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IWF Urban Wood Seminar Delivered with a Tinge of Irony

As I went about last-minute preparations leading up to welcoming woodworkers to the August 24 urban wood seminar, I had to laugh.

Standing at the podium, I pulled a red and silver flash drive from my pocket containing all four of the panelist’s presentations. As I began inserting it into the laptop connected to the projector, I noted the device bore the logo “Allsteel,” The irony that I had uploaded our urban wood PowerPoints onto the thumb drive pf this metal office furniture manufacturer randomly fished from my collection did not escape me.

After briefly pausing to chuckle, I put on my game face and charged ahead with my opening remarks introductions of the expert panel representing three distinct urban wood utilization groups: Jennifer Alger, Urban Salvaged & Reclaimed Wood on the West Coast; Joe Lehnen, Virginia Urban Wood Group of the Southeast; and Dwayne Sperber, Urban Wood Network of the Midwest.

The 90-minute presentation was well received by the audience of professional woodworkers attending the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. They came from coast to coast and Canada. Some had experience using urban wood in their products, others were curious to learn more about how they might do so. A few even expressed interest in trying to rev up urban wood networks in their home states where none currently existed.

The program had the support of lead sponsor Wood-Mizer, plus Richelieu Hardware, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing. All four companies are long-time exhibitors of IWF, North America’s largest woodworking event.

Read more about the seminar, “The Urban Wood Revolution Is Now! Come Join the Movement,” in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update.

Also featured in this issue

Professional woodworkers are an important link in the chain to grow demand for urban wood. This is why being able to take to the stage of huge industry events like IWF, and benefit from all of the publicity that surrounds it, is an important component of the Urban Wood Network’s outreach activities to spur greater awareness of urban woods potential. Earlier this summer, the story of how Riverside, IL, repurposed an historic 160-year-old oak tree felled by high winds into custom desks for its trustees, was published in Woodshop News. The national publication is circulated to more than 50,000 print and digital readers.

Sam Sherrill, the dean of urban wood, helped examine the greener side of urban wood products. His research done in tandem with Steve of Dovetail Partners, quantified the benefits of furniture and other products made with urban wood to sequester carbon, thus reducing the release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Reminders
The second installment of the Urban Wood Network’s How To Do Urban Wood webinar series – Urban Lumber – How to Produce and Market It – takes place at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, August 29.

The Wisconsin Urban Forest Fest is scheduled for September 15 at the Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee.

The lights are always on for receiving your urban wood stories, photos and experiences to share with the Illinois Urban Wood Update subscriber base.

Enjoy the issue!

Rich Christianson

Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team
info@illinoisurbanwood.org

P.S. Joe Lehnen texted me to let me know he had the “Allsteel” thumb drive, which I had left in the seminar room. I replied that he should hold onto it and that perhaps 10 years from now it would be a valuable collectable of the Urban Wood Movement!

READ THE AUGUST ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE



The Urban Wood Movement Surges Ahead at IWF

 

IWF Urban Wood Seminar

Rich Christianson, left, moderated the seminar that featured Dwayne Sperber, Jennifer Alger and Joe Lehnen.

Representatives of urban wood utilization groups located in the Southeast, West Coast and Midwest shared their knowledge and passion with professional woodworkers attending the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The free 90-minute seminar, “The Urban Wood Revolution Is Now! Come Join the Movement,” was held Aug. 24 at IWF, North America’s largest industrial woodworking event. Nearly 80 woodworkers from across North America registered for the program organized by the Urban Wood Network.

Wood-Mizer, a leading manufacturer of portable sawmills and other wood processing equipment, is the lead sponsor of this unique program. Other sponsors include Richelieu Hardware, one of North America’s largest sources of cabinet and furniture hardware, Dynabrade, manufacturer of industrial sanding equipment, and Safety Speed Manufacturing, a U.S. manufacturer of vertical panel saws, widebelt sanders and other woodworking equipment.

IWF URBAN WOOD SEMINAR SPONSORS

Rich Christianson, communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, moderated the session. Presenters included:

Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products based in Sheridan, CA, and president of Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods, the first West Coast urban wood network.

Joe Lehnen, forest utilization & marketing specialist for the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the new Virginia Urban Wood Group.

Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee and Wisconsin state lead for the Urban Wood Network.

