Bear Creek Lumber

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In This Issue
Extra Lumber Ideas
BCL Employee Projects
British Columbia Strike
BCL Photo Contest
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Extra Lumber Ideas

Witkowski's Remodel:
When our family remodeled our home last year, our project called for more than a dozen premium lumber products. We estimated our lumber needs based on measurements, and added approximatly 10% for trim and selectivity. This was a benefit to the carpenters at the jobsite, who were able to use pieces of lumber selectivly, and enhance any naturally occuring character in a given species, and/or piece. At the end of the job, we chose to use the bonus material in a variety of challenging, inventive, and useful ways. We made outside benches out of douglas fir timbers that had been used as rafter material, and IPE that was used for decking. The benches are heavy to move, but are simple, beautiful, and match the exterior of the house. In addition, we made use of the extra lumber in our garden, and utility areas. Our 200 lb utility table, and our green bean/sweet pea frames are shown at the bottom of the next page. Furthermore, we were looking for a place to store our firewood for easy access in the winter months. We had envisioned what our woodstand (shown below left) would look like, and we made it out of douglas fir, and extra western red cedar 2 x 4 material.

witkowski residence  firewood storage  retaining walls of red cedar  bench and retaining wall   

toy box

An outside toy bin for our two children was our first project. It is made of the IPE pickets we used for our deck railing, as well as the western red cedar 2 x 4 that was used for outside trim. Winter was going to be coming soon, and we needed a place to put all of our children’s out-of-doors toys.

We filled an old pond with river rock, and used 12 x 12 western red cedar beams as retaining walls, and also steps into the old pond. (shown above)

On a Saturday in August, I decided to make a 200 pound utility table, which is shown to the left. It is 84 inches long, 36 inches wide, and 33 inches tall.
The top is IPE 5/4 x 6 sanded 80 grit, with one coat of benite applied. I let it dry, then sanded with 120 grit, and applied a second coat with fine steel wool. The legs are douglas fir 6 x 6 #1 & better S4S (surfaced four sides). They were sanded with 80 grit. The rails are western red cedar 2 x 4 patio clear rough cut. I sanded the exposed edge only. This table will be wrapped with western red cedar clear vertical grain some other Saturday afternoon...

Last, but not least, we used the WRC 2 x 4 to create garden frames for our green beans, and sweet peas to grown on. These supports are also shown to the left. To start, we screwed two 2 x 4, 6 foot long boards together to make a 4 x 8 post. Three of these posts are shown to the left. They are held together by 2 x 4 framework set into the ground, and held to the 4 x 8 posts with more screws. So far these are holding up well, and we are harvesting many peas and beans, for snacks and dinner veggies.

ipe and red cedar table  pea garden


Joe’s Deck, Railing, Siding, Trim, and Fence:

These pictures are of AYC (alaskan yellow cedar) decking 2 x 4 standard and better S4S (surfaced four sides). Part of the deck is stained, but the far end is left natural. To the right is a railing. 2 x 6 select tight knot S4S (surfaced four sides) for the top rail and 2 x 4 patio clear S4S (surfaced four sides) for the bottom rail. The pickets are ripped from 2 x 4. The fence is made of alaskan yellow cedar 1 x 4 standard & better rough cut, and the posts are lodge pole pine. The siding is ESLP (engleman spruce, lodgepole pine) 1 x 6 #2 Common T & G (tongue & groove), and the lumber used for trim is 2 x 6 select tight knot rough cut ripped to 2 x 3. The chunk of fire wood that is used to hold my umbrella in, is lodge pole pine as well.

Joe Hammer

alaskan yellow cedar febce  western red cedar posts  house entry

|Shown above is a picture of my fence. This is standard and better alaskan yellow cedar 1 x 4 rough cut. It is a great fence. It blocks the road noise and view from passerby’s. The post that is in the way of the picture is western red cedar 4 x 4 Standard and Better S4S (surfaced four sides). There is a 2 x 6 top rail, and pickets that are ripped from 2 x 4 patio clear S4S (surfaced four sides). photos taken by Joe Hammer

timberframe project
Here is one of my projects (on the right). I built this back in 1997 (10 years ago), this building has 1 x 12, and 1 x 3 western red cedar #2 & better board & batt siding. The building is a timber frame construction, utilizing 4 x 8, 6 x 10, & 8 x 8 #1 & better FOHC (free of heart center), S4S (surfaced four sides) douglas fir post and beams. Deck rail is 5/4 x 4 #2 & better ponderosa pine ballisters capped with red cedar and supported by 8 x 8 douglas fir posts. The interior is 1 x 8 pine T & G (tongue & groove) which is hard to see. The exterior cedar has no stain or sealer, the pine has been coated with Benite and in need of another dose. Versatile wood for Versatile weather.
Dick Garing


red cedar fenceWRC Fence
Here is a bit of info regarding my fence: My name is Mike Pilkinton and I am the yard supervisor for Bear Creek Lumber.
Approximately 12 years ago I purchased some fencing material from my company. I used 1x6 western red cedar standard & better grade. I fastened the boards with black sheetrock screws as I did not want anything shiny. This resulted in a black stains bleeding from the screws. Initially, I was alarmed by the effect. After time, as the cedar naturally weathered, the stains blended with the antique colorization causing an awsome blend. I enhanced the look with antique traps and garden implements placed at random. I live in a western theme town and I think I fit right in.
Mike Pilkinton
Lumberyard Supervisor

port orford cedar planter

Port Orford Cedar Planter Box
I bought some 2 X 10 port orford cedar for making raised garden beds. I had some leftover materials, and decided to make two planters for our back porch, therefore utilizing the extra lumber.
The planters are approximately 3 feet long, and were made using a circular saw, and a jig saw.
After cutting the pieces, I sanded them to ease the edges, and then put them together using galvanized screws. Then we added some good dirt, and plants, and after that I was finished for the day.
(This was about a six-pack project)
Merle Kirkley

Industry News

B.C. Strike Takes a Toll on Softwood Supplies
Picket lines went up as workers walked off the job on Saturday July 21st at 31 coastal B.C. lumber firms. Roughly 7,000 members of the United Steelworkers union have been in a legal position to strike for two weeks, after contract talks came to a dead-end regarding hours of work and contracting out. Negotiations with FIR, Island Timberlands and Interfor have been in the works since mid-March, but a union spokesperson stated that the companies have been “unable to provide adequate proposals on several of the key issues.” The walkout comes with tough times in the lumber industry. While timber profits have been down, the strike now brings the $2-billion coastal industry to a near standstill. British Columbia is Canada’s largest timber-exporting province, producing almost half the softwood lumber the country ships to the United States. A strike by coastal forestry workers in 2003 lasted for three weeks and was ended when the provincial government intervened.

So What Does the Strike Mean For Consumers?
While many retailers may see sources becoming scarce and prices rising considerably, Bear Creek Lumber remains to have a strong inventory of Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Port Orford Cedar and Douglas Fir. Although lead times may extend because of the demands, we have established relationships with non-union operating mills that are not affected by the current strikes.
Even though we have many species, sizes, grades and quantities in stock, please plan ahead for your projects. Unless we have what you need in stock, lead times may need to be extended to meet your needs.

If you have any questions regarding our inventory or if you would like to place an order for your next project, give us a call at 800-597-7191 or visit our website at We look forward to helping you with your lumber needs!

Photo Contest

Check out the contest page for rules and prizes!!!

Editor: Omaste Witkowski