About Natural Edges - Woodworking Victoria BC

Natural Edges

Natural Edges Custom Woodwork builds Fine West Coast inspired Furniture. My name is Peter Cressey and first I would like to acknowledge the Coast Salish and NuuChaNulth Peoples on whose lands I have lived and worked on. I have been in business as a woodworker in Victoria for over 18 years. I have specialized in furniture making, but have also used my knowledge and skills to work in finish carpentry, restoration of heritage houses, kitchen, bathrooms and built in cabinets and many other varied wood projects. One of the reasons I moved to Vancouver Island was because of the coast and forests here which I feel a deep connection and respect for. This I believe is reflected in my passion as a wood worker. By being able to combine the right materials and techniques with an understanding of the use of form and line and its place in furniture and interior design. My work is able to be aesthetically pleasing, durable and affordable. My commitment to place is also reflected in that the majority of the wood I use comes from local mills and salvage operations and wood waste from my shop is composted by a local farmer. I look forward to talking to you, thanks Peter.

Types of Wood we use.

1. White Pine (Pinus Monticola) The old growth Pine we use is salvaged from clearcuts and burn piles from around Jorden River on the West coast of Vancouver Island. It is sometimes called ‘pumpkin pine’ because of its rich colours.

2. Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii) The fir we use comes mainly from salvaged timbers from old buildings. It is becoming more difficult to obtain quality furniture grade Fir. On the Island here Fir mainly grows on the dryer East coast which has been heavily logged and developed. The forest replaced with tree farms where the trees are cut on a short rotation this produces large growth rings and a less stable structure. Some of the buildings our fir has come from recently included a cannery in Ocean Falls (1890s) and the old officers mess at the Esquimalt navy base (1930s).

3. Garry Oak (Quercus Garryana) The Oak we use is obtained through our connections with local arborists and is usually wind blown or diseased trees . Garry Oaks have limited protection within the CRD.

4. Bitter Cherry (Prunus Emarginata) This is a shy locally growing hardwood that is often viewed by forest companies as a weed tree and is cut or ringed to make way for more commercial species. We obtained some of this wood from a sympathetic forester and have also coppiced this tree and use them for example as stool legs.

Types of wood we use (cont).

5. Big Leaf Maple (Acer Macrophyllum) A local hardwood that we use, cut by local small mills. It has varied patterns birds eye, spalting etc, monkey heads, tiger stripes. Has good resistant to wear and has a fine color.

6. Red Alder (Alnus Rubra) A softer hardwood tree, still considered a weed tree to some foresters, wood we use comes from local mills. Has a fine buttery texture, great for chair seats, with warm colors.

7. Western Yew (Taxus Brevifolia) This slow growing tree, being Old Growth dependent, is considered endangered and has limited protection within the CRD. It is not seen as a commercial timber, (except for Taxol an anti cancer agent which used to be obtained from its bark), it is still cut and left in clearcuts. The wood we use is salvaged from burn piles and clearcuts. Yew can be a difficult wood to work with as its very hard and has such varied grain, there are also large voids within the tree but it has a rich dark color with the contrasting sap wood being very pale.

8. Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata) We use these woods for usually outdoor furniture, again salvaged by a small local mill. It is getting harder to find Yellow Cedar, it is a higher elevation tree and slow growing and has been over harvested.

9. Arbutus/Madrone (Arbutus Menziesii) This tree has limited protection in the CRD. We have recently milled a large Arbutus which was sadly felled to make way for housing development in Victoria. After cutting it was put back together with sticker wood and clamped using truck straps. As with its high water content when green and the dense wood makes it a high candidate for warping, we shall see after a few years of air drying how this turns out!