Wonder Wood

David
David Newell
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A Point Leamington craftsman makes rustic, durable furniture from trees burnt in forest fires. Just don't ask him how he does it.

When most people look at a tree burnt by a forest fire, they see destruction.

Peter Moore sees opportunity.

When Moore decided to give up Calgary's busy lifestyle to return home to Point Leamington, he figured he could start a viable business based on his love of carpentry and knowledge of working with logs.

That business is Point Leamington Logworks.

Peter Moore relaxed in one of his handmade patio chairs outside his workshop and showroom in Point Leamington. - Photo by David Newell/The Advertiser

Point Leamington -

When most people look at a tree burnt by a forest fire, they see destruction.

Peter Moore sees opportunity.

When Moore decided to give up Calgary's busy lifestyle to return home to Point Leamington, he figured he could start a viable business based on his love of carpentry and knowledge of working with logs.

That business is Point Leamington Logworks.

"This is home," he said. "I wanted to get back next to the water and I was tired of the rat race and chasing the dollar. I just wanted to come home."

Although there are hurdles when it comes to getting the raw materials he needs to make his furniture, Moore says he's confident he'll be able to establish a long-lasting business.

The recent economic downturn has been difficult for him, but he remains positive.

"I have clients in Fort McMurray, Louisiana and Ontario," he said. "All of those guys got hit hard. They were buying from me and then, by word of mouth, their friends were, too. Then the (Grand Falls-Windsor) mill closed. I am still producing, though."

Moore makes beds, dining room tables and chairs and quilt racks, as well as furniture for the outdoors.

And his outdoor designs have a definite advantage - the furniture won't blow away and the elements won't do it any harm either.

"You can take my chairs and throw them in the middle of the pond and they won't come apart," he said.

While Moore guards the process of preparing his wood as closely as Coca-Cola does its recipe, he will say it is a time consuming and labour-intensive method.

The result is worth it, he adds.

Moore currently uses mostly burnt wood, since the low moisture content of the logs makes it close to being workable without more drying time.

But it absolutely has to be felled the old-fashioned way - by chainsaw.

"I can't use (commercially) harvested wood," Moore said. "Chainsaws are getting rarer these days, but harvesters damage the wood."

He continues to look for new methods and raw materials for his furniture and is considering fir logs, which many people shy away from because the wood is soft.

Moore is up for the challenge.

"I am the type of guy that you can't tell me it can't be done," he said.

"There is no such thing as 'can't.' It might be hard or take a bit of time to find an easier way to do it, but it can be done."

He encourages people to visit his workshop and showroom in Point Leamington any time.

Organizations: Coca-Cola

Geographic location: Point Leamington, Calgary, Fort McMurray Louisiana Ontario Grand Falls

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  • ahl
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Peter....phone number, web site?? Looks like great stuff.

  • ahl
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Peter....phone number, web site?? Looks like great stuff.