From Inception to Installation: Part 2: The Materials & the Machines

The Sourcing and Specs

The OSU project staff knew they needed a beautiful, artistic piece as a tribute to the Starker family’s long tenure and devotion to the University. Together with Trillium Pacific Millwork, they had come up with a fantastic plan to make that happen.

The idea was to make wall panels for the back wall that incorporated all of the the different wood species found in the Starker forest. Project deadlines meant we could not take the time to harvest wood directly from the property and process it into lumber. Luckily, the team was quickly able to sourse, from multiple local suppliers, all of the wood needed to get it done. Some species were hard to find. Fortunately our area has a vibrant community that encourages and supports small land owners where many lesser species are grown. The end result was a great mix of beautiful wood for the project.

The Machines

Once the wood was sourced in volumes corrosponing to the amount of the species found in the Starker Forest, it was ripped into various widths and thicknesses. The combination of thicknesses and widths made for a complex puzzle to solve to get the artistic look wanted for the panels. The team devised a plan to redistribute strips in a random pattern, lazer engrave them with the scientific name, attach them to a backer, and then cut to it’s final shape.

The process went smoothly thanks to our expert team. One tricky challenge was to figure out how to insert the long slices into the laser machine. The machine was not meant for such a project, but ultimately, our programmer, J.R. was successful in finding both a safe and funtional way to make it happen.

With all of the slices lasered and cut to size, master craftsman Jim thoughtfully laid them out and attached them to the backer. This step was where much of the artistry entered the picture. The mix of species, thicknesses, widths, and natural wood characteristics provided almost unlimited options but great opportunity. Jim did an awesome job of mixing it all up and organizing it into a beautiful, artful piece. Finally, the six panels were sent to the CNC machine where J.R. carefully cut of the precise silhouette of Mary’s Peak and the horizon. Next Time: Final prep and delivery!