Customize Your Experience
Just North and West of the 4 corners in Kintore, at 155999 15th Line, you’ll find the showroom of Kintore Custom Hardwoods where you can have wood custom milled, buy ready-made items, or have custom pieces built from already milled lumber or ready to be sawn timber. Brent Houston along with his 3 brothers and his wife, Paula, own the business. Brent and Paula work at the business full-time with Steve Houston also taking an active role in the daily running of the business.
As young kids, the Houston boys would spend time every summer visiting their grandpa, Richard. While in Chatham visiting their grandfather, they were taught lasting lessons in woodworking. “He’d have us on a wood lathe with chisels making baseball bats that we couldn’t even lift, let alone swing,” reminisces Brent. The Houston siblings credit their grandfather with passing on the love of woodworking. Brent remembers his grandfather always talking about the smells traits of the different woods.
That knowledge earned in their youth ended up being the key to being able to open their business. When the ash borer beetle came through their woodlot, they wanted to see the ash get used and not wasted. The brothers purchased a bandsaw and sawmill to make lumber for themselves. From there, the clientele almost built itself with friends asking for wood to be milled and word getting around that there was a sawmill in the area.
Some 5 years later, Brent and his brothers are still harvesting those dead ash trees that first sparked the idea of running a sawmill. “There is so much in there that I’m not sure we will ever catch up to it. For me it’s a real pride thing. I’m happy I don’t have to cut down any living trees.”
What makes Brent passionate about wood is, “When you’re sawing a tree and you’ve got it up on that sawmill, you have no idea what’s going to be inside and usually it’s a pleasant surprise.” It’s not just the initial surprise of the mill exposing the tree’s inner secrets, “That finished end too is an amazing part of it because when you apply the different finishes and oils to it, the beauty that comes out of that wood is hard to explain, it’s unfathomable how different it looks from start to finish.”
Kintore Custom Hardwoods is truly a custom business. They offer on and off-site milling, custom kiln drying, re-sawing, planning services, finished end products such as tables, countertops and smaller products and complete custom projects. “Really, it’s all about the custom projects. Quite often people will come in and say, ‘I want something that looks like this. This is my inspiration; can you get it there?’ and we can.”
When asked about the future of Kintore Custom Hardwoods, Brent says, “I honestly feel most proud that we’ve developed a business now that people love. And I think they love it because they are getting the one on one service of a family business. When you come here, you know you’re going to be talking to the owners and somebody who cares about the finished product you’re getting.” The Houstons hope to build a big workshop to expand their business, but beyond that, “We want to keep that small feel, so that when people come here they know they are dealing with a family business.”
Kintore Custom Hardwoods is a recipient of our Rural Oxford E-Business Grant. Kintore Custom Hardwoods is using the grant to launch a new e-commerce website. To learn if you are eligible for the Rural Oxford E-Business Grant or to apply, click here, or email Crystal Van Roekel at email@example.com