IMPORTANT: Always call the business before going to take the factory tour. We try and keep our data s up-to-date as possible but you should always check first.
The Real Oregon Gift Myrtlewood Factory
68794 Hauser Depot Rd. Highway 101,
North Bend, OR 97459
Latitude: 43.52813 Longitude: -124.215969
Email Address: [email protected]
This tour is free
Our factory processes the logs from the time they are brought in green by private timber operators. Myrtlewood logs, when green are 70% moisture so the log will not float. The wood is 20% harder than oak, and harder than black walnut or hardrock maple. No other wood is so strongly accented by figured grain and color.
Myrtlewood has a color spectrum that has been variously described as ranging from "golden hues to velvet black with warm brown, yellows, greens and reds", from "ebony to a rich maple color", from "soft gray to mauve". In a single word, it is beautiful!
A skilled sawyer is needed to operate the carriage to saw each log in recognition of the individuality of each finished piece. The head rig saws 1 ¼, 2 ¼, 3 ¼, and 4 ¼ inch boards. From there the board goes to the planer where one side is planed. This makes it easier to see the defects in the planks. The straight-line ripsaw is now used to cut the boards to standard widths. The mill is always cutting for the largest piece they can possibly get.
Next, the chop-saw cuts for the standard square blocks, which are always done 1-inch oversize to allow for shrinkage during the drying process. A center hole is drilled which will be used throughout the process. The square blocks are now cut into rounds.
The next step is the rough-out lathe. Each item is roughed to the shape of the finished piece leaving 1-inch thick walls. This speeds up the drying process and helps to prevent checking and warpage. Even with this preventative measure, we will still lose about 10% in the dry kilns.
These roughed out items are now loaded into our four large dry kilns. Temperature and humidity are then carefully controlled for 5-9 weeks. Table tops and lumber must be air-dried one year per inch of thickness. Then they are placed in the kiln for final drying. All items are brought slowly down to at least 7% moisture content.
After the wood is dry it is bottom-sanded so it will fit flush with the faceplate on the lathe. The turners make their owns steel chisels. They do the outside of an item first, then the inside. The turner changes tools often; different tools are for different curves, etc. Most turners use their fingers for calipers. They feel just the right thickness.
After being turned, the item goes to the sander where we use 80-220 grit sandpaper. This process is used on the outside and then the inside of the item. On items that are to be sprayed, three to four coats of spray are applied to each item and then allowed to dry overnight. The items may be washed with soap and water, but will not withstand the high temperature of a dishwasher
To obtain an oil finish, the item is hand-rubbed with oil. It is allowed to dry overnight and then waxed to a satin sheen. We suggest that the oil finish be occasionally re-rubbed with mineral oil to prevent the absorption of food odors, and to keep the wood from drying out. Each buyer will receive a "story of myrtlewood" which tells how to care for his/her item.
The largest and oldest Myrtlewood factory and sawmill in the world is open 7 days a week. Call ahead for group reservations 541-756-2220.