Our business is based on one of the most valuable natural resources on our Earth – trees. While trees are the most renewable resource used in manufacturing, huge demands are being placed on our forests. Sound stewardship practices are critical for maintaining healthy forests and the environment in general. That is why it is our intent for all the wood used to be native from North America, from local sources if possible. We are committed to sustainability, both internally and externally. No lumber from virgin old-growth forests are exploited. The forests from which this lumber is cut is FAR more valuable to our environment than any boat or piece of furniture we could build.
We know that rare tropical hardwoods sometimes have special characteristics which make them desirable for certain projects. There are virtually no native wood species that can replace the ebony fingerboard on a guitar. So in acknowledge of this, any tropical hardwoods, such as Honduras mahogany, Spanish cedar and ebony, come from certified plantations. No rain forest woods are utilized. Ever.
Currently, every project includes at least one piece of wood personally harvested from the family property. In the next few years to hope to start harvest all of our own lumber from the Sweeney Farm, our Millsfield, NH property that has been in my wife’s family since 1917. Nearly two-thirds of the 300 acres is forested. We are looking to purchase our own bandsaw mill and will air dry all of our wood on site. Modern kiln drying, which greatly speeds up the drying process for commercial lumber operations, is very energy intensive. It’s one small step to protect our environment and use less fossil fuels.
Since we are a small scale shop, we can take the time and pick our boards to reduce waste. What little scrap wood we do produce will continue to supply supplemental heat and our new chickens now help compost our wood shavings. There is very little that we dispose of in landfills.
In a further effort to help the environment, we will continue to implement the use of low- and no-VOC finishes. We are still looking to find a replacement for the high-VOC marine urethanes we use to finish for our boats. When we find a water-borne finish that duplicates the performance we will switch. We are also waiting for the non-oil-based epoxies to arrive commercially.
Effective Earth Day 2010 we are also implementing a new planting program. For every major furniture projects, we will hand-plant saplings of native tree species at the Sweeney Farm. Customers will get to pick the tree species they wish us to plant for their project. That fall we will plant them in a special area of the property. Call it being “carbon-neutral” (whatever…), it’s simply our little way to give homage to the trees which provided the lumber for past projects. There will be more information about this program on a separate page.
We are proud of the furniture that we build, and proud our Earth-friendly policies. We want to what we can so that our girls, Lena and Danielle, will be able to enjoy the environment as we have. We’re doing it for them. We hope you understand.Earth Day 4/22/2010