Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I need to have my hide tanned with a Tan Oak switch.

Everything that is wood in these photos is a localy made product, made out of local wood. The floors are Tan Oak.

Ken Forden and his crew at Whitethorn Constuction are understandably proud of these products.


All of the photos but the top two will greatly expand by double-clicking on them.




























































Mea Culpa
Noun
1. "An acknowledgment of your error or guilt."

Okay, I made a huge error in overlooking one of Southern Humboldt and Northern Mendocino’s most important, and long lasting businesses. My total focus on the Eel River Valley made me overlook Whitethorn Construction. That’s those guys one ridge over in the Matole drainage. The Matole drainage and the Eel River drainage have almost identical ecology, but totally different geology, a fact that will probably be reflected in a post on this blog one day. But, the people are the same kind of people that cover all of Sohum and Nomend. A poet by the name of “Deerhawk” coined us to be the people of the Mateel. The word is a combination of the Matole and the Eel. I campaigned for us to be called the Eetole, but I lost and Deerhawk got his way.

Back to my huge error. No amount of apologizing can make up for my oversight, because the people of the Whitethorn Construction Company are my friends and Neighbors. Indeed, the Owners of Whitethorn construction, the Mckees, are one of the oldest families in Southern Humboldt. Bob Mckee and I are even related through marriage a few generations ago. Also, as Ken forden, the manager of Whitethorn Constuction’s Hardwood Products division said, we have known each other for over thirty years. We’ve even been to many social events together. So I understand his being miffed.

After I show you the local hardwood products that they produce, you will see that I was very remiss in not thinking of them in my Tan Oak Lumber post. I offer my sincere apologies to Whitethorn Construction, and especially Ken Forden. I admire a person that will tell me when I’m wrong and allow me to repair the error.

Ken proceeded to fire some rather frank and much deserved e-mails my way and the following is being printed with his permission:
"Ernie, rather than submit photos of Tan Oak products directly to the site ( I actually don't know if that is how it works) I think I will try and get some together and send them to you for your review. I hope that at least a couple will be worth your while to put up on the site to continue the discussion. Local woods have a place and I've built a lot of items from them over the last 30 years. I didn't mean to start out rudely but I was upset that so little seemed to be known about the subject and our part in making it happen. Forgive me please. I'll try to work something in today but no promises. I enjoy giving tours but I have regular work to do and that is why I specified an appointment. I can usually accommodate wherever people have in mind but I need to work it in to my own schedule. I would truly like to show you around, I'd like you to see me on my own turf. thanks, ken"

The presented photos are of their mill, and a few photos of their local product, produced one ridge over to the West. I'm pretty sure that Ken will be monitoring this blog for a while, so if you have any questions just post them here with your other comments, and we will get them answered.

12 comments:

Ernie Branscomb said...

Okay Ken, I will ask the first question; Who carved the door, and what kind of wood is it?

USelaine said...

I'm in love with that door.

[Ernie, the jigsaw on today's post hasn't been working for a few hours, and that site won't even let me log in. Something is amiss.]

Kym said...

The wood for my parents' original beautiful tan oak floors came from an Arcata area mill but when they decided recently to expand the floors into other areas the wood came from Whitethorn Construction and it is beautiful, too!

Anonymous said...

"I need to have my hide tanned with a Tan Oak switch."

I may know where you can find a spanking bench.

woodworker said...

I would like to thank and commend Ernie for his generous comments and I look forward to his tour appointment. I would like to thank USelaine and Kym for their positive remarks.
Here are some comments on the photos that will answer questions as well. The Entry Door is one I built of Cherry because at the time we did not have the supply of Madrone that would have been needed. The top photo is of a private office made of Tan Oak with Madrone highlights and Black Cottonwood door panels. The panels are carved in a Swedish style chip carving. The flooring is Tan Oak.
The Kitchen photo is Tan Oak cabinets and flooring. The client brought in their Tan Oak having been cut and dried on their land and we made the products from it.
The milling of logs is being done by Mike Markham. In one he is slabbing a Pepperwood log and in the other using a Woodmizer to make Claro Walnut boards for sale. The two processing photos show our main production building. And finally, the bottom two show our "character" grade Tan Oak tongue and groove flooring. These photos provide a brief picture of what we are doing and I hope contribute to the story of hardwood in our immediate area. thank you, ken

Kristabel said...

Ernie,
I'm going to pretend you wrote that headline just for me. Thanks!

That door is amazing.

Anonymous said...

How much does it cost to make a tree into a floor?

ross sherburn said...

you guys can say what you want!but that slab in the fifth picture,impressed me the most!i can almost see a table there!

USelaine said...

I spotted that great looking slab too.

I nearly said I'm having hardwood fantasies, but that didn't sound right. In any case, this is great to see and know about.

Indie said...

The door is exquisite!

spyrock said...

"i need to have my hide tanned with a tan oak switch." no you don't. we had a huge cork oak right outside our back door that had branches like a switch. after a long day of paddling the crap out of the future hells angels of America, my mom would use this natural device of torture on me. whatever it was that i did wrong and most of the time it was news to me, she would go outside and break off a switch. how convenient. one time, they sent me home from school because of the welts on my legs. but back in those days, school principals were above the law. they were the law. and that damn cork oak tree was their medium of you better do what i want you to do or else. they planted those cork oaks because there was a shortage of cork during one of our great wars.
it was a tree planted to support the war effort. they usually strip off the bark of a cork oak to harvest the cork every so many years. but i finally got my chance when i built a fence right into it and used a chain saw to fit the fence in there so it would match all the way down the line.
the leaves don't fall in the fall like other trees. they fall in the spring and early summer. but there is plenty of raking and plenty of dust. the cork oak is a beautiful tree, but it can be painful if you are on the wrong end of the switch.

ross sherburn said...

my dad always threatened to get a switch after me!but most of the time,he ended up laughing,because he couldn't catch me!