We started Son of a Woodcutter in 2012 using genuinely, reclaimed materials from old wooden pallets and siding from old agricultural buildings otherwise known as Barnboard.
The company started when I was fed up with cheap, low-quality furniture that came flat-packed in cardboard boxes. I decided I was going to build my own coffee table.
One coffee table turned into multiple and the company was born. Through Son of a Woodcutter, we could offer high-quality, unique furniture that was hand-crafted with care. Furniture that tells a story. Furniture made the way it used to be - built to last. And we did that using reclaimed wood. But despite how much we loved the aesthetics, we had to make a choice to stop using it.
Today we use solid, sustainably-harvested materials to hand build our custom tables – while we aren’t using reclaimed wood, we are committed to getting a hold of our wood ethically. We use wood from trees that were hit by lightning, starting to rot, or taken down for a development project. We would never cut down a tree for the sake of making a table. The wood we use is durable, high-quality, ethically-sourced and just right for us – and the pieces we build.
Using reclaimed wood was a stepping stone for Son of a Woodcutter. Here’s why:
Reclaimed Wood Became Difficult to Source
Reclaimed wood was not only popular but getting harder and harder to source. We needed high-quality materials that were clean, kiln-dried and ethically sourced. We could not go against our own values and use unethically sourced poor-quality materials just for the sake of using reclaimed wood.
The Rise of Chemically-Treated Pallets
Chemically-treated pallets are banned in Canada, and sometimes pallets can become contaminated with chemicals from spills. When sourcing wood pallets, it's important to be incredibly careful – but there are ways to know the source of your wood and how safe it is to use. Pallets are stamped with an IPCC stamp which certifies that the wood was heat-treated rather than fumigated. So, we were able to tell which pallets were okay to use. However, this wasn’t exactly the simplest or efficient approach.
They Damaged Our Equipment
While beautiful, reclaimed materials were a huge threat to our equipment. Keep in mind that when you get reclaimed wood the material is often full of nails, hardware, wire and dirt. These elements can cause severe damage to equipment. Not only is equipment pricey to replace (like, really expensive), if it were damaged it could cause safety concerns and be a danger to us. We like our hands, thank you.
Quality Over Everything
Eventually, we just couldn’t build the quality of custom tables we wanted to with this wood. Reclaimed materials are just not as long lasting, as functional or easy to maintain as the wood we use to build our custom handcrafted tables today. Longevity in our products is extremely important to us. We also wanted our customers to enjoy their tables hassle-free, without worrying about heavy maintenance.
Our Materials Today
Today we use a higher quality, native species of hardwood to produce our custom tables. We’re proud to be an Ontario Wood Partner - it was the most obvious choice for us. The company’s motto is “We believe Ontario Wood is the natural choice in balancing price, function, beauty, versatility and performance” – and that lines up with our values.
Because of this partnership, we’re able to provide our customers with quality handcrafted tables that are built to last, beautiful and affordable. We know this transition to a higher quality material was the right choice for us and it was the better investment for our clients.