Sustainability Archive

Nail Pullers and Removing Metal from Reclaimed Lumber

Monday, May 5th, 2014

nail puller piles 2

Nail puller [neyl pool er] 
1. One who pulls nails.

Pulling iron from our reclaimed lumber is one of the most important jobs here at Crossroads. A lot of our wood is remilled on site and due to the expense and time involved in keeping the milling blades sharp, making sure the wood is metal free is important.

Armed with a hammer, cat’s paw, crowbar, and a White’s metal detector, a nail puller will spend hours insuring a unit of wood is free of iron, along the way he will also be trimming out damage and grading the wood.

The two piles of nails represent a day of nail pulling. The larger of the two piles was created by a two man team working on 4”x12”x21’ beams. In the course of 8 hours they metal detected 80 of these beams, that’s 6,720 board feet of material. There is a lot of heavy lifting and use of 4’ crowbars when working on these 21 foot long beams.

The smaller pile was just one man metal detecting 2x decking material. Over 5 hours he cleared 1500 board feet of wood. Most of the metal was pulled with a hammer and cat’s paw.

These units are fairly direct and not difficult items to get nail free. It simply takes close attention and hard work.

On the other hand there are times when our nail pullers run into broken off nails, screws or bolts. We even find bullets and other unusual metals buried in our old wood. We have had times where it took 2 men 2-1/2 hours to clean a 10x12x20’ which is 120 BF in 5 man hours. That is slow going and one reason reclaimed wood costs more than new lumber.

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.

Big Timbers from Forks, Washington

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

At Crossroads we often document the historical origin of our material. It can be a challenging task to get an accurate history about structures and businesses that have been dismantled. We recently had an order for one of our large timbers from furniture maker William Stranger.  William was thrilled with the beauty of the wood and wanted to know its story.

Russ Gammon, Marc Mandel, & John Hunt

Russ Gammon (IGL) Marc Mandel (CRL) and John Hunt at a McMillan Bloedell Sawmill teardown in Port Alberni, BC 1996

In this case, Marc Mandel, owner of Crossroads, was the perfect data source. When asked about the history of the lumber he responded from memory,

“That 12x18x24’ Fir timber has an interesting story.  It originally came from Forks, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.  We called the wood the “Forks Clear”.  In 1995, a friend in the reclaimed wood business, John Hunt (ReTech Wood Products) was hiking in the woods and spotted some old mossy logs that loggers had left long ago. (more…)

Historic Pen Collaboration

Friday, January 18th, 2013

CRL recently supplied The Historic Pen Company with a sample pack of some of our most prestigious and legendary materials including Stanford Gym, San Quentin Prison Hospital, Warner Brothers Studio, The  San Francisco Presidio, Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Factory, and exotic Borneo Ironwood from monsoon blow-down.

Historic Pen

Historic Pens from legendary sources

Pens are limited editions made from wood or timbers that were part of a historic site that witnessed the history that we only read about. Accompanying each pen is a Certificate of Authentication detailing the provenance. The pens are made with artisan precision that represent the historic site.

We are proud to be part of a process that captures a period of time to create a timeless work of art.

 

 

“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”

 

 

 

Rescued Blue-Stained Pine Lumber from Local Standing Dead

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Striking Blue-Stained Pine Paneling, Freshly Milled

Striking Blue-Stained Pine Paneling, Freshly Milled.  Note the bug holes at top right.

We’d like to share with you some inventory with a very different look. Our Blue-Stained Pine is unique in that it is some of our only inventory that is not reclaimed and recycled lumber, but rather rescued.

Source

In the Sierra Nevada foothills where the Crossroads Lumber yard is located, there is a Western Bark Beetle epidemic. Driving up Road 225 in North Fork, visitors to Crossroads can see hundreds of standing dead and dying Sugar Pine, Ponderosa Pine, and Douglas Firs in the Sierra National Forest behind our yard.

These dying trees will become a fire hazard, and so Crossroads has taken action to procure some of the standing dead trees before they rot and are no longer usable lumber.  We feel this is the most environmentally appropriate action to take.

(more…)

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.

Woody Biomass Guys Visit CRL

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Last summer a couple guys came to the North Fork Millsite “investigating options for the processing of woody biomass from local forests.” They took a tour of our yard and learned about reclaimed lumber! Read their blog about the visit here!

Inventory of reclaimed lumber, Photo credit: Woody Biomass Utilization

“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.