In 2005, Lacroix’s expertise and drive to create value-added wood products led to a contract with an international furniture company to produce bed slats and shelving components that are shipped globally.With 40 full-time employees, Lacroix has created a variety of value-added products, including the core boxes.”We have all the equipment to produce a high-quality core box,” Lacroix said. “We have a special design that makes them more solid at the end part of the core box.”
A groove on both ends helps attach the pieces more securely than nails or screws, making the overall structure of the box safer and more stable.
Made of spruce or pine, the core boxes are placed in a dry kiln to remove more moisture content in the wood than regular industry standard requirements.
“Most wood products have around 15 to 18 per cent moisture levels,” Lacroix said. “We dry our wood so the moisture content is around 10 to 12 per cent.” As well, the majority of the lumber used comes from forests certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council, an independent, not-for-profit non-governmental organization that audits forest management practices for compliance with the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations.
Less moisture increases stability and makes a lighter product, which makes it cheaper to transport by air, a definite advantage for exploration and mining companies that work at fly-in camps.
Last summer, Industries LacWood fine-tuned its prototype, sold some boxes and received positive feedback. Lacroix said the company offers the boxes at competitive prices and is now taking orders. Since the company already ships internationally, the boxes can be delivered to any country.
The company also constructs a value-added product called EZ’n ORGANIZED, an organizer unit for home, work, the classroom or any space that requires order.
By the spring, Lacroix plans to add a wood pelletizer to the plant in order to make pellets for wood stoves from the leftover wood shavings.
The lower moisture content will help the pellets burn more efficiently.
“We will be the first ones producing this product in this area,” he said.
“It will be a new product offered in the North from a Northern Ontario producer.”