Marutama Plywood (Abashiri, Hokkaido) has finished test manufacturing of local fir plywood (4 mm, 4×8) and will take orders as soon as manufacturing line is maintained properly hopefully sometime within this year. It also plans to manufacture plywood with unused local hardwood logs (4 mm, 3×6).
FIRST CASE OF MEDIUM THICK PANELS MADE USING LOCAL HOKKAIDO SPECIES
Japanese plywood manufacturers are developing non-structural plywood and this is the first case of medium thick panel made by all local Hokkaido species.
The trial product is three plied fir plywood. This size of 4mm 4×8 has been used as base of decorative plywood, which is unique size of South Sea hardwood plywood. It is used as interior finishing panel of 2×8 with sliced veneer cover or printed surface. It will manufacture 4 mm 3×6 local white birch plywood.
Trial products are 100 per cent birch three plied panel and face and back with birch and larch core.
In Hokkaido, stock of hardwood is 385 million cbms but only 576,000 cbms are harvested, which is 26 per cent of total domestic hardwood.
Actually Hokkaido hardwood is only used for high quality products like furniture and sliced veneer so development of unused hardwood is Hokkaido’ challenge for many years and now Marutama stepped up to try manufacturing birch plywood.
Marutama has several log yards, where logs are sorted by use like lumber, plywood and wood chip. Sorted logs are sent to plywood mill. So far, logs are mainly larch and fir but now unused hardwood species are gathered in log yards.
DEVELOPING UNUSED SPECIES
The largest reason of developing unused species is declining trend of South Sea hardwood plywood supply and demand of floor base and concrete forming panel relied on South Sea hardwood plywood and now Japanese mills need to find substituting source for these items.
Marutama has been manufacturing structural plywood with local larch but it also has been manufacturing non-structural plywood for floor base, sheathing panel and concrete forming at the second plant.
SOURCE: JAPAN LUMBER JOURNAL