2011 02:42 PM

I try to use all the scraps that I can. I have been planting trees around my property to re-grow wood that I have used. There are far too many big businesses in the U.S. that destroy to many trees to build a new building, when there is an “empty”/vacant building right across the street. This is way too wasteful in my opinion

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View HerbC's profile


1803 posts in 3596 days

#6 posted 04-14-2011 04:21 PM

Just an interesting datapoint: Current area in United States that is forested is greater now than when this country was first colonized by Europeans…

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4045 days

#7 posted 04-14-2011 04:29 PM

So exactly what is FSC wood? I guess I don’t buy it cause i do not know what it is…unless some of us call it by a different name…

View dbray45's profile


3378 posts in 3514 days

#8 posted 04-14-2011 04:42 PM

One thing that is missing is the Eastern version of the Sequoia. There is dome effort to regrow these but they were hundreds of years old.

-- David in Palm Bay, FL

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 3404 days

#9 posted 04-14-2011 04:45 PM

I too, have to admit to not knowing what FSC means.

Hardwoods and exotics are way to expense for me, so a couple
of years ago I started picking up free pallets, skids, and crates from
local sources. Sometimes I find wood or obtain scraps left over from
remodeling jobs and, ocasionaly, friends will give me little bits of hardwood.

A while back I was looking at a bunch of my old projects that now
clutter my home and decided to dismantle some of them to salvage the wood
and recycle it into new projects. This has been fun and I enjoy bring new
purpose for old hardwoods.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View rkoorman's profile


381 posts in 3561 days

#10 posted 04-14-2011 04:50 PM


Here the link to the site from FSC.

It’s really can make a difference if we all start using the proper wood and think about the impact on our planet. There is a lot of wood that we can use that has been properly harvested.

Thanks for reading and making a difference.



View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4862 days

#11 posted 04-14-2011 07:10 PM

Most of my personal stash is reclaimed. However, I hang out in a number of circles where people play with lots of exotic woods and they’re all very very careful about the Lacey act issues.

Thus their suppliers aren’t always FSC (Forest Stewardship Council, for those of you who don’t know) certified, but they tend to know their suppliers personally and trust that they’re taking wood legally and sustainably.

I actually didn’t know that FSC was involved in anything other than construction grade lumber. And poking around their web site I’m not sure how much more than selling their logo they do. So I’ll probably ask for it on construction lumber, but I’m not sure I can buy it without. For hardwoods, I’ll continue to buy reclaimed lumber, or lumber where people I know trust their suppliers personally.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View twobyfour16's profile


70 posts in 4222 days

#12 posted 04-14-2011 09:05 PM

Good topic, Rick. I appreciate the sentiment, but beware the FSC designation. I am in the lumber business & can tell you that (IMHO) the Forest Stewardship Council is more of a “feel good” organization than something that makes genuine positive environmental impact. I have recently sold a bunch of FSC Certified African Mahogany, of all things. The lumber came from Africa to the East Coast, then to Oregon, and on to a custom home in Hawaii. The whole concept of that transaction was absurd. The fact that I can even source certified material & ship it across the globe (using fossil fuels) is mind boggling. In this instance, the homeowner would have made 100 times more positive environmental impact with solar power, more insulation, and low flow toilets!
In any event, I definitely agree with everyone here regarding using local stuff when possible. Managing forests & legislation requiring re-planting within a reasonable time after logging has been in effect in the Western US long before anyone ever heard of “FSC”. Lets all remember that wood is still the most environmentally responsible building material available today – in every way- from it’s renewability to the energy required to produce it.
Dan in California – rest assured that if you’re buying softwood construction lumber in the West, there is about a 99.9% chance that it was responsibly harvested, with or without the FSC designation.
Sorry for running on…...

-- Allan, Portland, OR

View DrTebi's profile


366 posts in 4004 days

#13 posted 04-14-2011 09:25 PM

I agree with Allan’s post. The entire “green” thing is often a bit of a brain-wash. As he mentioned, it does not do the planet any good if you buy FSC lumber that was shipped half-way around the globe.

I use local lumber or reclaimed lumber whenever possible, and if I do want to use something exotic, I make sure that it’s not from a tree species that is endangered. I believe this list at “The Wood Database” should be reliable:

When it comes to manufactured wood, FSC plywood or particle board takes on another role, because here it’s not just about the wood itself, but also about the chemicals used to manufacture the pieces. This will not only have an effect on the planet but also on your own health. Something to think about.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3677 days

#14 posted 04-14-2011 10:13 PM

Very good point twobyfour! The local indigenous timber I mill is all FSC certified. It comes from nearby State owned forests that is very well protected and managed. They only cut diseased trees, windfalls and trees at the end of their natural lifecycle. Harvesting methods are strictly contolled to minimise damage.This timber is sold on twice yearly auctions.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4465 days

#15 posted 04-14-2011 10:20 PM

I don’t think that FSC means as much in regards to being “earth friendly” as it does compared to ensuring that forests aren’t wiped out and left barren. By buying FSC, you are ensuring new plantings are done and that the species of trees being harvested will remain in supply.

While the African Mahogany might not be as environmentally friendly as using local supplies of another species, I guess it at least ensures that there will be more African Mahogany to harvest in the future.

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