Congratulations to our friends at Joyner Construction on the launch of their beautiful new website!

Visit website at:  http://joyner-construction.net

Goodwin had the pleasure of collaborating with Joyner Construction on the Firestone Building project for which we provided River-Recovered® and reclaimed Legacy Vertical Heartpine. Last year, Phoebe Cade Miles (daughter of the late Dr. James Robert Cade, inventor of Gatorade) and her husband Richard restored the 4,000 sq. ft. building. Father and son team, Richard and Ryland Wagner of Joyner Construction, were the contractors for the restoration. The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation (FTHP) recognized the project earlier this month, awarding it with an Honorable Mention for Adaptive Reuse.

Joyner’s new website includes stunning photos of the restoration. Enjoy!

Kiln Drying – The “Inside” Secrets

Have you ever wondered what happens inside the dry kiln? Well, Goodwin’s own Andrew St. James answers that exact question in the latest edition of Hardwood Floors Magazine:

15-04- 146

Here are some additional photos for you to enjoy!

Restoring an Old Florida Classic

Homeowner Specs Building Reclaimed Legacy Heart Pine and River-Recovered® Heart Cypress for Porch Renovation

Steve Klett owns what is considered an Old Florida classic. His “vernacular, cracker style” home in North Florida evolved out of the need to keep a house cool in the hot and humid sub-tropical climate of North Central Florida (before the era of air conditioning). When it came time to renovate the hallmark of his historic home – the splendid full porch – Klett began researching options. He wanted nothing modern, and was intent on finding the highest quality materials on the market. He stumbled upon Goodwin’s website and the rest is history. Read more

Naples Botanical Gardens – Handmade Bench Dedication

Goodwin was proud to present Mr. John Carson with a surprise to celebrate his 70th birthday. John is the owner’s rep for the gardens, and was deeply involved with the construction of the Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor’s Interpretive Center (Goodwin milled 20,000 linear feet of River-Recovered® Heart Cypress for siding and trim for the project.)

Naples Botanical Gardens commissioned Goodwin to build a bench – dedicated to John – for the gardens. Jeffrey Forbes and Dan Peterson crafted the River-Recovered® Antique Heart Cypress Select bench by hand. Here are the pictures of its evolution: Read more

Our “Gentle Giant” Continues to Evolve!

We were excited to have an opportunity to work with Florida Crotchwood Mobile Sawmill. Paula and Randy came out to Goodwin and helped George saw 3″ thick, four-foot wide and 10-foot long River-Recovered Heart Cypress slabs off the end of our “Gentle Giant”. Read more

Undersecretary of USDA Rural Development Visits Goodwin Company

Goodwin Company was honored to welcome Ms. Lisa Mensah – the Undersecretary of USDA Rural Development – for a tour of our facility. Ms. Mensah was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November 2014. She provides leadership for three USDA agencies charged with improving the economic well being of rural America: the Rural Housing Service, the Rural Utilities Service and the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Read more

Our Newest “Gentle Giant”

giantcypresslog 001 (Medium)After nearly 40 years in the business, one would think we have seen it all. The truth is, each and every day is an exciting adventure that presents new opportunities. The logs we work with to create our River-Recovered® heart pine and heart cypress flooring, paneling and other wood products are simply majestic. Each has its own distinct character and personality. Logger Don McCallister recently pulled this Cypress beauty out of the northern Withlacoochee River.

giantcypresslog 005 (Medium)This “Gentle Giant “ is 30 feet long; 29″ in diameter at its top and an amazing six feet in diameter at its base.

giantcypresslog 006 (Medium)Just take a look at this incredible ax cut end.

The log was discovered while Goodwin’s Marketing Coordinator, Jeffrey Forbes, was on the Withlacoochee hosting a documentary video crew. It was the first log they saw. It was still submerged in the river and its head was resting on a sandy beach. The log served as the perfect “subject” for the documentary, which we will share when it is complete.

