Our process starts with being conscious of the natural resource we are working with, urban wood. Urban wood differs from commercially harvested timber in many ways. Commercially harvested timber comes from the forest, trees grow tall, straight and consistent. Trees that grow in the urban environment are often shorter and wider spreading then trees growing in the forest. They are also subjected to injuries and stresses that wooded trees are not. Because of this, each log we salvage has a unique history, effecting the size, shape and character of the wood.
The crew of Arbor Man LLC is out everyday around Metro Detroit removing dead, hazardous and diseased trees. Often times logs from these trees can be salvaged and milled into lumber and live edge slabs. On large removals, we work with a 28ton crane allowing us lift huge logs and transport them to our shop.
Once the logs have arrive at our shop they are tagged. Information such as species, size and where the tree was removed from are recorded. The ends of the logs are sealed with wax to help prevent splitting and excess checking. After this prep work is complete, the logs are stored and await milling.
We have two sawmills, a Wood- Mizer LT50 and a Lucas Mill. The Wood-Mizer is a bandsaw mill used for smaller logs under 30" in diameter. The Lucas Mill handles larger logs from 30-60" diameter. We produce some dimensional lumber but primarily cut straight through the logs, producing beautiful live edge slabs. Our slabs are full of knots, rich grain patterns, unique figure and gnarly character. Big box stores and manufactures consider these "imperfections" in the wood, and will actually avoid using them, seeking only the clearest most consistent grain. We look at it another way, each of these "imperfections" is actually a unique feature adding to the one of a kind nature of our product.
After the logs have been milled, lumber and slabs are precisely stacked and stickered. Stacking properly helps prevent warping, cupping, splits and is key to the quality of the end product. Once the stack is assembled and strapped down it is moved into our warehouse for pre kiln storage. The stacks will stay in our warehouse until the moisture content of the wood is below 20%. Once the moisture content of the wood is below 20% stacks of similar thickness and species is loaded into our dehumidification kiln. The kiln will finish off the drying process, bringing the moisture content of the wood down to between 6-8%.
The lumber and slabs exiting the kiln are ready for sale! We sell our lumber and live edge slabs to local woodworkers, craftsman and hobbyists. We also ship our wood products anywhere in the USA, just visit our online store. Bulk orders are welcome, if you are seeking a large order or lumber or custom cut live edge slabs, please contact us for details.
We also have a full wood shop on site, specializing in live edge design and construction. We can custom build furniture and wood products for home and business. Tables, bars, shelving, mantles, headboards, cutting boards and custom branded coasters are just some of what we can produce! We love new ideas, projects and custom work, don't hesitate to ask, contact us.