“A lot of great things have happened to push the movement forward since the IWF hosted the first urban wood seminar in 2016,” Christianson said. “First and foremost, larger networks like the Urban Wood Network, Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods and Virginia Urban Wood did not exist. These umbrella groups are bringing local networks and individual companies and stakeholders together to do business, share best practices and raise the awareness of urban wood’s potential.

“Secondly, while Wood-Mizer once again took the lead to demonstrate its fantastic support for the urban wood movement, we were gratified to have the additional backing of major IWF exhibitors like Richelieu, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing. Their support is further evidence that the urban wood movement is gaining traction among the mainstream woodworking industry.”

Program highlights included:

• The unique source local/buy local marketing appeal of urban wood products and the interesting stories they tell.
• The environmental advantages of utilizing urban wood.
• How to find local sources of urban wood.
• How to join or start a local urban wood network.

In addition to the individual presentations, the seminar was anchored by a robust Q&A session that afforded audience members the opportunity to get immediate responses to their questions and viewpoints from the panel and fellow seminar attendees.

About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network (UWN) operates from funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. UWN has opened up membership to other state urban wood organizations as well as individual companies and entities. The four state partners include:
Illinois Wood Utilization Team;
Michigan Urban Wood;
Missouri Department of Conservation
; and
Wisconsin Urban Wood.

About the International About the International Woodworking Fair
The International Woodworking Fair, owned by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, is North America’s largest industrial woodworking event. IWF 2018 is scheduled for August 22-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It is the “must-attend” show for manufacturers of furniture, cabinets, flooring and other secondary wood products. IWF 2016 attracted more than 17,000 woodworking professionals and featured more than 1,100 exhibitors from the U.S., Canada and beyond. Learn more at iwfatlanta.com.2

IWF 2018 Urban Wood Seminar Presentations

Rich Christianson

Jennifer Alger

Joe Lehnen

Dwayne Sperber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



IWF Urban Wood Seminar Gains Diverse Sponsorship Support

Seminar focused on repurposing felled community trees receives solid sponsorship push from Wood-Mizer, Richelieu, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing.

 

An intriguing mix of companies exhibiting at the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) have signed on as sponsors of “The Urban Wood Movement Is NOW! Come Join the Movement.” The free 90-minute seminar is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 24 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

The diverse cast of urban wood seminar sponsors includes Wood-Mizer, Richelieu, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing.

“It is extremely gratifying to see these four major companies throw their support behind the concept of utilizing community and landscape trees at the end of their service as lumber and wood products when possible,” said Rich Christianson, a representative of the Urban Wood Network, organizer of the event. “We’re excited to educate woodworkers about the benefits of networking with local tree care professionals and sawyers to use locally reclaimed lumber in their custom projects.”

Featured presenters will include Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee, WI; Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA; and Joe Lehnen, a representative of the Virginia Urban Wood Group. Each of the presentations will highlight opportunities to repurpose urban wood otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill to make high-quality lumber, slabs, furniture, flooring and other wood products.

About the Sponsors
Wood-Mizer of Indianapolis, IN, (booth 6575) is the lead sponsor of the IWF urban wood seminar. As a world-wide leader in the manufacture of narrowband portable and industrial sawmills, Wood-Mizer has long been a strong advocate of repurposing trees felled in the urban wood as lumber and wood products. The company’s diverse product offering also includes wideband sawmilling equipment, resaws, kilns, moulders/planers, pallet recycling equipment, and bandsaw blades.

“With Wood-Mizer’s thin-kerf blade technology, diseased and dying city trees can find new life in a piece of furniture that could have otherwise gone to waste,” said Darryl Floyd, COO of Wood-Mizer. “Throughout the past decade, Wood-Mizer has seen a major influx of successful businesses who are utilizing urban sourced wood for their sawmilling operations and we are proud to manufacture a product that enables small businesses to be profitable with an underutilized resource. While Wood-Mizer has been educating woodworkers about the positive environmental and economic impact of urban wood for years, the Urban Wood Seminar at IWF 2018 will be another step forward in saving more trees from going into the waste stream.”

Among the products Wood-Mizer will exhibit at IWF is the LT40 Hydraulic Wide portable sawmill. This industry workhorse for producing quality lumber fast and easily features a 34-inch width of cut and 21-foot log length capacity. Wood-Mizer will also show the MP260 and MP360 four-sided planers/moulders. These single-pass machines can be used to manufacture flooring, planed boards, crown moulding, cabinet trim, door and window frames and furniture components. 

