Opinions Archive

We Are Now FSC Certified!

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
"The FSC trademarks provide a guarantee to consumers that the products they buy come from responsible sources" -Forest Stewardship Council

“The FSC trademarks provide a guarantee to consumers that the products they buy come from responsible sources” -Forest Stewardship Council

2013 was a fantastic year for Crossroads Recycled Lumber.  We finally were able to shake the drag of the shattered economy, and our investment in infrastructure and marketing over the last two years really paid off.  One of the more exciting new developments here is that Crossroads is now certified by the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM!

What Is FSC Certification?
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organization that helps consumers protect the world’s forests by providing certification that sourcing for lumber products is environmentally appropriate, socially responsible, and economically viable for the world’s forests and the communities that depend on them.  FSC certifies forests, as well as vendors of forest products down the “chain of custody,” from lumber yards to paper mills.

What changes does FSC certification mean for Crossroads’ business practices?  Just a lot more paperwork for our office staff!  Crossroads Recycled Lumber has been providing lumber products that surpass the FSC standards since we began in 1981. But for our customers, FSC certification is a third party guarantee of our dedication to preservation and sustainable forestry.  And lumber certified as FSC Recycled garners twice the LEED points as regular FSC. (more…)

Saying Goodbye to Pete Seeger

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

This week we are remembering the incredible life and impact of folk musician Pete Seeger, who passed away on Monday at the age of 94.  Like many people, Crossroads’ founder Marc Mandel is a great admirer of Seeger, and the spirit of Pete’s music and work has been an inspiration for Crossroads Recycled Lumber and the nature of our operation.

Pete Seegar sang and fought for the rights of workers like the loggers and millhands whose labors we strive to honor by salvaging and reusing the old timbers they made.  He was an environmental activist in his music and in his daily life, something that is obviously a big part of what we do.

Along with playing great music of his own, Pete revived and popularized many old, beautiful folk songs.  He not only preserved history and honored the great works of the artists who created these songs, but he also gave the music new life and new meaning for a new generation.  On a more profound level, this is what we aim to do with our products at Crossroads.  This is why we feel like we are not JUST a lumber yard.

Thank you, Pete, for all that you did with your life.

Thank You for a Great 2013!

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
This old patina wire brushed Douglas Fir paneling and siding was our most popular product in 2013

This old patina wire brushed Douglas Fir paneling and siding was our most popular product in 2013

As we venture into 2014, we at Crossroads Recycled Lumber want to express our gratitude for the past year. Two years ago the economy was in a very bad place, and our company was just keeping its head above the water.

Today, Crossroads has 10 employees; that’s the most we have had in our 32 years of recycling lumber.  Each year the company seems to be getting bigger and better, and we could not do it without the support of all of you out there.  So, Thank You!

First and foremost we want to thank our families for supporting us, for bringing love and joy into our lives, and making it possible for us to do what we do best, and provide our customers with beautiful reclaimed wood products.

Thank you to our customers, for making responsible choices in building products that help preserve our natural resources, and honor the labors of the past.  Thank you especially, because your business supports our amazing, hard-working crew and their families, including 17 school-age children and infants in a small, rural community.

Thank you to the loggers and millwrights of the past, who worked hard and often risked their lives to provide the lumber that built America many years ago, and is still as solid and usable today as back then.

A special thank you to building owners, demolition companies, and local governments that choose reuse and reclamation over conventional waste for their old buildings.

And a big thank you also to all the other people along the way who make what we do possible; truckers, machinists, Richard our saw filer who provides us with 45 years of valuable sawmill experience, folks at the head of the sustainability movement, and all of you out there who appreciate the look, feel, and history of our old wood.  Happy New Year!



The Crossroads Team

“Recycled wood: the truly green key to a sustainable built environment”

Monday, November 19th, 2012
Doug Fir beams

Douglas Fir beams salvaged from the old North Fork Mill

The Britsh news website, The Guardian mentioned our company in an excellent article on recycling lumber. According to journalist Leon Kaye’s research…

Of the approximate 70m tons of wood sent to landfill annually, the US government estimates 30m tons of it could have been reused…. But while aluminium, glass, paper and plastic are often culled for recycling from construction sites prior to final disposal, wood is overlooked and is about 17% of the waste that ends up in municipal dumps.

Check out Leon Kaye’s article “Recycled wood: the truly green key to a sustainable built environment”




Crossroads Featured in “The Deconstruction of Building 802” Video

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Learn about the salvage process from start to finish! This is an excellent, informative mini-documentary about the deconstruction process, following the disassembly of the Port of Oakland, CA.  Thank you StopWaste.org, for all of the work you do to Stop Waste!

