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California Urban Lumber

Listing #236   Listed on: 04/09/2009

WOODWEB Content Editor, Brett Hagstrom, Interviewed Bill Ridings in August 2009.

Listen to "California Urban Lumber" audio interview

JFC Construction, Inc. created the California Urban Lumber division two years ago with the idea that they would mill enough lumber for internal company needs including siding, fencing and form lumber. They are now milling approximately one hundred thousand board feet annually which is considerably more than the company can use on current projects.

Bill Ridings was hired to procure logs, oversee the milling operation and develop a sales department. Most of the lumber comes from “street trees”, which are trees that have outlived their usefulness in urban areas and need to be removed for various reasons including disease, insect damage, and natural mortality. Log sources include tree services, city arborists, park districts and local residents. Many of the logs are delivered by the tree service companies, but California Urban Lumber has the ability to pick up felled logs.

Continue Reading about California Urban Lumber

Twin engine Alaskan Mill

  52 inch planer/sander

  26 inch portable bandsaw

  Redwood put through the planer/sander

Company Name:   California Urban Lumber
Contact Name:   Bill Ridings
Location:   martinez, CA  
Year Founded:   2008
Sq. Footage:   6,000
Employees:   2
Gross Sales:   N/A

Product Specialties:
    Hardwood Lumber
    Milled Lumber / Lumber for construction
    Other Wood Products

Service Specialties:

Sawmill Equipment:
    Sawmills: Stationary - Cooks 52 HP, 25 inch
    Edgers - Cooks 25 HP, 25 inch
    Planers - 40 HP, 25 inch, dual side
    Bandsaw Sharpening Equipment - Oliver 36 inch
    Resaws - 24 inch
    Sawmills: Stationary - Alaskan Mill, twin Huskvarna 3120's, sixty-six inch throat
    Other - Logosol shaper
    Other - SCMI shaper

Viewer Comments:

Posted By: dan     [04/29/2009]
What widths can you cut with your Alaskan Mil and where did you pick it up?

Posted By: Tim McBride     [09/30/2009]
Very cool!!!!

Posted By: Jacques Bertrand     [07/11/2010]
I have an acacia tree which needs to go, it is large! Is there anyone interested in the wood?

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Company Description Continued

Bill mills walnut, oak, ash, elm, liquid amber, myrtle wood, black acacia and various other hardwoods for local artisans, cabinet makers, turners, and schools. Redwood, Monterey cypress, and pine are milled for siding, forming, fencing and the thousands of stickers needed to store and dry the lumber. Martinez, California has very low relative humidity levels so air drying is the obvious choice for drying lumber. In fact, Bill states that in the summer months new methods of slowing down the drying process are constantly being tried to prevent damage to the freshly milled lumber.

Custom milling is becoming a large part of the operation and is projected to be thirty percent of California Urban Lumber revenue. They use a Cook’s fifty two horsepower horizontal band mill which is the heart of the operation. The Cook’s saw will accommodate a thirty three inch diameter log, anything larger is milled with an Alaskan mill which is set up with a sixty six inch bar and twin Husqvarna 3120’s. A twenty five horsepower edger can cut flitches up to twenty eight inches wide and three inches thick. Inside the six thousand square foot shop are several milling machines used for custom work including a fifty two inch planer for large slabs, a twenty five inch dual side planer, a SCMI shaper and a Logosol shaper/moulder for paneling, flooring and trim.

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