top of page

Using Your Own Wood: VSPs

A common "weird question." What to know before showing up with a stump in the back of your truck.

It's one of the most common questions we get: can I bring my own wood for a furniture project? The short answer is a resounding YES, but there's a little more to it than that.

We call these Very Special Projects (VSPs). It's possible to work with any wood you bring us, provided it adheres to the following principles.

  1. Wood must be unused, i.e. we won't "un-build" existing furniture to transform it into something else. Contact an upcycler near you for guidance on what to do with unwanted furniture made from high-quality material.

  2. Your material must be dry, and we mean dry. We use a moisture meter to check the content of any provided sample, and a safe number is 6% or less. If you have green wood, keep it dry and it's a matter of time until it's useful! Read more about dryness here.

  3. The wood needs to be no less than 1 1/2" thick, or 1" thick AFTER it's been planed (flattened). If it's being fastened to steel, it needs to be 1 1/4" thick. This means that warped wood is acceptable as long as it's dry, and measures 1-1 1/4" thick after planing.

The material you have brought us over the years for VSPs has been fulfilling to work with, and tremendously satisfying to deliver. A few examples that have produced beautiful results:

  • A long Cherry slab from Grandpa's barn in NH, cut into two coffee tabletops for his daughter and granddaughter

  • Ancient Oak from a submerged tree discovered by a timber spotter on Google Earth, resting in the Mississippi for over 1800 years (then painstakingly dried)

  • Unused Walnut slabs from George Nakashima's workshop in New Hope, PA

  • Cottonwood from the tree that stood outside a bedroom window for decades before coming down in a storm

  • Wood a husband bought during the pandemic with plans to make a dining table, but then then came back-to-the-office and a new baby, and he has finally admitted he just might not get around to it

Questions? Let's connect.

bottom of page