Richelieu of Saint Laurent, QC, (booth 1604) is one of the largest distributors and manufacturers of specialty hardware and complementary products in North America. Richelieu operates more than 50 distribution centers to service over 80,000 customers engaged in the manufacture of kitchen and bath cabinets, closets and storage spaces, and home and office furnishings.

Richelieu will continue the year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary at IWF 2018. The company will display its latest innovations in hardware, fasteners, lighting, storage solutions and more.

Dynabrade of Clarence, NY, (booth 8121) has been designing and manufacturing high-quality portable abrasive power tools in the United States for more than 50 years. Dynabrade also offers dust collection solutions and accessories for its abrasive power tools. “Dynabrade is a company that is going through a “Going Green” program,” said Andy Mandell, marketing manager. “We’re eliminating waste and creating a new recycling program. It’s fantastic to see old wood serving new purposes. and Dynabrade is proud to be a part of it.

Dynabrade will introduce the Dynorbital Extreme Random Orbital Sander line at IWF. It features an ergonomic design with a tactile soft grip over-mold for a comfortable feel. The 12,000 rpm more has an improved rotor design for enhanced power.

Safety Speed Manufacturing of Ham Lake, MN, (booth 6013) is a U.S. manufacturer of high-quality panel processing machinery. Safety Speeds product line includes a full line of vertical panel saws, panel routers, widebelt sanders, edgebanders, screw pocket machines and sign-making equipment. Tom Houska, marketing manager of Safety Speed, said supporting the urban wood movement is an extension of the company’s environmental initiatives. “We are constantly aiming to decrease resource consumption through improved efficiency in our manufacturing processes, eliminate unnecessary resource use and decrease the amount of waste produced through our manufacturing activities.”

At IWF 2018, Safety Speed will demonstrate a manufacturing work cell to more efficiently process panels. The integrated solution includes the 7400 vertical panel saw, Conquest 23-spindle line boring machine, 72GP glue pot edgebander and SPM 301 screw pocket machine, which will make its debut at IWF.

 

Note: While admission to this program is free, advanced registration is required to guarantee a seat. Register at IWFAtlanta.com.

For information about the IWF Urban Wood seminar, contact Rich Christianson at 773-822-6750; richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

###

About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network (UWN) operates from funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. UWN has opened up membership to other state urban wood organizations as well as individual companies and entities. The four state partners include: Illinois Wood Utilization Team; Michigan Urban Wood Network; Missouri Department of Conservation; and Wisconsin Urban Wood.



UWN to Present Free Urban Wood Seminar at IWF 2018

IWF URBAN WOOD SEMINAR SPONSORS

The urban wood movement is ready to charge into Atlanta for an encore performance at the International Woodworking Fair.

The newly formed Urban Wood Network is organizing a free 90-minute seminar, “The Urban Wood Movement Is NOW! Come Join the Movement,” 1:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Wood-Mizer, a leading manufacturer of portable sawmills and other wood processing equipment, is the lead sponsor of this unique program. Other sponsors include Richelieu Hardware, one of North America’s largest sources of cabinet and furniture hardware, Dynabrade, manufacturer of industrial sanding equipment, and Safety Speed Manufacturing, a U.S. manufacturer of vertical panel saws, widebelt sanders and other woodworking equipment.

More than 130 people registered for the first urban wood utilization seminar held during IWF 2016. This year’s session will highlight the national momentum of the urban wood movement by bringing together representatives of newly formed groups in the Southeast, Midwest and West Coast. Each of these expert presenters will highlight how urban wood use is taking root in his or her region.

Attendees of this free session will learn:

• The unique source local/buy local marketing appeal of urban wood products and the interesting stories they tell.
• The environmental advantages of utilizing urban wood.
• How to find local sources of urban wood.
• How to join or start a local urban wood network.
• An opportunity to get answers to your questions from our expert panel.

Each of the presenters will discuss their personal passions and experiences of creating products and profits by using landscape and other urban forest trees felled by disease, storm damage, old age and other causes. Each of the presentations will shed light on opportunities to repurpose urban wood otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill to make high-quality lumber, slabs, furniture, flooring and other wood products.

Confirmed presenters of the IWF urban wood seminar, include:

Jennifer Alger

 

 

Jennifer Alger is CEO of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA, a family-owned business that actively works to promote the use of local native species and underutilized logs including reclaimed urban wood. For almost two decades she has been a regional representative for Wood-Mizer portable sawmills. She has presented at several urban log and lumber utilization workshops and seminars focused on marketing, growing and operating a small sawmill business. Most recently Jennifer has formed and is the president of Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods Inc., the West Coast’s first urban lumber trade network.

