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The thrill is in the hunt!

Totem’s team avoids participating in the clear-cut food chain, and mills some of the richest coloured and highest quality Western Red Cedar available, by visiting smaller sawmills personally as well as beachcombing. Being here in the heart of cedar country we have great access to this elusive old growth wood which very few other Canadians east of the western slopes of the Rockies do.

A  rare 50′ reclaimed float home log waiting to be transformed into dreams. 

Slicing the pie as we refer to it, is always a delightful surprise.

It’s grain tightness, colour, and fibre texture are “second to none” assuring astounding strips. 

This reclaimed fifty foot “float home” log produced many high quality Red Cedar bead & cove strips. Every reclaimed log leaves one more of it’s standing live cousins in the forests absorbing CO2. Don’t let this old totem sized log fool you. Once the sapwood only one inch thick, was cut away we found the most beautiful, supple cedar underneath waiting to be reborn in numerous projects.

The end result is always a trailer full of the richest coloured cedar. This wet cedar in the photo below gives an accurate indication of what it will look like after it is milled into strips and wetted out with epoxy.

Trailer full   Another  ……

high quality trailer load of our in -house sawn cedar.

Rather than purchasing a lift of lumber sight unseen which has come from clear cutting and making strips from it, we mill our own logs and slabs selecting for grain tightness, colour and no run-out, from the very beginning. This insures the best strips from the very start. We like to think of it as rescuing these logs from the fate of being turned into commodity products such as decking or siding which has a very short lifespan in comparison to the age of the tree which had been cut. 

full shop

   Our moulding shop full of Cedar 

This also gives us the benefit of sourcing some spectacular pieces of cedar in unheard of sizes as can be seen with this slab in the photo below. We have earmarked it to become a tall carved entrance door. We were thrilled to find it! There is no illusion here as this slab measures 3″ Thick  by  4′-0″ Wide by 16′-0″ long being 3′-6″ wide at the top! weighing approx. 360 lbs. dry! 


        An awesome slab of cedar.

Occasionally on our forays we stumble across prime downfall logs when visiting tucked away shorelines or by hearing of them from locals.  You never know what you might find.  


Red Cedar downfall 

Hmmm… when is the next high tide?



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