Our primary concern in sourcing materials is that they be as local and sustainable as possible. The fir wood for standard bed frames is SFI-certified, comes from local Oregon forests, and is usually processed at mills in either Springfield or Eugene. The cedar comes from forests and mills in the Northwest, the plywood for drawers is made in Eugene, and even the wood glue is made in Oregon. We use a local supplier for our American-made bolts and washers; the only items that must be imported are the finish materials (which grow only in the tropics) and screws.
It is our belief that rainforest should not be cut down to make furniture nor should farmed wood be shipped across the oceans to arrive here, which is why we don’t use exotic woods, just American species. These include walnut, cedar, fir, ash, maple, oak, hickory, and other available domestic woods. We will refuse requests to make anything out of imported wood.
While synthetic materials have their place, we stick with the classics when it comes to finishes. Our go-to finish is shellac, a finish so natural it comes out of an insect and is one of the coatings used to make fruit shiny. It comes in a variety of wood-tone colors so it can be used as a sort of stain substitute. We also use Tung oil and beeswax-based finishes, depending on what the customer wants. All of our finishes are so natural that you can literally eat them (and you have), though we don’t recommend that. If you want your frame to be really dark, for a bit extra we can treat the wood with Van Dyck Crystals, which are derived from walnut shells and dissolved in water.
Our commitment to our environment’s health comes from our principles, not from a marketing standpoint. A small solar panel and battery system powers the phone charger and both stereo amplifiers in the shop, with more to come eventually. We realize that the “green energy” credits we buy from the utility are a token contribution, but it’s better than nothing. Our sawdust is used in gardens and compost, our wood scraps heat the shop via a homemade system built largely from reused and re-purposed materials, much of our equipment was purchased used, and we support local businesses and American manufacturing as much as possible. Building things to last not only makes our customers happy, it also helps to reverse the trend of “disposable furniture” that is happening these days.