Douglas Fir Timbers—Strength, Beauty, And Durability For Builders

Douglas Fir Timbers—Strength, Beauty, And Durability For Builders

What’s so special about Free of Heart Center Douglas Fir lumber?

As a wholesale lumber distributor fanatically focused on delivering the highest quality FOHC Douglas Fir timbers, we get that question a lot.

In this post, we’ll answer that question and provide you with the resources you need to learn more, select the right materials, and find out where to go for more information. 

We might as well warn you up front that we’re lumber fanatics at Brazier Lumber. We love our lumber and our customers who use our timber products to design and build beautiful buildings and structures of all shapes, sizes and uses.

Now, let’s get started with the basics.

What Is FOHC Douglas Fir Timber?

What exactly is Douglas Fir? We found an excellent definition from the experts at Encyclopedia Britannica:

Douglas fir, (genus Pseudotsuga), genus of about six species of evergreen trees of the conifer family Pinaceae, native to western North America and eastern Asia. The trees are important timber trees, and the strong wood is used in boats, aircraft, and construction. Douglas firs are also grown as ornamentals and are common Christmas trees in North America.

That’s a great definition, though it’s a bit technical if you’re not a lumber nerd. So let’s drill down into what’s most relevant for designers and builders. Then we’ll talk about Free of Heart Center lumber specs. 

In this graphic from the US Forest Service, you can see the center of the heartwood. You’ll also notice the cracks emanating radially from the center.

FOHC is a lumber grading specification. In a nutshell, you want to avoid the heart, or core, of the log for the best-of-the-best construction-grade lumber. The FOHC spec means the framing timber you purchase from Brazier Lumber is cut from the log outside of the heart. 

But why should you avoid the core, or heart?

An uneven shrinkage process takes place over time, due to higher moisture content and density of the inner core. That process can cause shrinkage cracks, twists, and bows over time as the wood dries. 

In order to avoid potential aesthetic and structural issues with your wood framing project over time, you’ll want to avoid “boxed heart” timbers that contain the innermost rings.

What Makes Douglas Fir So Special?

If you ask professional designers and structural wood framers what type of wood they prefer to use in their projects, almost all of them will include Douglas Fir in their top three. 

It’s easy to understand why. Douglas Fir contains extractives, resins, and other biochemical compounds and structures that give it incredible properties that are conducive to construction.

Here are just a few:

  • Exceptional weight-to-strength ratio in structural design and construction
  • Incredible durability and resistance to weather, insects, etc.
  • Aesthetically beautiful in natural form but adaptable to decorative finishes
  • Excellent material for all types of interior and exterior design and construction projects, from fences to multi-story buildings and everything in between

In a nutshell, Doug Fir FOHC timbers and lumber can withstand a New Hampshire gale-force Nor’easter while looking great the whole time!

And what about appearance? A picture speaks a thousand words:

Angry Orchard Project

Now that’s a veranda! You can see for yourself how visually appealing Doug Fir is in this incredibly rugged and rustic, yet visually beautiful, design. 

What’s the bottom line? The most talented craftsmen and designers use our FOHC Douglas Fir as their go-to timber for wood framing projects of all scopes and sizes.    

So What Types Of Projects Are Best For FOHC Doug Fir? 

The sky’s the limit! We’re dying to hear about your next project. Give us a call, or better yet, stop by our Langdon yard and let’s brainstorm it together. 

We’re buying the coffee.

What can you build with FOHC Douglas Fir? Here are just a few projects we’ve been a part of:

  • Timber Frame Homes
  • Churches
  • Commercial Buildings of All Types, Usages, and Sizes
  • Pergolas and Gazebos
  • Barns and Agricultural Buildings
  • Exposed Beam Ceilings
  • Outdoor Decks, Verandas, and Porches

Oh, and don’t forget cool timber trusses, beams, structural timbers, mantles, corbels, exposed ceilings…

Let’s take your next project to the next level with beautiful, versatile, durable, long-lasting Douglas Fir timber.

Where Can You Find Expertise With Douglas Fir Timber? 

That’s the easy part. At Brazier Lumber, we’re proud lumber nerds. We eat, breathe, and sleep lumber and timber products, so you don’t have to. We personally select and buy only the best lumber and timber products from our logging and milling partners, including Free of Heart Douglas Fir Timbers. 

Our team is here to serve you with decades of experience helping architects, engineers, designers, and builders select and spec the best lumber products available in the Northeast. 

Where can we take your next project together? Get in touch online, call us today at 603-207-1241.