Joe Lehnen

Joe Lehnen is a Forest Utilization & Marketing Specialist, coordinating the Urban Wood Program for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Joe led the effort to establish the formation of the VA Urban Wood Group in 2017. He attained his BS degree in Forestry/Wildlife Management from Purdue University and has worked for the VA Department of Forestry since 1979. Joe has spent most of his career as an Area Forester for the Shenandoah Valley work area, where he and his family live west of Woodstock near Dunkel’s Grove.

Dwayne Sperber

Dwayne Sperber is owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee, WI. He has worked tirelessly to build awareness and markets for the abundance of wood from urban trees. Sperber is a founding partner of Wisconsin Urban Wood, a nonprofit focused on building networks of people and businesses that links material streams and availability of quality urban wood products and services across the state. He also is an appointed member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council and represents Wisconsin in the Urban Wood Network.

 

Richson Media

Rich Christianson

 

The session will be moderated by Rich Christianson, the former long-time editorial director of Woodworking Network and now owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications company focused on the North American woodworking industry. Through his role as communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, Rich represents Illinois in the Urban Wood Network, which also includes urban wood groups in Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin, plus individual companies and entities located east of the Rocky Mountains.

 

Lead sponsor Wood-Mizer LLC of Indianapolis, IN, (IWF booth #6575) is a manufacturer of portable and stationary sawmills, sawblades and other wood processing equipment and accessories.

“With Wood-Mizer wood processing equipment, diseased and dying city trees can find new life in a piece of furniture that could have otherwise gone to waste,” said Darryl Floyd COO of Wood-Mizer. “Throughout the past decade, Wood-Mizer has seen a major influx of successful businesses who are utilizing urban sourced wood for their sawmilling operations and we are proud to manufacture a product that enables small businesses to be profitable with an underutilized resource. While Wood-Mizer has been educating woodworkers about the positive environmental and economic impact of urban wood for years, the Urban Wood Seminar at IWF 2018 will continue to be a step forward in saving more trees from going into the waste stream.”

While the IWF Urban Wood Utilization seminar is being presented free of charge, attendees must register to guarantee a seat at the program. Learn more and register.

For information about becoming a seminar sponsor and general inquiries, contact Rich Christianson at 773-822-6750; richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network (UWN) operates from funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. UWN has opened up membership to other state urban wood organizations as well as individual companies and entities. The four state partners include:
Illinois Wood Utilization Team;
Michigan Urban Wood;
Missouri Department of Conservation; and
Wisconsin Urban Wood.

 

About the International About the International Woodworking Fair
The International Woodworking Fair, owned by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, is North America’s largest industrial woodworking event. IWF 2018 is scheduled for August 22-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It is the “must-attend” show for manufacturers of furniture, cabinets, flooring and other secondary wood products. IWF 2016 attracted more than 17,000 woodworking professionals and featured more than 1,100 exhibitors from the U.S., Canada and beyond. Learn more at iwfatlanta.com.

 



IWF Urban Wood Seminar Report Slated for Oct. 11 Webcast

iwf_22298-26-16Highlights from the urban wood seminar at the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) will be presented during an Oct. 11 webcast by the Wood Education and Resource Center.

Rich Christianson, communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, will lead the discussion about “Urban Wood Utilization: Making Products & Profits from Landscape Trees.” The seminar, organized by the Full Circle Urban Forest Network, was held Aug. 26 at IWF 2016, North America’s largest woodworking event.

The IWF presentation is one of nine updates on the docket for WERC’s Fall Urban Wood Utilization Webcast, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST) Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Here’s the full schedule of the webcast.

