Everything You Wanted to Know (but didn’t dare ask) about Shou Sugi Ban

flaming wood

Intentionally charring wood? Though it may seem a bit unorthodox, the benefits and history of this technique show it to be a very useful surface treatment. We’ve taken the time-honored practice and modified it, wire brushing away layers, adding color tones, experimenting with species.

shou sugi ban pioneer millworks

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Sparkling Sawdust—HiLo Hotel in Portland

InviteBlog post by Deborah Roe

Thursday night (7/13) was the opening for HiLo in downtown Portland, Oregon. A few of us from Pioneer Millworks attended the event where we ate, were painted gold, and silently discoed the night away. The 120-room boutique style hotel resides in the Oregon Pioneer Building (a National Register of Historic Places). We have a few ties—turns out back in 2008-10 our own Elise Payne worked in the building.


The party started as soon as we walked in the door. There were specialty drinks and intricate food of various varieties scattered throughout the hotel.

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Meet the Team Featuring Tim

A native of California, Tim joined our team of Reclaimed Wood Design Experts servicing our current, and new, CA and NV customers. An avid gardener with a penchant for cookies, our interest was piqued and we put Tim through a range of questions. If you’d like to chat with him about any of our products you can shoot him an email or call him at (415) 961-2854.

tim dino web

Where are you from?
I was born in Southern California when there were still open spaces and orange trees in Orange County. I’m excited to serve my home state, to bring reclaimed and sustainable wood to projects there.

What’s your background with wood?
I have worked for several companies that crafted products out of wood. One company made custom wood garage doors with clear grade Douglas fir frames and Western Cedar fronts. Most recently I worked for a company that made custom playground equipment from free-of-heart Douglas fir post and beams. I love working with and selling wood products but always had mixed feelings about having to cut down trees. This one of the reasons I am so excited to be a part of Pioneer Millworks.

tim of pioneer millworks california nevada
What is your role on our team?
California and Nevada Reclaimed Wood Design Expert. I’m looking forward to getting to know Nevada better and having the opportunity to spend more time with my brother who lives in Minden.

Road trip selfie from Tim.

Road trip selfie from Tim.

What are you most looking forward to with your job?

Helping to create very personal, custom spaces with reclaimed wood that celebrates inspires, teaches, and heals the human experience. 

What about wood or reclaimed wood appeals to you?
How it is better for the planetless material going into landfills, and less demand to remove live trees. 

Tim with reclaimed wood kept from landfills!

Tim with reclaimed wood kept from landfills!

Which product is your favorite? Why?

Reclaimed timbersbecause each one is unique and has its own story.

Reclaimed timbers, agricultural of industrial salvage are Tim's favorite.

Reclaimed timbers, agricultural or industrial salvage are Tim’s favorite.

What are your hobbies outside of work?
My goal is to visit every National Park before I die, so…whitewater rafting, biking, hiking, and backpacking. I also like to garden and grow my own food. My dream is to own a small organic urban farm where I can supply organic food to local artisans and the community – as well as my family.

What’s your favorite book?
The Soul of a Tree: A Master Woodworkers Reflections, by George Nakashima

The soul of a tree book cover
Share something quirky about yourself…

I commute by bike most days and eat at least one cookie a day.

What is your favorite quote?
“A tree is our most intimate contact with nature.” 


In a world where manual skills are shunned, we believe in them, not only in the act of producing a better product but in the sheer joy of doing or becoming. We feel that pride in craftsmanship, of doing as perfect a job as possible, of producing something of beauty even out of nature’s discards, are all homely attributes that can be reconsidered.” Both by George Nakashima.

If you’d like to chat with Tim about any of our products you can shoot him an email or call him at (415) 961-2854.


Thoughtful Sophistication

beyond the barn pioneer millworks

Be bold, bright, lustrous, subtle, smooth, textured, patterned, or radiant with the other side of reclaimed wood.

Custom Colors, Custom Grey Finish.

Custom Colors, Custom Grey Finish.


We’ve turned to our team of craftsmen, artists, and out-of-the-box types to play and pioneer new salvaged options. The results are remarkable tones and sheens with sleek or intense textures—modern options with a soul.

Painted & Sanded Foundry Maple with "Millennial" Pink

Painted & Sanded Foundry Maple with “Millennial” Pink


Grandma's Attic mixed softwoods, custom color finish.

Grandma’s Attic mixed softwoods, custom color finish.


And the barn wood we know and love? Even it has another side—an inside, an underside, a creative side. It’s time to push the envelope further and get adventurous with colors in the cracks and crevasse.


American Gothic Reclaimed Oak in varying thicknesses.

American Gothic Reclaimed Oak in varying thicknesses.


Thoughtful Sophistication options are available in solid paneling, engineered paneling, solid flooring, engineered flooring, board stock, treads, thresholds, and fixtures—all with the eco-loving and LEED benefits and that make your projects sustainable.

Premium Select Mixed Grain Antique Heart Pine bench paneling.

Premium Select Mixed Grain Antique Heart Pine bench paneling.


These are some of our favorite ideas and we’ll be sharing more iterations in our next few blog posts. We love creating custom colors, textures, and patterns – what are your customization aspirations? Let our team know so we can start idea sharing and swapping samples.