Erich of Rescued Oregon Timber hadn’t planned on purchasing a sawmill, opening two woodshops, and becoming the founder of a company that provides bar and tabletops to local breweries, nor had he planned on convincing his friends Rob and Scott to join him in this adventure. But after purchasing a cedar slab for a porch bench DIY project he had, he was instantly hooked and there was simply no looking back. One Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill and Chainsaw later, Rescued Oregon Timber was born.
Shortly after his mill purchase, Erich, a Corrections Deputy was working the booking counter at the county jail when a police officer overheard his conversation regarding his milling of logs. He offered Erich eight cedar logs that had been felled on his property one year prior. It was at this point that Erich knew he had to get Rob and Scott involved.
It’s important to note that Erich left out of his convincing speech to Rob and Scott that he had only cut one slab and only watched one YouTube video prior to roping them into his newfound hobby and the cedar log pickup… So, with little experience or knowledge of slabbing, a deputy, a nurse, and a metal fabricator set out to mill, load, haul, and stack these cedar logs.
For better or worse (at that point), the guys were hooked after the first slab was cut and flipped. With their borrowed trailer loaded with almost comically large and impossibly heavy 2”-4” thick 14’ slabs, they made the life-altering decision to stop at Basecamp Brewery to celebrate. While enjoying their beers, people were drawn to the sight and smell of the massive slabs. The crowd grew large enough that the general manager of the brewery approached them about building a couple of their outdoor stand-up bars. Without realizing it, they had just stumbled into the Urban Wood Community and made their first sale.
Rescued Oregon Timber and The Urban Wood Movement
Initially, their goal was to use Breweries as showrooms, and as all of the local stops happen to start with a B, Beer Mongers, Belmont Station, Basecamp Brewing and Bar Botellon, it truly seemed like a destined setup or free advertising!
It was through their setup at these breweries, word of mouth, and time spent drinking beer at a brewery table they built, that the team at Rescued Oregon Timber began the incredible job of spreading their excitement and passion for Urban Wood throughout their community. Their passion was so contagious that the people of Portland are now more than thrilled to stop by Rescued Oregon Timber and upcycle their logs into a higher purpose than firewood, mulch, or waste. Not only that, but a Portland author is currently writing a children’s book about a Myrtle wood tree that Rescued Oregon Timber was lucky enough to have received and upcycled.
Now, Erich regularly attends Urban Wood meetings and summits with the purpose of spreading awareness and increasing Rescued Oregon Timber’s role within the community. They have also partnered with local arborists and collaborate with them as a “green” option for offloading unwanted logs.
Current Moves Within The Business
Still running with two very simple Alaskan style mills, Erich, Rob, and Scott have full wood shops in their homes and have expanded their skills to include various types of builds that include reclaimed lumber. Recently, they’ve also become vendors in local markets where they sell smaller tables, benches and handmade craft wood items like bowls, plates, spoons, and charcuterie boards. These markets give them the opportunity to talk about the Urban Wood Network and the movement towards using these local trees to their full potential.
The Urban Wood Network is thrilled to have Rescued Oregon Timber as a member, and we can’t wait to see what they inspire within their community next!
Connect with Rescued Oregon Timber
Rescued Oregon Timber still operates almost exclusively by word of mouth and referrals from the Urban Wood Network (Formerly USRW), but you can visit them on Instagram and Facebook @rescuedoregontimber.