Client Review from Restaurant Owner

“Don and his crew were a pleasure to work with. Young, local, talented, diverse crew assisted me in tables and a bar for my restaurant.. The exotic, reclaimed woods of the NW, root-in guests with their live edges and clean appearance. The, metal pin legs of the tables are refined and contemporary. The bar laminated face of weathered patina'd sheet of steel accented strongly with.a railroad track foot rail and once again an Alaskan yellow cedar live edge plank. A throw-in piece of weathered, local, historic, dock wood to be our host stand was a no brainer. Clean design and very functional. A recent new addition, a Washington state'Sequioaroot ball', low-laying, coffee table with whole sequioa wood box stools provide us with a casual,, organic space for guests while waiting for a table, having a glass of wine on your computer etc,,, really makes the restaurant dining environment more complex in offerings. Great communication and timelines met. A/P smooth process. Hopefully we can work again soon!” -Christian G

Client Review from Homeowner

“My mirror was just delivered from Ol' Fashioned Lumber and I am AMAZED at the finished product! I am sooo pleased with my complete experience from start to finish. I had a vision of a large mirror I wanted made. A week ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Ol'Fashioned Lumber shop. Don Woodard took the time to walk me through the process. We discussed dimensions and the look, and then he showed me all the unique wood he had to offer. My mind was blown away by the selection of wood he carriers. Different types of wood from different locations in the US, each kind of wood had a story behind where it came from. Some wood was over 100 years old. Twelve days later Don and Zack from Ol' Fashion Lumber delivered this beautiful mirror they created for me!! So pleased with my purchase, I can't thank them enough! The entire process was a pleasant experience. Thank you Don & Zack!” -Michael H

How a 100-year old Tree from Balboa Park Came to Life at the General’s Residence

As you approach the General’s house at the Point Loma Marine Base in San Diego you can’t help but notice the similarities to Balboa Park in both the architecture of the residence and the landscaping. The expansive lawn, meticulously landscaped, leads to a home built in the Spanish Colonial style. 


The Marine Base, built around same time as Balboa Park, paid homage to what has become San Diego’s flagship architectural style. As the city grew, the park, and the base, became famous landmarks tourists flocked here to see. 

Rumor has it that new marines on base would sneak seedlings out of Balboa Park to give the General as gifts for his new house on base. 

Over a hundred years ago the lawn at the General’s house was a blank canvas begging for trees, fauna and flowers. The marines delivered and helped create the groves of trees, the gardens filled with colorful flowers, and the relaxing shaded areas where you can still sit, talk, and enjoy the surroundings to this day. 

A hundred years later that little seedling had grown into an enormous eucalyptus tree over 70’ tall. Unfortunately, with the heavy weight of the tree, the shallow root structure and recent heavy rains, the tree began to lean and the roots popped up out of the soil. The General’s century old eucalyptus became an extreme hazard that had to be removed. 

The cavalry was called in to help! 

 Our team at Old Fashioned Lumber was able to save multiple sections of the tree that can be used to construct furniture. The main trunk of the tree weighed in at an impressive 11,000 lb. A 10’ section that is 7’ in diameter saved and it will produce seven 5 to 6 inch slabs. 


If you visit Old Fashioned Lumber now, you will park in the shadow of a tree trunk that dwarfs your automobile. Soon we will begin the intensive work of milling the slabs to dry in our solar kiln. 

Our team works extensively with local tree organizations, conservationists, and homeowners to salvage trees so they may be repurposed into furniture. 

If you are faced with the sad task of removing a tree on your property, turn it into the opportunity to create a legacy furnishing with a unique story. 

Our team handles the entire process from tree removal, to milling, to drying, to designing, and finally to handcrafting a piece of furniture that will be testament to your tree’s legacy. 




Seven Things You Need to Know About Designing a Table for Your Home or Office


Tables, when designed properly become the focal point of a space. They set the mood and provide the ambiance of a room whether cloaked in dinner party attire or bare. Since there is no one size fits all training for how to create a custom table for your specific space, we thought giving you some design tips would help you make better decisions for future investments in fine furniture. 


Put Your Imagination to Work

Create a wish list of what is wanted. Cast a really wide net. Nothing’s off the table.

Is this going to be the main focal point of your dining room? Is this going to be the table that is built into a banquette dining area off your kitchen? Is this a specialty occasion table for your living room that will have eye-catching design features? Ask yourself enough questions to determine what the purpose of the table is beyond a platform to set things on. What is this table going to say?


Start to Gather Inspiration

Once you know how you want to use your table, start to gather your inspiration pictures. Add notes describing what it is that captured your eye, the details that you like, and what you would change to make it perfect. All of the design inspiration notes that you include will make it easier for a furniture designer to create exactly what you want. 

Measure the space where you will install the table. Not only the overall size of the room, but other measurements as well including windows, special molding details, the height of chandelier above the finished floor, any built-in furniture, fireplace and other architectural elements.

