Oct 2, 2013

A Story of Salvation: Big Leaf Maple Live-Edge Slabs


A Story of Salvation: Big Leaf Maple Live-Edge Slabs

Our live-edge maple slabs are remarkable not just for their size and their beautiful grain patterns, but also for the way in which they come to us:

Generally cut and left as collateral damage from agricultural or timber harvest operations, these maple logs are too big to go to a regular lumber mill.  In our post-old growth era, most sawmills have been sized for smaller diameter trees, and logs measuring 20" or more across are simply too big for most mills to bother with. 
Instead, these grand trees end up at pulp yards, where the incredible grain patterns, impressive sizes, and rich history of these trees become fodder for the paper-making process.  Yes, that's right: these mighty old hardwoods are on the path to becoming paper.

Luckily, our sawyer stalks the pulp yards and rescues the biggest and most beautiful logs, then saws them up into unique and beautiful live-edge slabs, diverting this valuable wood from the waste stream. 
These big leaf maple slabs have the warm, rich color for which this species is known, with incredible luster and frequent quilting, curl, and other special grain patterns.

We stock 10/4 live-edge maple slabs in a variety of widths and lengths, each with its own one-of-a-kind grain pattern and edge detail.  We can also provide custom sizes for special projects.

Visit our warehouse today and pick out the slab for your special project!

Photo above left: This giant hardwood log is saved from destruction at a pulp yard in the Willamette Valley.

Photo above right: A 36" diameter big leaf maple log awaits the saw and kiln after its rescue from the pulp mill. Many of our slabs still have their moss clinging to the live edges.


Dec 26, 2012

This Living Building house more than meets the challenge to use local, FSC wood


This Living Building house more than meets the challenge to use local, FSC wood

When builder James Arnold was discussing ideas for a custom home in Southwest Portland, he was overjoyed by his client's excitement to go for the Living Building Challenge.

The Challenge is a strict rating system that leaps far beyond LEED in its requirements for non-toxic, locally sourced materials for every component of the building. One of the standards for the Challenge is that all of the wood in the space must be either reclaimed or FSC certified, and it must all be sourced from within 200 miles of the job site.

James and his crew at JRA Green Building Construction knew all he had to do to meet this standard was reach out to Sustainable Northwest Wood and we could outfit the house with all the local, FSC wood he'd need.

And we did! From the framing lumber and plywood to the hardwood flooring and cabinetry, every piece of wood in this house was sourced from our network of small mills and meets the stringent criteria of the Living Building Challenge.
For the interior finishes, the builder and homeowner chose FSC Big Leaf Maple, which we custom-milled into flooring, trim, and architectural panels for the cabinetry and interior doors. We especially love the show-stopping floating staircase, custom crafted from maple (see photos below).
The home also features FSC Western Red Cedar decking and siding, which add a natural touch to its clean, modern lines.

The home was designed by Michelle Jeresek at Departure Design. In addition to its beautiful lines and functional space, it is net zero water and energy: It generates all of its own electricity through its solar panels and passive solar design, and all of its water through an advanced rainwater harvesting system.

Oct 4, 2012

Add flavor to your kitchen with fresh local butcher block, harvested from nearby forests


Add flavor to your kitchen with fresh local butcher block, harvested from nearby forests

Autumn always reminds us of the generosity of our region's agricultural lands through the bounty of our crops and the promise of nourishment through the winter.

The forests surrounding our cities are no different: They generously provide the wood for building our shelters and keeping us warm and protected through the colder seasons.

This is why we are pleased to introduce new Oregon Hardwood Butcher Block counter tops made from sustainably harvested local hardwoods!

By sourcing our wood from salvage sources and respectful, small-scale harvesting, we are paying our respects to the forests that sustain life for so many species, humans included.

Now available in:

  • Madrone (Salvaged, Central Point)
  • FSC Big Leaf Maple (Hyla Woods, Gaston)
  • Oregon White Oak (Zena Forest, Rickreall)
  • FSC Doug Fir (Zigzag Doug Fir, Zigzag)

Our Oregon Hardwood Butcher Blocks are:

  • In stock and ready for installation
  • Kiln-dried, solid hardwood
  • Made from FDA-approved adhesives
  • 1 1/2" x 27", ready to be trimmed to fit your space
  • Lengths up to 10'
  • Custom dimensions available 

Photos, from top: Oregon White Oak butcher block features a unique grain pattern reminiscent of wine country; a Madrone butcher block counter top provides a perfect warm dining surface at a restaurant in Portland. 



Blog Categories

Contact Us

Portland Warehouse
225A SE Division Place
Portland, Oregon 97202
driving directions

For pricing call 503.239.9663
or contact us online