Curators of Old Good Wood
Since 1985, Duluth Timber Company has been exclusively in the business of salvaging and re-sawing premium wood. Our company has grown right along with the consciousness of America, as builders, designers, business people, and homeowners all move toward better building practices. Reclaiming this antique wood offers us all the opportunity to give vibrant new life to materials once destined for the landfill.
Logging the Industrial Forest
A hundred years ago, we harvested huge trees from America’s primordial forests. We sawed down the mighty Douglas Fir from the temperate rain forests of Oregon and Washington State, and towering Redwoods from northern California. In the southern U.S., Heart Pine (also known as Southern Yellow Pine) and Cypress were harvested.
These trees were the old-growth grand-daddies of North America. One hundred years later, this is the wood we sell.
Structures of Industry
Old-growth trees from the late 1800’s to the mid-20th century were milled to build tens of thousands of warehouses and factories–structures of industry. Before steel came into play, wood post and beam structures sheltered America’s booming industrial growth.
Prior to 1910, east of the Mississippi framed with prime cuts of Heart pine. On the west coast, old growth Douglas Fir timbers built acres of shipping warehouses.
Our Industrial Forest
From these structures–our “industrial forest”– we reclaim our big wood timbers and lumber. Because it is old growth, the reclaimed wood has the finest grain structure of all North American softwoods. And since reclaimed wood has stood for decades, it is dry and stable.
The storied lives of our wood get expressed in three primary finish options for timbers: resawn, as-is, and textured. Each heightens the old wood’s unique and fine character.
Duluth Timber Company was founded by Max Taubert, the son of an industrial photographer and landscape architect. In and around Cleveland, Max developed his appreciative eye for old buildings, boats and machinery. As a young, resourceful man, he began his foray into reclamation by salvaging all types of materials: bricks, fixtures, even–almost–a steeple (easier said than done). In the early 80’s he decided to focus on the old growth timbers wasted in careless demolition. His company has been a major wholesaler and retailer of reclaimed wood ever since.
“I started tearing down structures and working in concert with larger demolition contractors in the Cleveland/Northwest Ohio area in the mid 1970?s. After moving to Duluth MN in 1981 and founding Duluth Timber in 1985 I have personally been involved in the dismantling of hundreds of structures across North America and have reclaimed and recycled tens of millions of board feet of old growth timbers and lumber.”Max Taubert
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Duluth Timber News
“Using timbers from Duluth Timber is keeping in line with our goal of providing a green product for our clients. Also, materials are perfectly dry so we never have any issues with twisting or such with large timber work. Plus the whole crew down there is great to work with.”John H. Williams
“We have used new wood–basswood, cypress. But, the quality of the product when it’s reclaimed– especially when from your shop there–is always impeccably done. That has a big impact on people and on the ability to build something true.David Salmela, FAIA
DTC: What drew you to reclaimed wood as a material for your design work?
CF: “Its beauty and tactile nature. Its character/embedded history–including the old points of attachment, stress, and bearing. Its final stability (predictability of retained character), higher density and structural capacity.”