Now with your wish list in place, start thinking about the specifics.

What Size Should Your Table Be?

Your room size will be your primary determining factor. How many people will you be able to comfortably seat around the table given your size restrictions? For a chart on the amount of seats and table sizes visit this site.

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What Type of Wood?

What type wood would you like to use? Do you want a darker wood or a lighter wood? A hardwood or a softwood? And what are the differences between them? 


To make this easier for you we created a comparison of the two.


  • Comes from broad-leaf trees

  • Very slow growing trees

  • Heavier, denser wood and grain

  • Able to withstand years of wear and tear

  • Darker in color

  • Usually more expensive


  • Comes from conifer trees

  • Fast growing trees

  • Lighter weight wood

  • Not the best choice for a legacy piece of furniture

  • Lighter in color

  • Usually less expensive

There are a variety of woods to choose from which we have in stock. Determining your favorite is best done through research. Sorry fellas, but you may have to go along with your wife for some retail research. Here at Old Fashioned Lumber we have slabs that range from 3’ to 24’ in length in a variety of widths. 

Hardwoods that we have in-stock: Oak, Eucalyptus, Avocado

Softwoods that we have in-stock: Spruce, Cedar, Fir, Monterrey Pine, Torrey Pine

Reclaimed wood that we have in-stock: Wine Barrels, Reclaimed Timber, Marine Wood, Barn Wood, Architectural Elements

To discover the characteristics of each wood type, read more here.

Get Stylish With Your Top Options

From simple to wow – the choice is yours. The canyon is the live edge favorite that is dominating high end interiors that, when combined with the epoxy river, creates a stunning focal point for any room. Another luxurious choice is a slab, the top that started as the rustic camp table has now migrated to fine interiors giving a natural touch to modern and traditional interiors. To add a natural rhythm to the design, a patterned table top is an elegant way to add visual texture. For interiors where your table needs to blend in and not stand out, a solid top allows other features to dominate the room. 

Determine Your Finish

The choices for wood finish is where your inner artist gets to play. Stains can enhance, and sometimes change entirely, the original feel of a wood species. From oils to epoxy to urethanes, there are a variety of ways to seal the finish of your table that can add luster and shine to the finished piece.

Our designers can give you finish suggestions based on the type of wood you chose and your desired end result. They can also provide you with stain samples on your chosen wood.

Get Creative with Your Accents

The final design touches are where you provide the extra wow-factor to your piece.

 There’s a common misconception that custom has to be complex. Minimalist design has layers of intensity that can rival extravagant designs, so don’t be afraid to indulge your personal taste. Our designers will help you to find your voice and add it seamlessly to your table.

 Adding accents to a piece is truly an art. As we work with the wood, our handcrafted furnishings are given only the accents that are appropriate to that unique piece. If your interior style has specific needs, we can craft that into your piece.

A variety of accents that we incorporate are: Bowtie joint, Dovetail joint, Metal inlay, Leather, Square nails, Nailheads, Stone, Gems, Carved details, Burned edge, Metal edge, Carved divet edging, Waterfall edge.

Refine Your Furniture With Accessories

The wonderful thing about designing your own table is that you can make it uniquely yours. And with today’s technology adding specialty features will help streamline your life. Consider undermount duplex and USB modules to eliminate the tangle of cords that become the trip hazard and eyesore running across the floor. Add casters so that your table can be easily moved. Include a hidden drawer where you can discreetly hide important documents. 


Our Team at Old Fashioned Lumber is Ready to Bring Your Custom Table to Reality. 

 Don Woodard, the owner, has been handcrafting pieces for years starting his craft in Oregon. Zakhar Smirnov, an industrial designer, perfected his craft while growing up in the trade. 

 Let us design your perfect piece that will become the focal point of your interiors.            


Design Advice: Take pictures of the space where your table will reside so that the designer can take into account complimentary furnishings and existing wood types.

Design Options for Home Construction

When you are building or renovating your home, you always want to add unique architectural elements that can enhance your surroundings. With a plethora of choices, where do you begin? The'CaliforniaNatural" style inspired by the sustainable woods and live-edge details are inherent to the laid-back vibe that epitomizes Southern California. This blends well with all styles - Modern, Traditional, Urban, Fixer-Upper. Much like the Fixer Upper-style that Joanna Gaines made so famous, Old Fashioned Lumber blends the woods, metals and reclaimed materials in a way to showcase all with a dramatic effect in your design. 


Where do you start when deciding upon finishes for your home? At the front door of course! The front DOOR is the best place to make your first impression - opt for an oversized entryway – a custom 10’ door with details that add more character and curb appeal. Imagine the expressions of your guests as they walk up the front path to your door to see something extraordinary. On the interior, a sliding door can add more space to a small room or become that dramatic effect that is needed for a room with few architectural elements.