Here is a bit of background on river logging along Withlacoochee (for you history buffs):

This giant cypress log was recovered on the part of the Withlacoochee that flows south out of Georgia and meets up with the Suwannee River at Suwannee River State Park. There once was a sawmill owned by Governor George Drew (Florida’s first governor post reconstruction) at what is now Suwannee River State Park. This log likely once belonged to this mill before it was “lost”.

Goodwin will now saw this antique beauty into a series of benches for the expansion of the Bok Tower campus in Lake Wales. Stay tuned, as we will continue to update you on the progress of this Gentle Giant…

How to Dry 150 Year Old Sunken Logs

One of my all time favorite client inquiries went something like this:

 

“How long does it take to dry out those ancient logs that have been on the bottom of the river for 150 years?”

The answer? Well, it takes a little bit of explaining…

Read more

The Art of Sawing River-Recovered® Logs

GEGchainsawingsm (Medium)George Goodwin is still our company sawyer. He personally examines each and every log and has his own ritual for creating the beautiful antique wood flooring you enjoy in your home and/or office. It’s George’s process, so he tells the story best. Enjoy!
–Carol

The Art of Sawing River-Recovered® Logs

Sawing River-Recovered® logs is more of an art than a process. When a load of River-Recovered® logs arrives at the sawmill, the first thing we do is measure and ‘scale’ them to determine how many board feet each log will yield. There is an industry log ‘scale’ that gives the board feet based on the diameter and length of the log. Sometimes there are significant internal fractures or other issues that affect the board footage that we take into account.

We often take the largest and best-preserved logs back to our giant log pond, where they remain in water until the right project comes along. Once I determine which ones to saw, I examine each log and decide where to mark and cut the logs for the best yield. A 36’ log might make an 8’, 12’ and 14’ sections depending on where the crooks and bends are in the log. This is called ‘bucking’.

The logs all need a power wash to remove the sand and grit off the remaining bark and exterior of the logs before they are sawn. Sand will damage the large, expensive saw blades. When I bought a large headsaw and carriage several years ago, I assembled the most equipment we could possibly afford. The River-Recovered® heart pine is dense, resinous and heavy, while the heart cypress is huge, requiring heavy-duty equipment. Read more

“Heart Cypress – The Wood Eternal”, the Southern Cypress Manufacturer’s Assn, 1936

x192“One of the most picturesque trees of the American forest is the full-grown cypress. It is slow growing tree, and reaches its best development in tidewater swamplands. Trees well over a thousand years old, towering to heights of over a hundred feet, were common in virgin stands. The mature cypress develops a swelled butt of 8 to 10 feet in diameter and is surrounded by so-called knees, which are really offshoots of the root. It is believed they serve the double purpose of respiratory organs and anchorage.”

American Bald Cypress grows in a belt along the southeastern coastal plain, mainly along rivers and swampy areas. Much of the finest and largest cypress timber grew where the land was submerged most of the year. Horses and mules could not work under such conditions and machine equipment was impractical. An early solution to the problem of making these stands accessible was to build canals through the swamps, so that large pullboats could drag the cypress logs out where they could be made into rafts and towed to the mill.

Preliminary to logging the cypress forests of the 1800’s, the trees to be felled were marked and girdled a year, or several months an advance. Girdling was done by cutting a notch three inches deep around the circumference of the trunk and about three feet above the ground with an ax. Thus, the tree was killed and the wood was allowed to lose part of the moisture, so that when it was cut, the logs would float.

Today, all the millennium giants are felled and gone. Second growth cypress is almost like a different specie. Minus the saturation of cypressein oil that takes several hundred years to develop, second growth cannot stand up to the elements like the virgin growth tree you see here.

x191But there is some good news! Goodwin has stores of this beautiful, durable antique wood in many grades.

See the table being made by Michael Doerr for his brother the owner of Auteur Winery (photo at right).