New Life Millworks/Eucalyptus/Pine/ Cypress/Cedar/Huge Mill/Recycled Barn Beams

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.

Just one of many piles 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.

Paul Maheu

Attention timber framers: They have a big pile of oak and hemlock beams salvaged from barns in mid-west Ohio.

This is a 40′ long (!) hand-hewn (!) 8×8 beam.

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.

Paul Maheu

New Life Millworks


About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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