Crossroads Recycled Lumber is featured from 3:25-5:33.

“Our clients are pretty conscientious about where their material comes from.  They like the idea of recycled stuff.  We as carpenters like to use [reclaimed wood] because you can’t find this tight grain, old growth stuff anymore.  It’s already dry, and it’s a lot more fun to work with, a lot more stable.”

-Pete Crandall, Crossroads Recycled Lumber customer

Many more resources about this project are available on the StopWaste.org website at http://www.stopwaste.org/home/index.asp?page=775

Click here to see photos of the split decking from Building 802 on display in Whole Foods, Blossom Hill in San Jose.

Reclaimed Wood at the Crossroads

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The word “Crossroads” has various associations for different people. We’ve gotten a few misled calls over the years because of this, and it is part of the reason why we chose a whole new name for our new yard, Pacific Northwest Timbers. But the name Crossroads has deeper meaning, and I would like to share how it came to be.

I mentioned in a previous post that my Dad has been salvaging wood since before I was born. For years he did business under the name Cedar Lumber, but that was along with other side projects. When I was 7 my folks decided to try something new, and we spent 18 months living in beautiful Bellingham, Washington. My mom found an old farmhouse on the corner of Bakerview and Hannegan; roads that lead from the county into Bellingham proper. The visible location was a great boon for business. My Dad bought a Wood-Mizer and invested in some salvage lumber, and he and a good friend (Brien Thomas of Mad Marmot Mills in Everson, WA) worked their butts off. The company was at a Crossroads, literally and figuratively.

My dad’s passion for Delta Blues music was also part of what made him amenable to the name “Crossroads” when my mom suggested it. In both African and European folk mythology, the Crossroads symbolize a place where the physical world and the spirit world overlap, and is a common theme in Blues music. The King of the Delta Blues Singers, Robert Johnson’s song “Crossroad Blues” is the most famous example. There’s some debate as to whether the song is about Johnson trying to hitch hike home at night, or selling his soul to become a guitar master, but it’s beautiful, soulful music.

The most profound meaning for me behind the name “Crossroads” has to do with the nature of our inventory. The reclaimed wood in our yard has come from dozens of sources: movie studios, military bases, railroad cars, even the ocean floor. And instead of being burned or left to deteriorate in a landfill, recycling has given the lumber new life.  From our yard this material may live on for decades as posts and beams, flooring and paneling, or even set sail on the open sea as part of a boat.  The lumber in our yard is at a Crossroads.

“Remaking the Way We Make Things”

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

‎”The question before us is not growth versus no growth, It is: what would good growth look like? And this is a question of intent, of design. What if we grow health instead of sickness, home ownership instead of indigence, education instead of ignorance?” -Architect William McDonough


William McDonough is one of our favorite authors/visionaries here at Crossroads.   Read about his book Cradle to Cradle, and we highly recommend watching his movie, The Next Industrial Revolution.

Growing Up with Reclaimed Lumber

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
Sophie in 2008

Sophie in 2008

Here I am back home in the Valley (well, the foothills) after 5 exciting years in Santa Cruz and Chile. At 23 I’m living with my mom and working for my dad, but I dig it.

My job right now is doing outreach for my dad’s business, Crossroads Recycled Lumber in North Fork, California.  I’m supposed to get our name out there and let architects and institutions that are building green know primarily about reclaimed lumber, and secondarily about Crossroads. I really enjoy doing this. I spend mornings pulling nails or milling boards with the guys in the yard, and afternoons here in the office doing outreach and making connections.

My dad’s been doing the Recycled Lumber thing for years now, since before I was born. When I was a kid he worked different jobs throughout the year, logging in the summer, construction or demolition in the winter. When he worked demolition he would salvage lumber, doors, windows, whatever was salvageable from wrecking jobs. The house I grew up in, that he built with help from friends and neighbors, was nearly 100% reclaimed. Even my first pets were salvaged when Dad was on a demolition job and the two cats (Ishi and Mr. Brown) that had belonged to the abandoned building were left homeless. Crossroads took off when I was about 7, after Dad finally bought a sawmill and could do custom milling instead of just selling pieces “as is.”



Monday, May 18th, 2009

For years the norm was to crush and landfill, or to burn the wood from a building, or the whole building. Even now, if a building is scheduled for demolition or even for deconstruction, Crossroads feels it is wasteful to do away with a well built structure in good condition. we have seen tremendous structures in excellent condition, taken down to make room for a big box store or parking lot. This is an insult to the resources that were used to build the building, and the people that planned, designed, and built the structure.