All of the wood surfaces in our work come from locally and regionally sourced trees, either cut down by me or sourced from tree services. We contract with local property owners to harvest selected trees in a sustainable manner, always seeking to improve the ecosystem of the woods.
" The concept is to leave the forest crown intact by taking only a few selected trees from an area every few years. The Menominee have done this by taking the worst and leaving the best for the future (the same way Nature "manages.") "
Because we select trees with aesthetic interest for our veneers, we are able to use timber that would normally cut into firewood or chipped and often left on site, which brings added value to the landowner and sequesters more carbon from the atmosphere. We are committed to producing all our products in such a way that contributes to healing the earth and increases the value of woodlands for the forest owner.
Once we identify and contract for enough trees to fill a log truck, we cut them down carefully, always seeking to minimize the damage to the trees that remain. We are often asked if we replant trees when we cut others down, but in most healthy forests the replanting is already done by Mother Nature, and with better access to the sun and water, the existing saplings tend to grow well, and are more mature than what we would plant. Once the trees are on the ground and cut to proper lengths, we drag them out with Amish horses to minimize any damage to the forest. It is fun and exciting work!
Once the trees are staged at the road head, we bring in a log truck with hydraulic grapple to load them, and bring them the modest distance to our sawmill, where they are loaded onto a custom made ramp which allows one person to safely load them onto the mill.
The logs are secured to the mill to maximize the beauty of each one, and cut to 7/16" leaving the natural edges intact and kept in sequence for air drying. At this thickness, the planks dry enough to process further in as little as one month. At this time we plane each plank to consistent thickness, and then sand down with a large wide belt sander at a local Amish wood shop. The Amish generally do not use electricity, and thus remove all the motors and power all the machines with a Diesel engine outside connected with shafts, belts and bearings, and it all works amazingly well.
The resulting veneers are approximately 1/4" in thickness, up to 16 ft long and 28" wide, and these form the palette of materials to design and install innovative commercial and residential work. It is an emerging design language !
Woody the pup is a log enthusiast, and is always ready to help. The lack of opposable thumbs does limit her ability to actually do much work, but her cuteness and positive attitude redeem her.