1:00 p.m. Introduction and Overview
Ed Cesa, U.S. Forest Service, Wood Education and Resource Center

1:10 p.m. Update on Urban Forest Products Standard
Bob Rouse, Tree Care Industry Association

1:25 p.m. Update on International Woodworking Fair Urban Wood Activities & Illinois Wood Utilization Team Activities
Rich Christianson, Illinois Wood Utilization Team

1:50 p.m. Example of Urban Wood Utilization in Charlotte, NC
Harry Watt, NCSU Wood Products Extension

2:15 p.m. Urban Wood Products Exchange and Urban Wood Usage Video
Eric Muecke, North Carolina State Forestry

2:25 p.m. Northern Virginia Urban Wood Utilization and Marketing Workshop
Joe Lehnen, Virginia Department of Forestry

2:35 p.m. Harrisburg, PA, Urban Wood Utilization Efforts
Ellen Roane, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry

2:45 p.m. Update on Wisconsin’s Urban Wood Utilization Activities
Sabina Dhungana, Wisconsin Division of Forestry

2:55 p.m. Update on MI Urban Wood Utilization
Jessica Simons, Southeast Michigan RC&D Council

3:00 p.m. Final comments and date for next webcast
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Attend the Oct. 11 webcast by following these instructions:

Connect to the Adobe Connect web meeting: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/werc-500/

 

  • Keep “Enter as a Guest” selected
  • Type your name into the “name” box
  • Click “Enter Room”
  • For audio: Dial in by phone: 888-844-9904; access code: 7578516

The webcast will be archived and available on demand at http://www.na.fs.fed.us/werc/eab.shtm.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Passions Flow at IWF Urban Wood Seminar

Presenters at the IWF urban wood seminar include: Dwayne Sperber, left, Rick Siewert, Jennifer Alger, and Rich Christianson, moderator.

Presenters at the IWF urban wood seminar include: Dwayne Sperber, left, Rick Siewert, Jennifer Alger, and Rich Christianson, moderator.

Three presenters – representing three very diverse business models – chorused their praise for urban wood during a unique seminar held Aug. 26 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The free 90-minute session attracted 70 woodworkers, foresters, industry suppliers and others, all interested in learning more about the benefits and opportunities of converting felled community and landscape trees into lumber, slabs and wood products.

Each of the featured presenters spoke with the sense of conviction that only comes from the heart when addressing the full-circle approach to repurposing trees from non-commercial forests felled by invasive insects, storms, developments and other end-of-life causes. Each in his or her own way also discussed the “greenness” of urban wood and the multiple benefits of being a better steward of the planet while also generating a revenue stream by putting urban wood to its highest valued use as opposed to chipping and sending these valuable trees to the landfill.

The presenters included:

>> Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA. She talked about growing up in a sawmilling family business that not only focuses on repurposing felled redwoods, but local community trees as well. The company not only sells lumber and live slabs, but also value-added products such as turning blocks, table bases and sawmilling equipment. She presented several examples of urban wood that some urged to burn that wound up being made into table tops or wall art worth thousands of dollars. One of her main goals, Alger said, it to make urban wood a “household name” and “go-to product” for wood products consumers.

>>> Rick Siewert, owner of Wood From The Hood, of Minneapolis, MN, discussed how his company, piggy-backed a business focused on using urban wood on the 30-man architectural cabinet shop established by his father in 1965. Since establishing Wood From The Hood eight years ago, Siewert has invested in a Wood-Mizer sawmill for milling lumber and a Lucas mill for slabs from logs recycled from the Twin Cities’ urban forest. Wood From The Hood’s products are sold through architects, retail outlets and online. They range from bottle openers and live edge cribbage boards through flooring and conference tables.

>>> Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee, WI, also is an active member of Wisconsin Urban Wood and the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council. He described Wisconsin’s model for developing urban wood networks as well as his own experience working with architects, interior designers, builders, homeowner and others to use urban wood in their projects.

The session was moderated by Rich Christianson, a veteran woodworking journalist and communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, who was observing his 30th anniversary of attending IWF. Christianson noted that urban wood represents a greatly under-appreciated and under-utilized resource. He added that it is ripe for entrepreneurial custom woodworkers to take advantage of its source local appeal.

“I’ve been attending IWF since 1986 and am always excited to learn about the latest advances in woodworking technology and supplies,” Christianson said. “Only recently have I learned that one of our best kept secrets for making wood products is in our backyards and parkways. It was fantastic to bring this message to the largest woodworking event in North America.”

“Capturing and utilizing wood from trees removed for reasons other than harvest is certainly not a new idea,” Sperber said. “Over the last decade, however, interest has spiked due to the emerald ash borer and increased demand for sustainable products. Efforts by individual companies and organizations around the country are responding by developing strategies to source and promote the use of urban wood products. The invitation to deliver our message at IWF is a testament to  the growing interest – it’s validating.”

