Saving Urban Salvage

Leigh here.

Our friend, Rick, is the manager of a large community in Los Angeles. Also an avid wood turner, he hates to see great lumber go to waste. As the manager, he knows when a mature tree in the area is going to be cut down, whether by a resident because they are landscaping, or if the city is chopping it down for fire safety or widening the freeway. He called Cliff and I to see if we wanted an 18″ diameter eucalyptus.

Enter, the LA Box Collective. We know that Samuel Moyer loves to break out his sawmill, so a few weeks ago, we did it.

By the end, we had quite a few nice pieces, and a lot of wet sawdust. This wood is really green, so it will have to dry for at least a year. It will probably be more appropriate for a dimensional piece, not a slab, but we’ll see how it dries. We found a nice place for ours to live in the shop until then.

What is crazy to me is that Rick let us know that the city will be chopping down two more even bigger trees in the next few months to make the freeway wider. (Wider! Don’t they know “if you build it, they will come, if you don’t they will carpool.” OK, that’s not a real quote. What do I know, maybe it’s for a light rail.)

Unless Rick or we or someone makes a concerted effort to save this lumber in our own city, it goes right to the landfill. Correction, usually it is chipped, and then put in a landfill. At the same time, there are beautiful old growth forests across the globe being harvested for lumber.

I ask you, does this make sense?

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4 responses to “Saving Urban Salvage

  1. I applaud your commitment of intercepting some of the waste that goes on around us to yield some thing of enduring usefulness . A hands on approach in securing a better future for all of us . Thanks for your work !

  2. Hi, just found your blog (through inhabitat.com I think) and totally love it! It is truly awesome what you do with the reclaimed wood.
    I have a question though (which bothers me, because I am thinking on the back of my head constantly about a similar work) – what kind of chainsaw are you using here, on these pictures? Is it just a regular saw with some clever frame for cutting the whole piece neatly, or is it some specialised tool?
    All the best!
    Bartosz

  3. Hi Bartosz,
    I use a Stihl 066 chainsaw. it’s 5 hp, and is generally the smallest powerhead recommended for this application. I got the rest of the rig – 56″ bar, and the setup to go with it, from Granberg international. It’s called an Alaska Mill.
    Best of luck.
    Sam

  4. Hi Sam,
    Thank you for your comment and information! Good to know there are such solutions available. I admire you work – a great source of inspiration and knowledge!

    Best,
    B.

    (ps. when you click here on your website – http://samuelmoyerfurniture.com/gift_line.html and then click into one of the gifts, the top-links get broken (wrong path, with the unnecessary “/gifts/” element in the address))

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