Barns and Stalls: Quality is Key for Equestrians
Barns and Stalls: Quality is Key for Equestrians

In the equestrian world, where your horse sleeps, eats, exercises and spends it’s time is an important part of raising healthy, happy and successful horse. Equestrian architect and owner of Blackburn Architects, John Blackburn explains in his blog “When you take a horse out of its comfort zone—the wild—it’s your obligation to create an environment that protects its health and safety. A poorly designed barn can be worse than no barn at all.”

To fulfill this “obligation” the design, construction and overall decisions related to building barns, training arenas and even stalls are large investments of both time and resources. As Blackburn suggests, your horses should be provided with the best environment possible. Not only should the overall design be considered, but also the quality of the products that go into the design.

Equestrian riding arena with wood interior.

One of the most prevalent products in this type of construction is lumber. A common choice for lumber in the equine industry is pine. Eastern White Pine is a fantastic option; it’s versatile, sturdy and beautiful. Pine timber and beams can be used for framing barns or arenasproviding the spaces with a luxurious rustic feel.  Tongue and groove pine planks provide a great option for a strong wall. The interlocking pine wood planks are perfect for stalls, walls and even ceilings and will help prevent gaps from forming as the wood ages. To ensure your lumber has been properly dried, we recommend purchasing your pine lumber from a mill with a dry kiln. This will help prevent wood from warping leading to difficulty opening and closing stall doors and other issues further down the road.

Here at Robinson Lumber we know choosing the right type of lumber is only one piece of the puzzle, but it is an important one.  High quality lumber that will withstand the test of time in your local climate and is durable enough to withstand the use of the barn’s primary inhabitants will help you build the right environment for your horses.

For more information about options for equestrian facilities check out our stables and arenas page or contact us.

Eastern Wide Pine Flooring-WR-Robinson-Lumber
Nothing Says Lakeside Retreat like Eastern White Pine

This cozy lakeside cottage was recently renovated using Eastern White Pine lumber from our sawmill. This family fixed up the exterior, adding a sleek new front entry and porch accented by pine siding with a natural stain. The natural wood color pops against the green of the cottage siding.

The interior of the cottage underwent a complete overhaul starting with a welcoming entrance complete with a laundry closet at the end of the hall. They also added a new bedroom addition, an updated bathroom, and an expanded open kitchen and main living area. Both the new bedroom and the expanded living area feature vaulted ceilings with pine paneling and exposed beams. The natural shade of the wood brightens both rooms and creates a rustic, relaxed atmosphere, perfect for a lakeside retreat.

We love seeing the finished product for projects like this as it showcases the beauty and flexibility of our Eastern White Pine lumber.

Happy Holidays: The Quality and Beauty of Eastern White Pine

Happy Holidays2
W.R. Robinson Lumber would like to thank you for being a member of our extended community and wish you the best this holiday season. One of our top priorities is our customers—whether you are a builder, contractor, or even a DIYer, we are committed to providing you with high quality Eastern White Pine lumber products at the most competitive prices possible. We appreciate that you recognize the importance of quality and the beauty of Eastern White Pine.

As you wrap up 2014 and begin to look forward to 2015 please know we are here to help with all your lumber needs. With a variety of sizes and grades of wide plank flooring, pine paneling and barn and shed siding in stock at all times, we look forward to helping you build and improve your homes, barns, stables, equestrian arenas and any other projects you have planned for the new year.

Thank you for your business and continued support. We wish you and your family health and happiness this holiday season!

‘Tis the Season for Landscaping and Mulch

With the rainy spring season beginning to wrap up, landscapers and homeowners alike are beginning the arduous task of preparing their yards and gardens for the summer months. One simple but key component that is sure to make a difference in any flower garden or landscape is mulch.

Mulch serves as a fantastic visual aid—providing accents to landscape and flowerbeds—but more importantly it serves as a type of protective barrier. This barrier separates the soil from the sunlight and air keeping the soil cool, at a more consistent temperature and providing the soil with a stable amount of moisture.

According to experts at Better Homes and Gardens, when choosing your mulch, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

The temperature and moisture level of the existing soil. 

  • If you are in a cool climate with high amounts of moisture a dark-color mulch may help absorb heat and keep moisture levels consistent.
  • Light-color mulches could reflect light and may overheat plants.

Plant type and general usage of the mulch.

  •  If you are planting flowerbeds, creating borders around shrubs or pathways within gardens one of the most popular options are wood chips or shredded bark. These provide sturdy options that last – protecting the existing plants and preventing weeds etc. from growth.
  • For vegetable gardens or annual flower beds that require regular digging/changing organic materials such as shredded leaves and straw may be a great option.