The seminar, formally titled, “Urban Wood Utilization: Making Products and Profits from Landscape Trees,”  was organized by the Full Circle Urban Forest Network supported by grant funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area. The Full Circle Network includes:

The 2016 edition of the biennial IWF was attended by more than 16,000 professionals and featured more than 1,000 exhibitors. It was the largest the event has been since 2008. Learn more at iwfatlanta.com.

 



Woodshop News Features IWF Urban Wood Seminar

WSN-Urban-Wood-StoryWoodshop News, an industrial woodworking publication, recently featured a full-page story about the upcoming Urban Wood Utilization seminar, Aug. 26 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The article includes photos submitted by Wood-Mizer, a major sponsor of the seminar and  long-time supporter of the urban wood movement.

Read the article in the digital edition of Woodshop News’ August issue.



IWF Urban Wood Seminar Sponsors Help Spread the ‘Word’

By Rich Christianson

I have the odd habit of referring to my involvement with the Illinois Wood Utilization Team as missionary work.

Cutting to the chase, the mission of this missionary work is to create and promote a marketplace for wood salvaged from community and landscape trees felled due to insect infestation, storm damage, urban development, old age and other life-ending causes.

IL WUT, as we are prone to refer to ourselves, is made up of several dozen dedicated volunteers from all walks of the urban wood supply chain: arborists, tree care professionals, state and municipal foresters, sawyers, architects, woodworkers, etc.

Our activities, as well as those of our Full Circle Urban Forest Network partners in Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin, are supported by a grant from the USDA Forest Service, an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. The Forest Service has invested in a number of urban forestry intiatives the years, including many aimed at repurposing some of the millions of trees infested by the emerald ash borer as lumber. Sadly, the fate of most of these beetle-ravaged trees is chipping. Some are mulched or chopped up as fire wood.

It’s a fact, however, that many of these trees have sufficient length and girth to yield lumber that can be used to make furniture, cabinet, flooring and other wood products. The emerald ash borer might kill the tree but it does not harm the wood. A small but growing number of businesses have sprung up to capitalize on urban wood, the next generation of “green” and a handy material for those who like to source local/buy local.

Atlanta Bound
Next month my missionary work takes me to Atlanta and the International Woodworking Fair, a biennial event I have attended without fail since 1986. IWF is the North American woodworking industry’s largest event. It is an industry beacon, attracting more than 1,000 exhibiting companies displaying machinery, cutting tools, raw materials and much more. More than 15,000 woodworkers from throughout the U.S., Canada and beyond are expected to attend.

Through special arrangement with the organizers of IWF, urban wood will have a national forum, an amazing opportunity to connect with woodworkers and suppliers. The Full Circle Urban Forest Network will present a free 90-minute seminar, “Urban Wood: Making Products and Profits from Landscape Trees” at 1 p.m. Friday, August 26. I’ll moderate a panel made up of three urban wood entrepreneurs – Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products; Rick Siewert, owner of Wood From The Hood; and Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward.

Register for the IWF Seminar

We’re fortunate to have the financial support of three forward-thinking entities for this program: Wood-Mizer, the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange and Dovetail Partners.

Major Sponsor Wood-Mizer of Indianapolis, IN, has long been a leader in portable sawmills, a great tool for milling lumber from trees harvested from the urban forest. A couple of great resources provided by Wood-Mizer includes The Wood-Mizer Way magazine, which includes engaging profiles of custom sawyers and woodworkers, many focused on urban wood. Woodworkers looking for a supply of urban lumber or slabs can find local sources by using the Wood-Mizer Pro Sawyer Network, a state-by-state guide to Wood-Mizer sawmill owners.

Major Sponsor the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is preparing to launch a new website to support the creation and promotion of urban wood networks within Region 8 of the U.S. Forest Service which encompasses 13 States from Virginia to Florida and Oklahoma, plus Puerto Rico. The Exchange’s mission is to help increase awareness of urban forests as a sustainable source of wood suitable for processing, thus increasing demand for urban wood.

Sponsor Dovetail Partners of Minneapolis, MN, provides authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions, including consumption choices, land use, and policy alternatives. One of its areas of expertise is urban forestry and urban wood utilization. Dovetail Partners has provided consulting services for the impending launch of the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange. Dovetail recently published a report, “Assessment of Urban Tree Utilization & Forestry Programs of Richmond, VA and Raleigh, NC.” Dovetail has also produced several videos about the urban forest, including the one below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



IWF Seminar Aims to Demystify Urban Wood Use

Three entrepreneurs who operate businesses capitalizing on the largely untapped stream of urban wood will share their passions and diverse point of views for putting felled community trees to their best possible use at a free seminar scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The 90-minute session, “Urban Wood Utilization: Making Wood Products and Profits from Landscape Trees,” is being presented by the Full Circle Urban Forest Network, a group made up of urban wood utilization teams in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin funded by a grant from the USDA Forest Service. Wood-Mizer and the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange have signed on as major sponsors of the seminar. Additional sponsorship support is being provided by Dovetail Partners.

