Urban Lumber isn't all Slabs
David Barmon runs Epilogue LLC a Portland, OR based sawmill that draws its material from urban forests. David started in landscaping which turned to tree removal and naturally into sawing those trees into lumber. His business has turned into a large dimensional hardwood supplier which while not unique, is different from much of the perception of urban lumber. Its not all slabs and character grade field trees. On the contrary due to the slow turn rate of that unique material, David has found a stronger business model that mimics a lot of the traditional lumber industry. He is sawing dimensional boards based on market demand but now his trees come from the urban canopy or private homeowner land.
This transformation in his business is encouraging as my own predictions that urban lumber could be the future of the entire industry really rely on something to take the place of the "run of the mill" materials like dimensional lumber. Add to this the species diversity from the urban canopy as well as the hyper local sourcing that eliminates the supply chain issues and you have a very compelling story.
"Wood from the City"
As David began looking for more information on the urban lumber movement he kept coming up empty and finally decided to go ahead and just write the book that he was looking for. Last year he successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book "Wood from the City" and it is in production now. For more information on the book check out the campaign page and stay tuned for more information on the book release. It looks to be a great read and should be a strong resource for anyone looking to saw their own material or just wanting to understand where their lumber is coming from.
Make sure you check out David's Instagram account for great photos of some of the amazing lumber Epilogue is sawing and selling.