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Material-Use Trends in U.S. Furniture Manufacturing

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Furniture manufacturers in the United States are major users of a variety of wood products. In the last two decades, traditional wood products, such as hardwood lumber, veneer, and plywood have been, in part, replaced by composite panel products, such as particleboard, hardboard, and medium-density fiberboard. This paper examines the uses of traditional and composite wood products by the wood household, upholstered household, and commercial furniture industries in descriptive and numerical terms. The analysis indicates that the substitution of composite products for traditional hardwood products has subsided in recent years in the household wood furniture industry but has continued in the commercial furniture industry. Strong growth in softwood lumber use has occurred in the household wood industry and the household upholstered furniture industry but not in the commercial furniture industry. Although hardwood lumber has been displaced by softwood-based composite panel products, greater relative decreases have occurred in hardwood veneer and veneer core plywood use because of composite panel substitution. Most recent market activities, however, indicate increased use of hardwood lumber in furniture production in the 1980s. South. J. Appl. For. 12(2):102-107.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Princeton, WV 24740

Publication date: 1988-05-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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