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Blog entry by kiefer posted 07-19-2013 03:48 AM 2302 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I had some good days this week helping a friend with some of his work on his new house and yesterday hin and I went to a very special saw mill out in the foot hills of Alberta just north of Rocky Mountain House .

SOLAR -DRI Timber Specialties
It’s not far from my place and I had planned a trip there for some time .
The owners Peter and Monika are from Switzerland and both are very dedicated to produce quality custom wood products as per request .

All the wood used is of local origin and cut and dried at their mill and the unique part is that they have a solar kiln
which is powered by sunlight .

My friend had ordered a bunch of pine 1×6 for the deck railing and looking at the quality of the wood I was amazed that it was still available in this country.

While I was there I ask Peter if he ever run into some burl and all he said is follow me and when we got out to the open shed he said will that do .

I was looking at a pine burl still on a chunk of log and said yes that’s what I was looking for .
I ask politely if it could be cut from the log since the load on our truck was over the limit ,sure no problem he said as he grabbed his chainsaw .
Well It was time to pay up for my friends lumber and I ask peter to let me pay separately for the burl and the reply was nothing I just like to give this stuff to guys that will make something nice with it .
All I can say this little mill is a great place to visit and very enjoyable as the owners and staff take all the time to make you feel welcome and time to chat all you want .
On our drive home we took the back way to my buddy’s house and here are a few shots of the beautiful country side with canola crop in full bloom .
What a beautiful country I live in and I just take it for granted and don’t appreciate it enough .

Well all I can add is I am back home and take a look around your area you may be surprised what is out there .
Make some dust and stay safe .

-- Kiefer

12 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8645 posts in 2899 days

#1 posted 07-19-2013 03:56 AM


We need a picture of you doing something there? LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2724 days

#2 posted 07-19-2013 04:06 AM

There would have been some pics of me working in the shop but I dropped my camera while taking pics in the house (clumsy me ) and now I have to tell my wife .
Anyway we made a pattern for the pales or balusters for his deck in a Swiss style and also made a band saw copy cutting jig to make easy work of cutting about 225 pieces .

-- Kiefer

View DocSavage45's profile


8645 posts in 2899 days

#3 posted 07-19-2013 05:21 AM

Beautiful place and I like the solar kiln.

OH Oh don’t hide it, but a good camera costs a few bucks. Lotta cutting!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2921 days

#4 posted 07-19-2013 05:48 AM

Just a little curious why you are surprised that pine was still available in your country ? Isn’t 60%
of Alberta covered by the Boreal Forest ? And that forest is made up primarily of

View shipwright's profile


8006 posts in 2855 days

#5 posted 07-19-2013 06:10 AM

He couldn’t have given it to a better home. I know you will do that burl proud.

As far as the appreciation of where we live, I just got back from a six day sailing trip that covered around a hundred miles among the Canadian gulf islands and the American San Juan islands. I have to pinch myself every day to make me appreciate the natural beauty that I have the good fortune to live in the middle of.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20784 posts in 3162 days

#6 posted 07-19-2013 01:53 PM

Nice report on the mill, Kiefer. I look forward to a piece of art from that Burl!
Thanks for posting…............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mafe's profile


11739 posts in 3146 days

#7 posted 07-19-2013 03:02 PM

Thank you for the tour.
Now I can’t wait to see what comes out of that burl.
Auuchhh the camera, my daughter just took our waterproof Camara for a swim, only she forgot to close it up…
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View PurpLev's profile


8539 posts in 3705 days

#8 posted 07-19-2013 03:12 PM

looks like a great visit – nothing like fresh baked (milled) burl to for breakfast to start the day :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View steliart's profile


2755 posts in 2745 days

#9 posted 07-19-2013 04:01 PM

Beautiful place – nice burl
waiting for the project :)

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3391 days

#10 posted 07-19-2013 05:31 PM

Very interesting and enjoyable blog Kiefer. Looks like a great place to buy lumber. We have a lot of fir trees here, but most of the good pine was already used up by the end of the 19th century. Mostly to build fences around farms with! The beautiful countryside you traveled through resembles the inland eastern part of Norway. I live in the western part where all the mountains and most of the fjords are. The burl was a nice surprise and it was very nice of the owners to give it to you. I’m sure we will be seeing something nice coming from that. Too bad about the camera. I would never drop mine because I know my wife would kill me if I did, so good luck!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2724 days

#11 posted 07-19-2013 11:38 PM

Thanks for looking at my little blog and all is well here ,got a new camera last night and my wife wasn’t too upset since I busted the old camera that is about 8 years old .
OK here is the first pic with the new one.

We sealed the burl yesterday with latex primer but it has been inside for about two years .
Anybody with experience as to how to dry it and get a look at the burl please give me some advise .
I will try my best to create a interesting project from this .
Yes we have a lot of forest but the main purpose of this blog was to point out the quality of wood products supplied by this mill .
I found it surprising since most of our trees are harvested by big lumber companies that shred poplar into OSB and spruce/pine /fir gets made into sheeting plywood and 2by lumber for construction called kiln dried .
This mill will make a 1×7 S4S pine for you or some tamarack flooring (beautiful ) and all properly dried ,or whatever you may require from local hard and softwoods .

Sounds like a real good trip and a beautiful part of the country to go sailing, yes we should appreciate and take of it more .
Thanks but I think you have to wait for a couple of years for a project with this .
Sorry about the camera but things happen ,this is the second one for me in a short time .
We will have to wait for the burl to dry and come up with a fitting project .
Sounds good ,got a recipe ?
Yes we will have to wait and hope to see some pics from your part of the world .
Let the wife handle the camera that way you wont get hurt and can be in the pictures posing with your projects for us .
Too bad about the pine being sparse in your area and they should replant it but there is likely more money to be made from fir .
Hope you are all well and keep in touch and let us all know what you found in your area , it’s interesting .

-- Kiefer

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2861 days

#12 posted 07-22-2013 04:02 PM

Beautiful scenes, and wood. Now that’s a hunk-a-hunk-a Burl

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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