Timber management practices and timber species used by small scale furniture workshops in Uganda
Keywords:carpenters, furniture, species, timber and workshops
A study was done in Kampala District, Central Uganda, to document the timber species and timbermanagement practices used in furniture workshops. A check list was used to document the commontimber species, their grades, moisture contents and related timber management practices in furnitureworkshops. Results showed that Albizia coriaria, Markhamia lutea and Chrysophyllum albidum werethe most common species while Khaya spp, Milicia excelsa and Olea spp were the least used speciesin the furniture workshops. Sixty nine percent of the furniture workshops lacked timber storage sheds,whereas only 3% had the recommended timber stacks. Majority (95%) of the carpenters in the furnitureworkshops did not season timber and hence the moisture content of the timber ranged from 31% to35%. Forty nine percent of the workshops exposed their finished products to environmental and weatherdeterioration. The commonest type of wood waste was planer shavings which were not utilised effectively.Since 97% of carpenters did not grade timber, the quality of their products was inherently poor. Thestudy concluded that several lesser known timber species were used for making furniture amidst verypoor timber management. The study recommends that the government of Uganda through its policyimplementingarms should create awareness programmes to carpenters on efficient timber managementpractices. Further research on physical, processing and strength properties of the documented speciesshould be undertaken so as to improve their utilisation.