Measure Fine Woodworking uses reclaimed and urban harvested lumber for nearly all its projects


What is Reclaimed Lumber?


Reclaimed lumber refers to building materials that would have otherwise ended up being disposed of at the dump, or rotting away somewhere. There is a large supply of old growth Douglas Fir, available on job sites, throughout the city of Portland. Most builders do not typically bother with it, and some do not have the imagination or expertise to fully utilize this wood. Instead of letting it go to waste, Measure turns this incredible material into beautiful furniture, cabinets and mill work.


What is urban harvested lumber?

Illustration by Sara Forrest. 2016

Illustration by Sara Forrest. 2016

Traditionally, mill owners would not touch urban trees for fear of nails, screws, flagpole holders, guns - a whole bicycle can be trapped inside an urban tree! Tree service companies found that using this material for lumber did not pay off. However, In the last ten years or so, many small, local mills are now utilizing this material. This is far preferable than these beautiful trees being bucked up into firewood.

Utilizing a large, portable mill, Measure now has a plentiful supply of reclaimed lumber. This gorgeous wood is then turned into cabinets, heirloom furniture, moldings, millwork and many other hand-crafted projects. When we mill a tree, seeing the grain for the first time is like opening a present.


What are the benefits of using reclaimed lumber?

Detail of 125 year old band saw in Measure's shop

Detail of 125 year old band saw in Measure's shop

Using reclaimed lumber is a win, win situation. Recycling old growth lumber that was harvested many years ago has no ecological impact, and can be of a very high quality. Utilizing what is available locally, makes much more sense than dropping thousands of dollars on old growth or rain forest lumber.

Milling trees from an urban environment has little or no negative impact on our rare, pristine ecosystem. There are very few old growth trees left. One must be patient, but a beloved tree that must be removed can be turned into amazing furniture. Once this happens, we can all continue to appreciate that tree for generations to come.


What is the design process at Measure fine woodworking?

All of Measure's pieces are one-off, custom creations. When approaching a project, we try to find the aesthetic balance between organic and geometric lines. This is actually a good metaphor for what we should all be doing - living in harmony between the technological and natural. Once we refine what a client is looking for, we draw tremendous inspiration from the material itself. In addition, we like to incorporate and highlight the beauty of a simple, traditional joinery.

Price estimates to be determined after initial meeting with client. Give us call today.