Once you’ve determined what type of mulch you need, the next step is to find a supplier. A local lumber company like W.R. Robinson serves as the perfect cost effective option for those looking for wood-chips, shavings or bark mulch. By producing mulch and shavings, lumber companies are able to maximize the use of their operation—using everything from the largest beams and timbers down to the smallest shaving. Like W.R. Robinson, your local lumber supplier may even have options like enhanced color to provide you with the perfect look for your landscape.

Wide Plank Flooring: How to Choose a Width

One of the most important elements in any room is the flooring.  Whether you choose wood, carpet, tile or linoleum—the flooring takes up a vast majority of any space and helps set the tone of the entire room.  For our purposes today we will be discussing how to choose pine flooring – much like other types of flooring the details are what will make the difference and one of the most important of these details is the width of the board.

For those looking to break away from the “typical” look of standard flooring we suggest wide plank flooring. Wide pine flooring is available in a variety of plank widths – each width providing it’s own look and feel that can serve as a unique design feature in your home.

Choosing what set of widths to use in your home should depend on the size of the room and the over all design aesthetic of the room. This flooring type can come in board widths of 6”-20” and it is important to keep the size of the room in mind when choosing the width.  Remember wide boards take up more space and should be at least 10-12’ long to really showcase the wide plank look.

To ensure your wide plank flooring fits your design aesthetics, we can put them into 2 groups – Random Widths and standard widths (all one width).

Random widths are often used for historical restorations and however they also provide a flexibility that can work with any type of design—rustic, modern or even traditional.  Random widths include a variety of 3-5 board widths and can be installed in either a pattern or as the name implies, randomly. This can give any room a customized look that sets your home apart.

Using one standard width for your flooring is the perfect choice to accent a clean modern or traditional design.  The consistent lines it creates can provide an elegant twist to the traditional wide plank style.

When choosing your flooring be sure to consider stepping outside the box and look at options like pine wide plank flooring.  It’s amazing what simple pine planks can do to set your home apart.




Modern Pine Wood Paneling

What do you think of when you hear the term wood paneling? For most people this terminology brings one of two images to mind.

1.) The first image is usually of a house built in the 60’s or 70’s. Think Brady Bunch, “retro” style homes. Perhaps this is a masculine den with dark wood paneling on the walls or a carpeted living room with paneling on one wall surrounding a brick or stone fireplace.

2.) The second common thought process would bring you to an image of a country home, log cabin or even lakeside cottage. The interior walls of these homes are often made primarily of knotty pine paneling. The stain varies based on your taste but in general this gives the home a cozy, rustic feel.

Rustic Pine Paneling

Although these are the styles people usually connect to wood paneling, they are not the only possibilities. By carefully choosing the right placement, grade, and stain for eastern white pine paneling–you can develop a look and feel that suits your home. Below are some great examples of how wood paneling has turned an average room into something sleek and special.

Pine Paneling on ceiling

Placing this clear-coated eastern white pine paneling on the ceiling provided this room with a unique feature. The panels accent the bright colored paint and create clean lines that add a bit of texture to the space.

Painted Wood Paneling

Painting paneling provides another option for creating a clean, unique look in a room. A bright white like this at home gym can make a room feel larger while a color can help brighten up any space. This is also a great option for updating existing wood paneling.

Another unique use of paneling is to extend it’s coverage all the way up onto the ceiling. By using the same color and style eyes will be naturally drawn upwards to emphasize the height in any room. If you are lucky enough to have a large vaulted or cathedral ceiling, this is the perfect recipe for the WOW factor.

Whether you would like a rustic, retro or modern feel for your home, pine paneling can provide you with a durable and cost-effective way to create a unique feel for any room.

Why Buy Direct From a Sawmill?

W.R. Robinson Lumber differs from many other lumber retailers as we are in a unique position of operating not only a retail building stocked with Eastern White Pine lumber products but a sawmill, two dry kilns, and a planing operation as well.

One of the questions we often hear from our potential customers is: why should we buy directly from a sawmill instead of the huge lumber retailer 20 min away?  Below are just a few of the reasons we give them.

1.) Eliminate the middleman: One of the largest benefits of working directly with a lumber retailer that operates a sawmill vs. purchasing from a large lumber yard is the cost savings associated with eliminating the “middleman”.  When you purchase from a company like ours, you the price is based on the cost to produce the lumber.  Additional add-ons simply do not happen.  This means that even when shipping nationwide we are able to provide you with a low priced option that is of the highest quality.

2.) Interaction with industry experts:  A sawmill is one of the main hubs of lumber production.  Employees like those at Robinson Lumber have decades of experience and a core set of expertise regarding the quality, grades, and uses for the lumber.  Our customers are able to establish unique relationships with these experts helping to ensure they receive high quality results or even just a little help keeping an eye out for special logs, knot patterns, etc. that interest you.