The expert panel includes:
Rick Siewert, owner of Wood From The Wood and Siewert Cabinet of Minneapolis, MN, and a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, will discuss how his commercial cabinet shop made its way into the urban wood business.. WFTH has quickly grown to where it now collects, mills and dries more than 100,000 board feet from urban logs.

Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA, will discuss the differences and similarities between urban salvaged and reclaimed urban forest lumber. She’ll also provide a brief history of her family’s business, how it got into urban wood, why it’s good for the environment and her goal to see that “urban lumber becomes a household name and a go-to product.”

Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward of Milwaukee, WI, will address his long involvement in the urban wood movement including with Wisconsin Urban Wood. He will explain how Wisconsin Urban Wood has forged a market by creating a network made up of professional arborists, sawyers, architects, municipalities, woodworkers and more.

Rich Christianson, communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team and former long-time editor of Woodworking Network, will moderate the panel.

“Far too many valuable trees felled by insect infestation, storm damage, urban development and other causes are being chipped and landfilled with little or no thought instead of being repurposed as high-value lumber and slabs,” Christianson said. “I strongly encourage IWF attendees and exhibitors to attend this free session to learn more about this incredible wood resource that literally grows on the trees that shade their yards and line their streets.”

Attendees of this session will learn:
• How to find sources of urban wood;
• The unique source local/buy local marketing appeal of urban wood products and the interesting stories they tell;
• The environmental advantages of utilizing urban wood; and
• An opportunity to get answers to their questions posed seasoned urban wood product experts.

While the seminar is being presented free of charge, attendees must register to guarantee a seat at the program. Learn more and register at www.IWFAtlanta.com/Education/nbs6.

For information about becoming a seminar sponsor and general inquiries, contact Rich Christianson at 773-822-6750; richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

About the Seminar Sponsors
Major Sponsor: Wood-Mizer LLC of Indianapolis, IN, is a manufacturer of portable sawmills, sawblades and other wood processing equipment and accessories. Visit Wood-Mizer during IWF 2016 at booth #6773.

Major Sponsor: the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is preparing to launch a new website to support the creation and promotion of urban wood networks in Region 8 of the U.S. Forest Service which encompasses 13 States from Virginia to Florida and Oklahoma, plus Puerto Rico. Its Exchange’s mission is to help increase awareness of urban forests as a sustainable source of wood suitable for processing, thus increasing demand for urban wood.

Sponsor: Dovetail Partners of Minneapolis, MN, provides authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions, including consumption choices, land use, and policy alternatives. One of its areas of expertise is urban forestry and urban wood utilization.

About the International Woodworking Fair
The International Woodworking Fair, owned by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, is North America’s largest woodworking event. IWF 2016 is scheduled for August 24-27, 2016 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It is the “must attend” show for supplies, manufacturing and processing of materials for the furniture, cabinetry, flooring, door and window, plastics, solid surfacing and machine tooling industries. IWF 2014 attracted more than 23,000 woodworking professionals and industry suppliers from the U.S., Canada and beyond. Learn more at iwfatlanta.com.

About the Full Circle Urban Forestry Network
The Full Circle Urban Forestry Network operates from funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. The four state partners include:
Illinois Wood Utilization Team;
Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and Development Council;
Missouri Department of Conservation; and
Sustainable Resources Institute, Wisconsin Urban Wood and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

About the USDA Forest Service
The Full Circle Urban Forestry Network’s IWF urban wood seminar is made possible through grant funding by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

 

MAJOR SPONSORS

Wood-Mizer

MAJOR SPONSOR

SPONSOR

SPONSOR

For information to become a sponsor, contact Rich Christianson, 773-822-6750.