An upgrade to make in your kitchen is in the choice of materials for your countertop and backsplash. The different options for tile have been trending showing a variety of choices. Have you considered a variation of tile by using wood blocks? The backsplash comprised of wood tiles or planks can add a different layer of relief to the wall drawing your eye with its directional lines. For the countertops, live edge wood slabs make a bold statement due to the undulating curves of the outer edge of the tree trunk. Consider doing a live edge detail combined with an accent color epoxy for your kitchen island. Or, if your kitchen has different areas, consider adding the live edge countertop in a featured area. 

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If you love the California Natural look, consider live edge as your entire kitchen countertop surface throughout. Combine that with the large window with a great southern California view, and you’ll never want to leave the kitchen.

Built-in furniture is another option to consider when upgrading your house. By adding floating shelving with a floating wall-hung buffet cabinet, you can visually expand the space of a dining room. In the living room, built-in shelving and entertainment units are appealing for those wanting a clean, modern linear feel. And bedrooms, especially those tucked away under the eaves of the house benefit from built-in dressers. All are a fantastic way to make use of your space. 


All of the design details and upgrades mentioned are projects that our team has built for our clients in San Diego. Homeowners, architects, designers, and builders have walked through our doors with a question and walked out with answers. Taking client ideas have and expanding upon them is our specialty! Our lumber yard is filled with a large inventory of wood species and sizes that allows for a speedy two-week turnaround on pieces that we produce for your home. Email us with details of what you’re working on and let us see how we can help you!

How to Choose the Right Wood for Your Project

When was the last time you walked through a store and saw anything created from wood that made you stop and say wow? Probably haven’t seen much of anything substantial lately, have you? That is why when you want to make a statement with your interiors you should take the time to have a quality piece of furniture created for you that will last a lifetime. In our workshop, we create handcrafted masterpieces on a daily basis.


Homeowners and designers spend hours in the design process at our showroom. Choosing the right wood for the project and discussing the nuances of your design with our team is the first step of the process.  Our lumber yard holds hundreds of linear feet of slabs, reclaimed wood planks, and root balls. All of which become astounding pieces of furniture. Spend the time looking through the slabs, creating an inspiration board filled with pictures, determine the hardware and special touches that you would like to include. Those slabs that you see with extreme shapes and holes can become a room centerpiece epoxy or glass are added,

Would you like to get started creating your masterpiece? Here are the types of words that we have in stock at Old Fashioned Lumber. 

BLACK WALNUT’s favorable working characteristics and vibrant color make it one of the most valued domestic lumbers. The heartwood of the tree ranges from dark tan to a deep chocolate brown, sometimes with streaks of purple and green hues. The natural and intricate edge combined with the rich grain and color created striking pieces – from coffee tables to chandeliers.

RECLAIMED WOOD is retrieved from its original application for reuse. Most reclaimed lumber comes from timbers and decking rescued from old barns, factories and warehouses, although some companies use wood from less traditional structures such as boxcars, coal mines, and wine barrels. Reclaimed or antique lumber is used primarily for decoration and home building, for example for siding, architectural details, cabinetry, furniture, and flooring.


RED CEDAR BURLS result from a tree undergoing some form of stress. An injury, virus or fungus may cause it. Most burls grow beneath the ground, attached to the roots as a type of malignancy that is generally not discovered until the tree dies or falls over. Burls yield a very peculiar and highly figured wood, prized for its beauty and rarity. It is sought after by furniture makers, artists, and wood sculptors. 

MARINE WOOD is our piece of San Diego history. Salvaged from the San Diego bait docks in Mission Bay, this wood has a unique surface texture created from years of ocean exposure creating amazing hues of turquoise and gold rust. 

SEQUOIA is easily machined, easy to saw and nail and has superior gluing properties as well as superior finish-holding ability. It is known for its easy maintenance and beautiful color: a deep reddish brown that darkens with age. 

SITKA SPRUCE is an exceptional wood renowned for its beauty and outstanding characteristics. With creamy white, pink-tinged sapwood and pink-brown heartwood, it matches perfectly with the Color of the Year“LivingCoral.” It is lightweight, has moderate strength properties, excellent resiliency, medium hardness and low resistance to abrasion.

WHITE PINE is generally sawn into lumber and used for making beautiful windows, doors, knotty paneling, subfloor and furniture.  It is light in weight with good working properties.  It turns, planes, and shapes well and can be sanded to a smooth finish.

YELLOW CEDAR, also known as Nootka Cypress, is native to the coastal regions of northwestern North America.  It is a fairly sought after wood for finish carpentry because of its durability, stability, and weather resistant qualities. Yellow Cedar's texture, uniform color, and straight grain will take a fine finish. This light-colored wood is very popular in interiors and coordinates well with the colors of Southern California interiors. 

Gather your notes about your project and visit us. We want to help you find the perfect piece of wood for your project. If you so desire, we can build it into a legacy piece that your family can use and cherish.