When you think of the Great Plains, you probably don’t think of forests full of trees. However, North Dakota is home to more than 50 varieties of trees, which are able to thrive thanks to good soil and a landscape of lakes and rivers.
And now, two guys in Cummings have planted the roots of a new type of grove: Buffalo Coulee Wood Products.
A little over a year ago, Jared Johnson and Matt Weaver turned a Quonset on Matt’s family farmstead into a sawmill for live edge slabs and rough and reclaimed lumber. I asked the very helpful Jared to give us some insight on North Dakota woodworking:
Tell us a little bit about Buffalo Coulee – what’s the best part of working there? What are you most proud of?
Matt and I first purchased an old Howell Model 0 Mill as a hobby and then, a couple of years later, we decided to also purchase a bandsaw mill and start a business. It’s something we have always wanted to do – purchase a sawmill and create usable materials out of logs. We are both outdoors people and and ISA-certified arborists so working with trees is a big interest of ours. We are very proud and excited that we have been able to start Buffalo Coulee and grow it into something big.
Why is North Dakota craftsmanship important to you?
North Dakota is a place people don’t correlate with trees. There are a lot of different tree species here, and a lot of unique wood, and a lot of possibility. It’s really fun meeting woodworkers in the area and learning about their skills and projects.
What’s next for you?
We hope to have a woodshop built and up and running before the end of 2018 (from Amanda: if you visit their Facebook page, you can see the latest construction photos). We plan to offer machine services for people who may not have the resources to get the finished wood to start their projects.
We also hope to become a large source of wood in the near future. We want to be a resource for people in the area having a hard time finding material. Right now, most of our wood comes from tree services. We purchase our wood throughout the U.S., but mostly from Kansas and North Carolina.
Why should people buy North Dakota lumber over anywhere else?
We want people to be able to purchase it locally without having to drive or have lumber delivered from out-of-state so they can save time and money. Buying lumber from a North Dakota mill helps the economy all over the state.