3.) Flexibility to meet your needs:  Maybe you’re looking for a specific dimension of a board, plank, or timber in a size that is difficult to find?  Unlike large lumberyards that can only provide you with what they have in stock, a sawmill like Robinson lumber can often cut to your specification.  With a planer and dry kilns on site we can ensure you get exactly what you need for your next project when you need it.

4.) Focus on quality: Because we produce our own lumber – we focus heavily on quality.  One way we are able to do this is by knowing exactly where it comes from.  Unlike large lumberyards that ship products in from various suppliers, local mills usually harvest their timber in a specific area.  For Robinson lumber the majority of ours is found within a 25 mile radius of the sawmill.  We even manage the majority of these woodlots to be re-harvested in 10-15 years providing us with sustainability that can’t be found at a lumberyard.

With over 40 years of experience in the lumber industry we know the benefits of buying directly from a mill.  If you still have questions or would like additional information please contact us or simply give it a try.

Tips for Installing Your Wide Pine Floor

Wide pine floors are warm, luxurious, and beautiful–IF properly installed. The beautiful part about pine hardwood floor installation is that wood floors can be laid beautifully by an amateur with the proper research and mindfulness.

Wide plank flooring must be carefully installed to ensure that the floor will not only be beautiful but will have longevity with that beauty.

When beginning your wide pine floor installation process, we highly recommend that you face your nailing in boards 8” in width, or wider. In addition, we recommend that you nail into every joist (16” O.C.), or at least into every other joist (32” O.C.).

When using 8” and 10” boards you should be nailing them in with at least two nails, and ¾” to 1” from the edge of the wood. If using 10” or 12” boards consider using 3 nails, for optimal results.

When cutting planks to fit within a contained space ensure that you have the “butt” of the joint on top of a floor joist –and cut it in a square pattern.

If you decide to use traditional rough cut nails you might want to pre-drill them at the ends, before nailing them in. This will ensure a professional look. This process is not necessary for the entire plank, just at the ends.

An easy way to cut corners (a little flooring joke) is to glue your wide pine planks to the floor—but we implore you not to do this. Solid wood floors and planks will expand and contract with heat, cold, and other weather—because while this expansion is only slight, at just 1/32” to 1/16”, it can cause the bond between the floor and sub-floor to break or even the plank itself. Also, even if the plank doesn’t break, your floor may begin to separate and create gaps between planks.

When installing your hardwood floor do not cut corners, follow the tips above, and ensure that you pay attention to small details.

If you have any interesting stories, fun anecdotes or helpful tips we encourage you to share them with us and our flooring community.

Uses for Eastern White Pine

Eastern White Pine is as American as apple pie. This is no surprise since it helped form our country and landscape since the last Ice Age. Rolling forests of Eastern White Pine stretch from North Carolina to the extreme eastern edge of the Continental Shelf and all the states inbetween, including our own great state of Massachusetts. Our country was built with pine after the wood became extremely popular in Britain to become one of the first American exported resources. American settlements were forced further into the land whilst looking for Eastern White Pine to send to Britain, all the while building with the durable, amply available and easily workable wood.

It is no surprise that Eastern White Pine has long been an American favorite, it is a light wood with a straight grain that is easily workable. This softwood has a soft to medium density that makes it easy to work with for carpenters, home building and outdoor builders. Its creamy white straw-like color has occasional orangish growth rings giving it a beautiful contrast and traditional outdoorsy look.

The popularity of Eastern White Pine is long-standing due to its multitude of uses that includes: carpentry (cabinet making, furniture, woodenware, etc), interior finishes (interior trim, window sashes, door frames, and more), outdoor home finishes (pine paneling, siding, sheds, gazebos, fences and the like) and of course wide plank flooring.


Due to its easily workable nature Eastern White Pine is ideal for carpentry work, work that requires pliable movement and a wood light enough to easily mount.  The intricacy required for carpentry is best served by White Pine as it can be easily carved, which is undoubtedly why it is the most commonly used wood for wood working, cabinetry, furniture building, woodenwares and more. Its affordability is another quality that makes it popular amongst home finishers and carpenters as many go through large quantities of wood to reach the final product.

Interior Finishes

Interior finishes require a light yet durable wood that can be easily worked and is affordable in price, which is why Eastern White Pine is the most popular for interior home finishes. The physical proximity and abundance makes it the most popular choice for Massachusetts home interior finishes for things like interior trim, window sashes, door frames, banisters, and other home finishes.

Outdoor Finishes

The knotty look or Eastern White Pine makes it perfect for pine paneling, siding, sheds, gazebos, fences, and other outdoor home uses. For outdoor uses most home owners are looking for an easily workable wood that has the traditional New England outdoor look, at a good price, hence the use of pine.