Archive for May, 2009

TimberSIL in the news paper

The BizPress
Sunday, May 31, 2009

While fires recently consumed multimillion-dollar estates in the Santa Barbara foothills, Matt Forsythe was swamped with phone calls. His product, glass-infused lumber touted as impervious to fire, rot and insects, only seemed to get hotter with the scorching flames flickering on television screens throughout Southern California.

“I kind of feel bad, that these kinds of tragedies boost business,” Forsythe mused later. “But the word is getting out that this kind of thing doesn’t have to happen.”

Forsythe, 31, manages Virginia based-TimberSIL Products’ newest distribution center, and its first on the West Coast. While the warehouse and offices are located in nearby Orange County, Forsythe is eyeing the Inland Empire, with its many pockets of development abutting fire-prone wilderness areas, as a prime market.

“Our wood is exactly what is needed for the thousands of homes in the area threatened by fire,” Forsythe said. “And the ones that are going to be built.”

Forsythe is confident that TimberSIL, which achieves its durability through a patented technology that infuses sodium silicate, or liquid glass, into Southern Yellow Pine, will take off when fire-wary residents and builders learn they can virtually fire-proof structures.

He says builders can construct fire-proof structures and property owners can retrofit existing ones while maintaining wood’s aesthetically pleasing look. The business, one of more than a dozen distributors nationwide, opened shop in March. Since then, sales to homeowners looking to build outdoor decks, close fire-vulnerable eaves and build backyard structures have steadily risen. Earlier this month, a local amusement park made its first purchase of the product to rebuild decaying structures.

But one unknown is that TimberSIL hasn’t really settled on being a retailer or wholesaler in Southern California.

“At this point I can’t promise any retailer that we won’t sell to our customers directly,” Forsythe said.

That has been a sticking point in some negotiations, and Forsythe has continued to sell product out of his Placentia warehouse.

“We want to work with TimberSIL and think they have a tremendous product,” said Chris Freeman, a manager at Ganahl Lumber, a major area retailer with outlets in Riverside and Orange Counties. “But they have not worked well with dealers here locally so far, and they have less-than-stellar results in terms of getting their product into stores.”

Forsythe counters that TimberSIL’s benefits will continue to awe customers and later land on retailers’ shelves. TimberSIL’s zero-carbon-emitting technology, in which the glass infusion process traps carbon, earned the wood an Environmental Protection Agency seal of approval as a “nontoxic” barrier product. Synthetic wood products generally contain carcinogens. Freeman concurred with some of the lumber-maker’s claims and said he believes it has plenty of growth potential if it foregoes its own retail sales and becomes a wholesaler.

“It doesn’t burn and it is environmentally safe,” Freeman said. “And it has created a buzz in the market.”

At a recent Building and Safety Open House in Big Bear Lake, residents and city and fire officials alike marveled at the claims made by Forsythe and company President Gary Chopic.

“From what I’ve just seen, it looks like they could be onto something,” said James Miller, director of building and planning for the city of Big Bear Lake. “But the big question is what does it cost?”

Forsythe said that because the wood is at least 50 percent stronger than traditional woods and synthetics, fewer board feet are required for construction. To build a basic outdoor deck, he said, TimberSIL nets a customer cost savings because fewer planks are needed.

In a company price sheet comparing generic 450-square-foot decks, TimberSIL estimates a deck made of its material would cost about $7,700 including labor, compared with $15,000 for composites and about $9,600 for treated Douglas Fir.

Currently, the distribution center in Placentia is the lone outlet in the area for purchasing the wood. Forsythe maintains that one of his priorities is establishing relationships with lumber yards in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, many of whom are unfamiliar with the East Coast-based company, to carry the product.

“We have to be convenient for our customers,” he said.

Advertisements – Editor’s Picks

TimberSIL’s Wonder Lumber

– This new glass-impregnated pressure treated lumber still looks like wood, but performs like a pro in challenging environments.

By Mark Clement

When a new product like TimberSIL’s glass-impregnated pressure treated lumber comes around, there’s only one thing to do: shine a Klieg light on it and tell everyone you know. It looks like this material could be the biggest advancement in lumber engineering since plywood.

The product TimberSIL makes is the next generation of pressure treated Southern Yellow Pine. But instead of impregnating the lumber with a mix of nasty chemicals and heavy metals, it’s treated at very high heat with sodium silicate, which is glass. Instead of looking engineered, it still resembles wood.

TimberSIL’s Sodium Silicate Technology (SST) is a revolutionary process. It binds sodium silicate with the wood fibers, essentially surrounding them in glass (called “amorphous glass”) creating a permanent bond with the wood fibers at the molecular level. “TimberSIL’s protective characteristics match or exceed those of other treatment chemicals,” according to the company. “[It] outperform[s] ACQ, CA and straight borates. Indeed, if you could use all of these other products at once, the benefits would not match those of TimberSIL.”

