Urban Wood: Metro trees are useful after the chainsaw

Digital Originals

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa DNR and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore have teamed up to help woodworkers source metro hardwoods for whatever projects they dream up.

During a recent visit to the ReStore on E. Euclid Avenue, Store Director Dana Folkerts showed off their selection of oak, ash, walnut, hickory and maple. Some “live edge” boards are included. The wood is sold by the board and will need some work if a smooth finish is required. The store recently held a contest with Facebook members choosing their favorite local Urban Wood project. Paul DeBoer’s hickory and maple coffee table won out over entries that included a jewelry box, a floating shelf, a bird feeder and a live edge bar.

DeBoer has built furniture for his daughter in the past and his son asked if DeBoer could build a coffee table like one he had seen online. DeBoer, who has used wood from trees in his and other family members’ yards, liked what he saw at the ReStore and went to work on the table.

DeBoer is also a member of Woodworking With A Purpose, a group that built hundreds of desks they then gave to students who needed a place to study during the pandemic.

The Iowa DNR has a workshop on Sept. 23 to help promote the idea of turning Iowa trees into useful lumber.

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