Look, Ma! No More Molds In Handicrafts!

Handicraft from driftwood. No more mold attacA Bohol furniture maker is now grossing P1-million a month, thanks to a Furnace-Type Lumber Dryer (FTLD) that he adopted in 2004 through the assistance of the Bohol Provincial Science and Technology Center and the DOST-Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). The dryer was developed by the Forest Products Research Institute, an agency of DOST.
The dryer has tremendously improved the quality of the furniture produced and,hence, profitability. Before the adoption of the FTLD, Total Woodkraft operated by Anthony Lacaran depended on sun drying and air drying. This often resulted in improper drying. Too much moisture in the wood resulted in warping and cracking. Thus there were returns of furniture and other products sold. And for every item returned, the company usually lost P5,000.
With sun drying and air drying, drying time for a two-inch Gmelina wood usually took 2 to 3 months. With the FTLD, the optimum moisture content is achieved in only 28 days. Wood trimmings are usually used as fuel for heating so it is economical. No electricity is needed.
Table by Total Woodkraft.Total Woodkraft’s products include doors, tables, cabinets, bar counters and others. Many of the compny’s customers are the resorts and hotels in Bohol. Those interested in FTLD may contact (049)536-2586 or 536-2377 or email at: fprdi@dost.gov.ph. (Excerpted from Press Release)k.

For four years now, the FPRDI handicraft dryer has been helping a home decor exporter cope with the effects of climate change.

“For 46 years – from 1967 to 2013 – we relied solely on the air and sun to dry our raw materials such as acacia wood, vines and driftwood,” says Ms. Evelyn Tan, owner of the Starwood Manufacturing Company.

“However, eversince the climate has become unpredictable, we knew we needed to depend on something other than the elements – to dry our materials. Drying is critical for us since poorly dried products are an easy target of molds.”

Based in Valenzuela City, Starwood makes modern home decors and gift items which are shipped mainly to the US. “We ship 10 container vans of handicrafts every month,” reports Tan.

“We would not have stayed in the export market if we had not decided to use the DOST-FPRDI dryer. The facility reduced our drying time from 1-2 weeks to only 2-4 days, and because it could dry wood to the right moisture content, it drastically decreased the attack of molds,” she continues.

“There were times when, due to poor drying, a whole batch of handicrafts would be covered with molds, and returned to us by a client. We had to pay big fines for those! Thanks to DOST-FPRDI, we no longer go through such bad experiences. The dryer was the right tool at the right cost which came to us at the right time.” (PRESS RELEASE: Rizalina K. Araral&Wency H. Carmelo

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