About The Wood

Do you offer reclaimed species?

Yes. We offer Douglas fir, Southern yellow pine, Antique heart pine, White oak, Eastern white pine and Hemlock in reclaimed timbers. While some are rescued from old industrial buildings others come from agricultural buildings complete with original mortise pockets and peg holes.

What does 'fresh sawn' mean?

Fresh-sawn woods are those which have been cut from newly harvested trees, and not from reclaimed wood. Some companies tout their fresh-sawn woods as "Old Growth", which is a confusing claim, and it does not mean that the wood is any older than a typical fresh-sawn wood.

Where does your fresh sawn wood come from?

Douglas fir, one of the most common timber framing materials, grows on the western coast of the USA. Our Oregon location gathers the fresh sawn fir from local, sustainably harvested locations through various wood suppliers.

What is the difference between reclaimed timber and fresh sawn?

Stability and character (tighter grain pattern, original mortise pockets or peg holes, ferrous staining, level of curing) inherent to reclaimed wood offer the biggest differences. More info to come.

What makes reclaimed wood more stable?

Reclaimed timbers have often spent years experiencing fluctuating temperatures and exposure to air and moisture changes. Over the years, they dry to a level of great stability. Due to the stability you can expect no further twisting or checking in reclaimed timbers.

What species are common in timber framing?

Available in fresh sawn and reclaimed, Douglas fir and eastern white pine are common species for timber frames. Reclaimed species include southern yellow pine, antique heart pine, white oak, industrial/agricultural salvage (variety of species) and hemlock. Red oak and red cedar are available as fresh sawn species.

Are some species preferred over others?

Check back, we'll have more info soon.

Where does the wood come from?

Our sister company, Pioneer Millworks, provides the timber used for our timber frames. They source reclaimed and FSC certified wood and with 13 acres of inventory they can provide specialty timbers effortlessly.

What is checking?

Checking is a separation of grain that occurs as moisture levels change and the timber dries - a natural process. More checking will occur from the heart of a tree/timber than from the sap wood. It does not impact the strength or stability of the timber.

What is twisting?

As timbers dry they naturally twist and shift. We house all of our joints in order to minimize twisting. All of our joinery including through tenons allow for this movement typical of timbers, particularly fresh sawn.

What is Heart Pine?

Heart Pine is the heartwood of the Longleaf Southern Yellow Pine tree (Pinus Palustris).  The Virgin old-growth forests covered the southern US from Virginia over to Texas, and the wood was harvested extensively through the 1800's because of its sheer size and strength.  While only a small percentage of these original forests remain today, our Heart Pine is sawn from timbers that were cut from the original logs long ago. Despite being a species of pine, it has remarkable hardness, 1200 on the Janka scale, making it nearly as hard as Red Oak.

What is the difference between sapwood and heart wood?

Heart wood is the centermost portion of the tree, and is the part that "died off" as the tree grew. It is harder than the sapwood, and because it is not actively carrying nutrients it is more dimensionally stable when the wood is cut into flooring planks. Sapwood is the living outer portion of the tree just under the bark. It is generally lighter in color and softer than the heart wood due to the continued work of the sapwood in carrying water from the roots to the leaves.

What is Boxed Heart?

Timbers can be ordered in a variety of grades, species and cuts. Boxed heart timbers 'box' the heart of the tree within the edges of the timber - or we could say the timber is cut around the heart of the tree. Checking occurs with much more regularity in boxed heart timbers. As the timber dries the shortest path to the heart will check. For some this is inherent, preferred character. For others "free of heart" is the way to go.

What are Free of Heart timbers?

Timbers free of heart are cut without any heart (center) of the tree within the perimeter of the piece. On occasion there will be some heart at the edge of a free of heart timber. Checking is very minimal with free of heart timbers often resulting in a very "clean" frame. In order to cut free of heart the raw tree/timber is typically much larger than a boxed heart tree/timber.