 

 

 

 

 



Urban Wood Stars in Free IWF Seminar

IWF2016-Logo-with-dates resizeFor the first time ever, the Urban Wood Movement will make its presence felt at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The Full Circle Urban Forestry Network, comprised of urban wood utilization groups in four states – Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin – is organizing a free 90-minute seminar, “Urban Wood Utilization: Making Wood Products and Profits from Landscape Trees.” The session is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Attendees of this free session will learn::

  • How to find sources of urban wood;
  • The unique source local/buy local marketing appeal of urban wood products and the interesting stories they tell;
  • The environmental advantages of utilizing urban wood;.
  • An opportunity to get answers to their questions posed to a panel of seasoned urban wood product experts.

Rich Christianson, communications director for the Illinois Wood Utilization Team and former long-time editor of Woodworking Network, will moderate a panel of three urban wood entrepreneurs. They will discuss their personal passions and experiences of creating products and profits by repurposing landscape and community trees felled by disease, storm damage, old age and other causes. Each of their presentations will shed light on opportunities to repurpose urban wood otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill to make high-quality lumber, slabs, furniture, flooring and other wood products.

Panelists include:

  • Jennifer Alger of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA, helps market the family business that specializes in reclaimed wood including lumber the company mills from the area’s urban forest. Ninety percent of the lumber sold by the company comes from within a 500-mile radius of its Sheridan facility. Far West Forest Products also serves as a dealer for Wood-Mizer portable sawmills and blades and offers blade re-sharpening services.
  • Rick Siewert, who along with his wife, Cindy, owns Wood from the Hood of Minneapolis, MN. Wood from the Hood, which gives community trees a second life, is also Siewert’s second wood business. He is the owner of Siewert Cabinet & Fixture, a high-tech, 35-man architectural millwork company and has a long history of serving the Architectural Woodwork Institute, including sitting on the AWI Board of Directors and various committees. Siewert Cabinet is a past winner of the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association’s coveted Innovator of the Year Award. (When you visit Wood from the Hood’s website be sure to check out the video on live edge cribbage boards and flight paddles.)
  • Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee, WI, has always been interested in architecture, wood, and the environment. He was introduced to urban wood more than a decade ago, and with this intersect of his three passions, Sperber immediately became a major advocate for its use. He has worked tirelessly to build awareness and markets for the abundance of wood being removed due to insect, disease or other circumstance. Sperber is a founding partner of Wisconsin Urban Wood, a nonprofit focused on building networks of people and businesses that links material streams and availability of quality urban wood products and services across our state. He also is an appointed member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council.
Wood-Mizer

Major Sponsor

Wood-Mizer Signs on as First Seminar Sponsor
Wood-Mizer LLC of Indianapolis, IN, a manufacturer of portable sawmills, sawblades and other wood processing equipment and accessories, has signed on as a major sponsor of the program.

Darryl Floyd, COO of Wood-Mizer,noted that his company was a pioneer in the urban wood movement. “Since 1982, Wood-Mizer portable sawmill owners have turned their logs into lumber for woodworking projects and business profits. With Wood-Mizer’s thin-kerf blade technology, diseased and dying city trees can find new life in a piece of furniture that could have otherwise gone to waste. Throughout the past decade, Wood-Mizer has seen a major influx of successful businesses who are utilizing urban sourced wood for their sawmilling operations and we are proud to manufacture a product that enables small businesses to be profitable with an underutilized resource. While Wood-Mizer has been educating woodworkers about the positive environmental and economic impact of urban wood for years, the Urban Wood Seminar at IWF 2016 will be another step forward in saving more trees from going into the waste stream.”

Note: While the seminar is being presented free of charge, advanced registration is required to guarantee a seat. Learn more and register at IWAtlanta.com/Education/NBS6.

For information about becoming a seminar sponsor and general inquiries, contact Rich Christianson at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com; 773-822-6750.

View Sponsorship Opportunities

About the International Woodworking Fair
The International Woodworking Fair, owned by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, is North America’s largest woodworking event. IWF 2016 is scheduled for August 24-27, 2016 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It is the “must attend” show for supplies, manufacturing and processing of materials for the furniture, cabinetry, flooring, door and window, plastics, solid surfacing and machine tooling industries. IWF 2014 attracted more than 23,000 woodworking professionals and industry suppliers from the U.S., Canada and beyond. Learn more at iwfatlanta.com.

About the Full Circle Urban Forestry Network
The Full Circle Urban Forestry Network operates from funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. The four state partners include:

U.S. Forest ServiceAbout the USDA Forest Service
The Full Circle Urban Forestry Network’s IWF urban wood seminar is made possible through grant funding by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.