Here is the latest newsletter from Jim Birkemeier of Spring Green Timbergrowers with a great photo story of a local urban wood project in his area. Check it out!
Written by Jim Birkemeier
May 4, 2014
A referral from Alex Greene began the process of creating a new wood floor, stairway, and baby crib project months ago for a growing young family in McFarland.
Jenna has been the most enthusiastic customer I have had in years â€“ her husband Jim is also, but has a job and only had limited time to share on this.
Jenna asked to help within a few minutes, so I trained her to handle the power nailer and 3 pound hammer, then the chop saw.
It takes about 15 minutes for me to teach someone the basic skills of nailing down our hardwood flooring. We have lots of tricks to add to the lessons, so all of us are learning more all the time.
We agreed that Jenna could install a unique section, designed by Jim the night before â€“ as a transition between the living room and dining room. She loved to pick out the perfect piece and she nailed them into place.
Did I mention she is due to deliver a baby girl in a few weeks? Jenna and Jim own a Gym business and are personal trainers and coaches, so I trusted she was up for the task.
When Jim got home the first day, he too learned the basics of installing hardwood flooring and the couple helped install the first rows of the dining room, again enjoying the process of picking out the prettiest board to go next in the puzzle pattern of mixed species flooring.
Another new beginning was inviting a young employee who works in the laser cutting and shipping divisions of Spring Green Timber Growers â€“ Tyler â€“ to assist for a day.
Tylers official job title back in Spring Green is â€œLaser Ninjaâ€, though he has assisted with skidding logs, sawmilling, kiln drying, resawing, planing and sanding to prepare the thin lumber for the laser cutting operation. We like to hire really smart people and then teach them the simple basics of wood working â€“ Tyler fits right into this practice. Within a few minutes he was nailing in the Ash, Maple, Locust, Walnut, Oak, Elm, Hickory and Hackberry in the dining room.
Within the hour Tyler was also operating the chop saw to trim the planks to fit the location in the floor pattern. I believe it is super important for our workers to get the full experience of growing trees, harvesting dead trees, sawmilling, kiln drying, manufacturing, installing, and seeing the huge smiles and hearing the prolific thank-yous of happy customers.
As I began to sand the living room floor, Tyler and Jenna worked together to finish the dining room. Jenna also did most of the work to carry the ton of wood strips up two flights of stairs to the main floor of their home. She is quite an enthusiastic helper!
Tyler will make custom laser-cut wooden air vents that will be flush mounted into the floor during the finishing process. We will install matching hardwood baseboards also. Another project is to spruce up the stairways leading to the living room with our salvaged wood â€“ Kathy worked to manufacture and finish the stair parts last week and I will install them Monday.
Here is the living room, now rough sanded. â€œI cant wait to see it finished with all our furniture moved in, it will be amazingâ€ said Jenna.
On the drive back home, Tyler said â€œThat was not as hard as I expected.â€ Indeed, installing is pretty simple – and the rewards of seeing your own wood installed in a familys home and hearing their enthusiastic praise over and over is pretty priceless! When the homeowner helps in the process, even just picking some of the boards from the trailer.. their satisfaction and pride goes through the roof!
When the flooring project is completed, Jenna has asked me to build a wood crib for their baby. After getting to know Jenna and Jim, making this piece will be very special! I bet this baby will love wood and be able to swing a hammer too.
More to come on this one!