Who We Are
Generations of good forestry and wood products.
We are now on the fourth generation of Old’s on the Viveash Ranch northeast of Santa Fe New Mexico! Between 8000’and 10,637’ of elevation, we own over 2400 acres of what was all prime forested lands.
We have had small sawmill operations going since the 1930’s. My Father, Tom Old was killed in a plane crash in Alaska in 1977, leaving the ranch to me, David Old to ‘make it or lose it’. In the mid 90’s, I decided to leave a prosperous career in helicopter and aircraft sales, to go ‘back to the ranch’ with my dear wife to raise a family. For a while, life was good, debt free and we got to go to Mexico once in a while. BUT, in 2000 the Viveash Fire struck, erasing over 17 million feet of timber in one awful, hot, afternoon.
With mountains of fire-burned wood trees all around us, we immediately began exploring new and often ground-breaking ways to make both plank and wood block flooring: we have created many ‘worlds’ firsts’ but always, we look ‘over our shoulder’ to the past, to see what has been done, what was beautiful, and what has endured the centuries. Inspirations from art, technology, Forest Science and God-given natural creativity, combine with aggressive technology and modern process to help us make great floors and other remarkable products.
In 2013, the Tres Lagunas Fire struck at our western flank, with over 650 acres burned in the hottest fire intensity levels. Again, we look to our friends, our trade and our Lord for help and success where we have been dealt a ‘rough hand’.
We will continue to innovate and work with a wide group of collaborators, stakeholders and clients as we expand outwards into global markets for unique flooring and architectural elements. We will work exclusively with materials from great forestry sources and fine people as we seek to practice our trade at the highest levels of honesty and professionalism. Who we work with and how we do what we do matters as much to us as it does to you.
Far from perfect, saved by grace, we try, dear Lord, we try!
Mission and Outlook
Old Wood is dedicated to the sustainability, health and proper utilization of our forests, both domestically and abroad. We will train and equip the locals to manage their own mountains and landscapes, to help them realize profit and benefit so they won't have to “eat the elephants” in those very backyards. Wood products are everywhere, and we look for the highest, best uses for the most available species in forms both attractive and useful to our sophisticated clientele.
Flooring is a huge market and the market rules.
People want ‘nice wood floors’ in their homes. Naturally. But, what if, that floor incorporated all the right ‘green stuff”? If thousands of people decided that a floor, made for all the right reasons, was for them? Wood from fire reclaimed, tribally sourced, storm killed, beetle killed and even just really well managed forests, really could make a difference. What if a ‘real’ company made just that?
A photo of nice wood on a fake core or ‘substrate’ is a falsehood wrapped in a lie.
Practical, yes. Environmentally sound? For a lot of reasons, no.
Well managed forestry matters. Old Wood will intentionally avoid cutting old and noble trees and seek out triple bottom line partners and solutions. We are always on the lookout for partners and collaborators with a shared vision for well-done forestry in order to, as old Ben Franklin said: ‘Do well by doing good.’
Big box stores and corporate entities for the most part are NOT bad people; I know many of them. They have had to chase price over content and quality in order to stay abreast of overseas price domination and consumer demands. Companies like Starbucks have however proven that many, many consumers DO care where and how their coffee was harvested and made. Is it not time for that thinking to come to flooring, walls and other features of our homes and offices?
Synthetic floors using elaborate glued up cores and now the new plastic-cored ‘waterproof floors’, are sure as heck NOT GREEN. An influential gentleman we know, laughed at the entire idea of bamboo floors: “The hardest resin in the world, not the wood!”. No plastic resin, no bamboo flooring.
There’s simply too much glue, too much electricity, too much oil used for many products to be ‘green’. Why are they used? It’s the money folks. Ask the Chinese central government what they spent and why, building the huge factories that pump this stuff out; it’s partially the empty containers going back to China from Wally Worlds ‘stuff we love’. Folks, the Chinese can haul dirt if they want to it’s so cheap. We’ve been building their industry for decades now but we should beware: international is fine, but it still has to be well done. The consumer needs to be the driver of all this.
Old Wood has built our entire model on the highest best use for well gotten wood. We have to walk the walk. We need your help to make a difference!