A piece of furniture destined to become a prized possession must be well made. This begins with carefully selected and prepared lumber.


Drying removes naturally occurring moisture, and lumber can be kiln-dried or air-dried. Usually wood is dried in a kiln, as this is a much faster process. Kilns are temperature and humidity controlled environments.


Most wood species are dried to a very stable 8% moisture content. And lumber must be stable if it's going to be made into a piece of furniture. Reclaimed wood — from old factories, barns, and warehouses — is sure to be dry. This old wood is prized by furniture makers for its wide, old-growth boards, delightfully mellow colour, and naturally weathered character. Wood, distressed by time and circumstance, provides new furniture with natural characteristics of age.


Before timber is sent to the kiln, it must be downed and transported to a sawmill. After trees are selected for harvest, the next step is logging — felling, limbing all the branches, and bucking the logs to length.


Limbing removes the visible branches from the trunk. Portions of branches within the trunk appear as knots once the logs are cut into boards.


Logs are taken by logging truck, rail or a log-drive to the sawmill. The logs are evaluated by a scaler who determines the volume and quality of the wood before it is cut.


Logs are scaled, either on the way to the mill or upon arrival, where the bark is removed in a process named, aptly, de-barking. Next, the logs are decked, the process for sorting by species, size and end-use. For example; lumber, plywood or wood chips.


A sawmill's basic operation has remained the same for many years: a log enters in one end, and dimensional lumber exits the other. The head saw, head rig or primary saw, breaks the log into cants (unfinished logs) to be further processed and flitches (unfinished planks) with a smooth edge.


Depending upon the species and quality of the log, the cants are broken down further by a re-saw or gang-edger into multiple flitches or boards. Next, flitches are squared by an edging process and trimmed to length. Planing smooths the surface of the lumber leaving a uniform width and thickness.


Shipping transports the finished, dried lumber to market.