My name is Mike Frencel and I am the owner, sawyer, designer and craftsman here at the Old Schoolhouse Mill (woodslabs.ca). I have been sawing, drying and crafting unique live edge furniture for over 12 years. My love for live edge slabs has always stemmed from the unique characteristics of the lumber; the shape, knots, cracks and voids always result in a unique experience in the crafting process.
My goal at the Old Schoolhouse mill is to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. This is contrary to today’s furniture market which is flooded by factory built, mass-produced, low-quality products. If you’re interested in a furniture commission or want to purchase some high-quality live edge lumber for your own project, contact me today!
About Our Lumber Mill
The Old Schoolhouse Mill is a small family owned business that specializes in providing our clients with unique live edge wood slabs, reclaimed lumber and custom milling services as well as commission built live edge furniture. Our primary focus has always been, and always will be, to offer high quality lumber with exceptional service at an affordable price.
The mill was established in 2012 as a direct result of the poor lumber selection and extremely high prices that are characteristic of the numerous ‘boutique’ style live edge wood and lumber retailers in the Toronto area. At the Old Schoolhouse Mill there are no middlemen, we procure timber, transport, mill, dry and store all our own lumber. By maintaining extremely low overhead and eliminating multiple middlemen we are able to offer our product at a much more affordable price than our competitors. Please contact us before overpaying in downtown Toronto; pay for lumber quality….not the location.
Our sawmill is a custom built monster. It can mill any hardwood with absolute precision. We can mill up to 60 inches wide and 15 feet long. The mill is equipped with a very powerful 45HP diesel engine which creates very smooth cuts; making dressing slabs and lumber a breeze. All of our natural edge wood slabs are milled on the green monster ensuring all stock is of the utmost quality. Our mill cuts up to 500 BF per hour allowing for a very fast turnaround of custom wood milling orders.
After the logs are milled the lumber needs to be dried so that it does not warp, cup or crack. At the Old Schoolhouse Mill we dry our live edge wood slabs in a HD Kiln. Our kiln dries up to 4500 BF within 12-14 weeks depending on species of wood and slab thickness. We pride ourselves in providing clients with slabs and lumber with moisture content of 8% or less. Many of our competitors will not take the time to dry the wood properly which oftentimes results in drying defects such as cupping, cracking and warping which can make the wood worthless.
The heart of our operation is our Moffett forklift. It is rated to lift up to 8000 lbs and works hard to freight the logs to and from the mill. The Moffett is an all-terrain forklift which allows us to easily access our log storage and transport the finished cuts to our kiln. Our forklift will be able to handle all of your custom milling orders as we have yet to see a log that it was not able to handle.
The Wood Shop
At the Old Schoolhouse Mill we not only sell high quality lumber but also have a fully functional wood-shop all on site. Here we create custom live edge furniture for our clients with hand picked stock from our massive supply of lumber. Stop in today and check out our great selection of slabs and have us build you something that’s one of a kind.
Frequently Asked Questions
We offer a large selection of live edge wood slabs and lumber as well as custom milling. Please see the below FAQ for any questions or call Mike at (416) 618-0081
Can I leave a deposit on a wood slab?
Yes we do take deposits for wood slabs as we understand that sometimes the wood cannot be picked up that day. A deposit allows the buyer to return and claim the slab within a 2 week period at which point the remainder of the sale price is due. If the client does not return within 2 weeks the deposit is forfeit and the slabs are put back on sale. Deposits are non-transferable between slabs. Deposits on slabs as well as custom projects are non-refundable.
Do you offer refunds or returns?
We do not provide refunds or allow returns as we do not have control over what happens to the slabs after they leave our yard. Incorrectly stored wood, even kiln dried, can warp, twist or cup. To ensure you are satisfied with your purchase please take great care in selecting your wood slab.
How much do you charge per slab?
At the Old Schoolhouse Mill we charge by slab and not Board Foot. We do this as not all wood slabs are created equal. The price of a slab is highly influenced by how wide it is (the wider the slab the older the tree) and the color and grain pattern. To see a small sample of the slabs we have in stock and prices, head over to our live edge wood slabs page.
Here are some slab starting prices:
What are the predominant factors in how much a wood slab costs?
There are three main factors in determining the cost of a slab.
- The wood species: Species such as black walnut and black cherry will be priced higher than maple and ash due to higher demand.
- The width of the slab: The wider the slab, the more expensive it will be as the age of the tree influences rarity.
- The grain pattern, color and shape of the slab.
Why are your prices more competitive than what I'm seeing Downtown Toronto?
Our prices are, on average, 30-40% less expensive than our Toronto competitors. We achieve this because we do not have any overhead costs and do our milling and drying on site. We are able to keep our costs down and are happy to pass these savings onto our customers.
Why is your selection so much better than what I'm seeing Downtown Toronto?
Our selection is far greater than what you will find downtown Toronto because we have a large number of suppliers of premium timber from all over southern Ontario. This allows us to stock slabs from fruit trees such as Apple and Pear, desirable hardwood like Black Cherry, Black Walnut, English Walnut, Locust etc. Our downtown competitors obtain contracts with the City of Toronto and get their wood from trees which are removed from city property. These trees are primarily Ash, Maple and Poplar.
If you want more selection at a better price, come visit us and check out our wide selection of Live Edge Wood Slabs today!
Why is wood moisture content important?
Moisture content in wood is important as wood will shift when it is drying. Here at the Old Schoolhouse Mill, we make sure we only sell wood with moisture content of 8% and below. By kiln drying our wood we make sure that we provide our clients with a premium product that will not warp, cup or crack after finishing.
Do you deliver the live edge slabs?
Yes! We do free delivery for orders in excess of $2000 within the Greater Toronto Area. For orders under $2000 we have a standard delivery fee of $100-$150. Delivery outside the GTA will cost extra depending on location.
How much do you charge to mill my logs?
We custom mill for clients at $150 dollars - $300 an hour plus the cost of blades (Cost depends on log size). We charge a 2 hour minimum. Please contact Mike at 416 618 0081 for your custom milling inquiries.
Do you offer log pick up?
We can pick up your logs and transport them to our mill at a rate of $100 an hour. Billing starts from when we leave our yard.
I have a large tree, how much will you pay me for it?
We may be interested in your cut down trees. If you have an old growth tree that is already cut down please contact us. We also remove old growth trees that are not close to property.
Do you only sell the lumber or also build the furniture?
We do both. We have a Mill, wood kiln and a fully functional wood shop all onsite. Whether it's high quality live edge lumber that you're after, or a beautiful complete live edge dining room table, we are here to help. We provide our clients with lumber, woodworking guidance as well as complete furniture pieces. Pick out a beautiful slab and start your next project today or have us turn the lumber is an heirloom piece of furniture for you.
Do you kiln dry outside slabs?
Unfortunately we do not offer kiln drying services as the drying process is the bottleneck to this business. We require the room to dry our own stock. Furthermore drying times and schedules differ depending on wood species and when the log was milled. If you're looking for kiln dried slabs for your next project, visit our wood slabs page . We have over 400 slabs in stock.
Do you offer planing services?
We do not offer plaining services for outside wood as we do not know if there are hidden nails or other metal in the wood that can damage the planer. We do however plane and flatten slabs that we sell. We charge $60-80 per slab to flatten.