For episode 24, we’re getting to know Jeff Perry from Angel City Lumber.
Angel City Lumber was born out of the need to make the somewhat ad hoc sawmill services in LA more streamlined.
The business grew from a small idea: sourcing trees marked for landfill and harvesting them for lumber to a full scale operation in supplying raw materials.
For now, Jeff is committed to milling based on his assessment of his local community’s needs. He stresses how imperative it is to create awareness of this need for urban lumber.
Jeff’s business partner, Charles found the current location for Angel City Lumber in Boyle Heights. This has allowed them to set up a structured professional working space and a network that has given the business legitimacy.
Jeff feels it was always best to ‘go all in’ and learn as the business grew. Having good start up capital and a helpful and supportive local sawyer community was a huge boost in confidence.
The consensus of feedback convinced Jeff & Charles to pick a Lucas sawmill as their first piece of machinery, the portability and convenience of using one perfectly suited tree service/harvesting work. Jeff & Charles invested cautiously in the early days of Angel City Lumber and have always planned carefully going forward.
Perfecting the technique of drying wood using the dehumidification kiln to produce flat slabs has been a learning curve, something Jeff & Charles are working hard to improve on.
A lot of orders have been coming in for custom dimensional lumber from landscape architects. Jeff feels very pleased with this upturn in business and is enjoying seeing the process through from start to completion.
Jeff feels he is still figuring out where the bulk of the market is for Angel City Lumber. He would like to be selling larger orders of slabs and dimensional boards that would put urban lumber on the map as a viable material.
Jeff sees their Lucas sawmill, vacuum kiln, 6 x 12 CNC router table and ‘Nina’, their forklift as the essential tools of Angel City. They take good care of ‘Nina’ and see her as the heart of the business!!!!
Other vital tools include ‘Greg’, their Dodge 3500 Cummins pickup truck for transporting logs and ‘Flynn’ the 16ft trailer!!! With the help of ‘Greg’ and ‘Flynn’ plus a built in winch system, Jeff & Charles can quickly respond to call outs to harvest trees and bring them back for processing.
In the future, Jeff would like Angel City Lumber to be able to work with contractors/architects on larger commercial structures delivering volume orders.
At this time, Jeff & Charles’ main customers are homeowners with very old trees. The homeowners who get in contact with Angel City Lumber have great emotional attachment to these trees and are invested in having them milled in order to be saved and re-purposed. Jeff see’s a mixture of these homeowners and the larger commercial jobs as the ideal and desirable balance he would like to achieve.
For more information go to: http://www.angelcitylumber.com/