South of Grand Forks, just off Interstate 29, sit two quonsets that house unique slabs of lumber. Jared Johnson and Matt Weaver have built a business around transforming these planks into pieces of art. The duo’s dream started in spring 2016 with the purchase of an early 1900s Howell Model 0 circular sawmill. A little over a year later, Buffalo Coulee Wood Products had its first load of live-edge slabs come through the door.
The small business on the prairie has made big strides each year. One of the quonsets, which now serves as their showroom, is filled with milled tree slabs of red cedar, oak, red mulberry, Osage orange and sycamore. The live-edge slab and rough lumber comes from states as far as North Carolina and Kansas. Johnson and Weaver, who are both certified arborists, have also found beautiful oak and cedar trees in the Dakotas and Minnesota.
For woodworking hobbyists, designers and furniture makers, Buffalo Coulee is the place to find the perfect rough-cut hardwood for those unique projects. These live-edge slabs have a unique inner woodgrain pattern that makes each slab distinctively different. A multitude of design ideas fl ow when looking at each slab. The lumber is used for high-end tables, bar tops, accent walls or even building out the perfect man cave.
The future is bright for Buffalo Coulee, as plans are in the works to use the lumber to produce custom-made tables, shelves and kitchen tables, just to name a few ideas. Th e up-and-coming business, which is a Nodak Electric Cooperative member, also has plans to be a full-time sawmill and lumber provider.