Add to that, SST is totally non-toxic and can’t leach its preservative into the ground like other treated materials can, even when soaked with water for long periods of time. And, while TimberSIL is totally harmless to people and animals, bugs and micro-organisms have no interest in eating it. The company says you can grind up a TimberSIL 2×6, drop it in a termite mound for a century, then come back to find the pieces right where you left them. That’s good stuff.

TimberSIL is so new that it’s just entering distribution. It’s currently priced competitively with cedar according to the company. But, like anything new that’s good, once demand rises and distribution channels fill, that may change.

TimberSIL is targeting their marketing efforts at deck builders right now. There are about 70-different stock dimensions presently, from 1-by, 2-by, 4-by, 6-by and baluster stock. The 5/4 decking comes in both standard and premium grade. Even if your customers spec synthetic decking and/or handrails, you can still frame with TimberSIL. If you deck with TimberSIL, the material accepts stains and sealers as well.

Decks, however, aren’t all TimberSIL is good for. In addition to being essentially inert to the environment, it’s fire retardant which makes it attractive for stick framing and wood applications where fire codes are an issue. “TimberSIL will burn at temperatures that are well above what you would normally need to start or sustain a flame,” according to the company, “But TimberSIL will not sustain a flame up to several thousand degrees, which provides excellent protection against accidental fires.” Combine that with its insect resistance and it’s a winning combination for challenging building environments.

With all this going for it, it looks like there’s no question TimberSIL is suitable for sill plate applications right out of the chute—and more. “Timber Treatment Technologies TimberSIL™ formula is designed to be used for interior applications, exterior above ground and in ground applications,” according to the company’s website.

TimberSIL also provides a 40 year warranty that covers “biological degradation, damage in exposed environments, and damage from most common wood protection problems.” Plus, it’s not any harder on your tools, bits and blades than untreated wood.

Get ready. Change is coming.


Mark Clement is a remodeler and author of The Carpenter’s Notebook and The Kid’s Carpenter’s Workbook, Fun Family Projects! Find out more at

TimberSIL Wood Door

Medina Construction Development, a Southern California-based comtractor, made and installed a wood door made out of plywood and TimberSIL. The previous door rotted away and the Orange County homeowner requested TimberSIL glass wood be used so the door would not rot again.

Joseph Medina, the owner of the company, said he was very impressed with the new wood and listed off a number of applications he would be using TimberSIL for in the future.

Medina Construction
(323) 270-2306

Placentia Couple picking up TimberSIL for a Spiral Staircase

This nice couple from Placentia, CA purchased TimberSIL tongue & grove siding, which they are going to cut up and make into steps for a spiral staircase in their backyard.

She said they were going to use composite decking until they discovered that TimberSIL is much stronger and looks like nicer. Also, it won’t burn.

(866) WOOD – 551

Tying TimberSIL wood down in an SUV
Tying TimberSIL wood down in an SUV

Trends stress fire resistance – TimberSIL in the news

10:00 PM PDT on Sunday, May 17, 2009
Contributing Writer

The Big Bear Valley demands a lot from builders and businesses in related industries. Life here trudges on with a rustic charm haunted by the persistent threat of catastrophic fire….

…The vendors on hand mixed with residents who dropped by and compared notes with one another. About 30 area contractors were also on hand, lured in part by a city-organized workshop reviewing the new building codes. A handful of representatives were new additions to the event. One major draw was TimberSIL Distribution California, an area-based distributor of a glass-infused lumber product reputed to be resistant to fire, rot and insects and 50 percent stronger than traditional wood or composites.

Dozens of residents and fellow vendors seemed awed by the representatives’ claims, which included a recent Environmental Protection Agency seal of approval.

“We’re here because this is the highest fire-hazard area in California,” said Gary Chopic, the company’s president. “Our product is cost-effective and has superior performance on every front when compared to any other wood or composite materials out there, and it emits zero carbons.”…

…Representatives for TimberSIL, the high-tech wood distributor, are confident that their product will take off when fire-wary residents and builders learn they can virtually fire-proof structures with traditional wood, infused with retardant glass.”We are the clean, green solution to threats from fire, rot and bugs,” said company representative Matt Forsythe. “Now that we’re here, building with us is the only sensible choice.”

TimberSIL wood Deck Delivery for MacBeath Hardwood

Dropping a load of TimberSIL near Lke Isabella, CA
Dropping a load of TimberSIL near Lake Isabella, CA

MacBeath Hardwood in Paris, CA was the first lumber yard to purchase from TimberSIL California, selling a 700 square foot deck to a gentleman in Claraville , CA. Being in a High Fire Severity Zone this deck needed to be Class A Fire Rated, so TimberSIL was the best choice …..