I met Paul Maheu at the San Francisco Green Festival last November. He told me he was milling eucalyptus and pine logs otherwise destined for landfill. About 4 months later I was heading toward Richmond, gave him a call, and headed out to his yard, New Life Millworks, and was stunned by the sheer size of the operation. It’s a huge yard with enormous stacks of logs.
These guys are diverting logs from landfill and turning them into useful building materials. Euc flooring looks just like oak. They have huge saws, one of them salvaged from a big lumber mill. They have a monster planer, with bins full of different shaped teeth. I mean, this is no “dimensional saw mill” operation. This is big time lumber making, and out of scrap. Small stuff is ground up and loaded in a special trailer on an 18-wheeler and transported to a wood-burning electricity-generation plant. A soup-to-nuts operation. Paul’s office has a Mac computer on a desk looking out into a bird-filled marsh.
Attention timber framers: They have a big pile of oak and hemlock beams salvaged from barns in mid-west Ohio.
If you’re a builder in Northern California, you might want to check them out. They have pine, cedar, redwood, cypress, eucalyptus, walnut, and whatever comes along.
New Life Millworks