A rare slab of western maple tree from British Columbia is available for purchase at Windsor Plywood, which sells retail lumber and finishing products.
The slab is from a tree approximately 60-years-old and was brought into the store, located at 3605–51 Ave., two weeks ago.
Store manager Barbara Burns said it is rare for the store to get gull round pieces like this one, and she was very happy to have won the slab from a draw at the company’s head office.
“I had gone to a meeting at our head office in Langley (B.C.), and for our manager’s meeting they always have a selection of the specialty itemsthat the stores can buy,” Burns said. “Some they do buy lottery, like a draw because there’s not enough for all the stores to get so they have a draw and I was lucky enough to get drawn for that one and to have it in the store because you don’t see that kind of stuff all the time.”
The slab is made from a stump that was left after it had been logged in Chilliwack, B.C. A separate contractor then logged the stump and cut it into a slab to be put up for sale. The piece is currently on sale for $1,300.99 and Burns said she expects it to be sold before Christmas. Until then she has commissioned welder and steel artist Filipa Borges Rechlo to make a pedestal to display it in the store. Depending on who buys the slab, Burns said it could be used as a coffee table or a card table.
In addition to western Canada, Windsor Plywood has other special lumber pieces available from the United States, Austria, Italy, Mexico, and South America.
“We used to have, and I don’t know if we can get it anymore, wood called Zapatero,” Burns said. “It’s from Panama and the pieces we had, they were at least 12 to 14 feet long. They were underwater where they flooded for the Panama Canal and then they floated them up to the top. Zapatero in Panama they use it like we use Spruce, but these pieces were special because they’d been underwater since the 1940s.”
These special pieces are used for projects such as tables, bar tops, and especially fire place mantles. The store used to only have a few pieces available, but Burns said over the years the demand for them has grown. Customers would see them in other people’s homes and would get curious about where to purchase them, and photos of the wood pieces would get shared on social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram generating interest.
Burns said Windsor Plywood does not only sell special lumber pieces, but also modifies them in the store’s mill workshop.
“Anybody who wants to come down we’re more than willing to spend time with them explaining the different woods, giving them ideas, showing them what they could possibly use it for,” she said.