The Pitch's Best of KC 2014: Urban Lumber Company Earns Critic's Choice Honor
The Urban Lumber Co. began turning other people’s trash into treasure back in 2005, when woodworker Tim O’Neill started sawing trees — discarded from Kansas City yards — into lumber. In mid-May, the Urban Lumber Co. opened a new showroom in a former auto-parts warehouse near U.S. Highway 40 and Interstate 435. Here, you can peruse racks of locally harvested, kiln- and air-dried planks and learn the history of each board. In addition to the types of wood — alder, ash, black walnut, elm, hackberry, hickory, honeylocust, maple, mulberry, sycamore — are labels that identify the locale where the original tree once grew. (Many of the four-by-fours, some of them with live-cut edges, come from Kansas City Parks and Recreation land.) In addition to its retail sales, Urban Lumber Co. offers services, including custom milling conducted with its trailer-mounted band mill. Bring your log to them or ask the mobile mill to come to you. And as the Urban Lumber Co. cuts wood, it builds community, connecting woodworkers and people with an appreciation for trees through events such as its Sawmill and Local Maker Showcase, where visitors wander through the lumber showroom, admiring handmade wooden items.