My Partner in business is Rex Condie. Rex and I are first cousins on our Mothers’ side. We were both reared on dairy farms in Southeastern Idaho. We chose the name of our business from our Grandfather’s cattle brand. Grandpa Swainston designed the brand and registered it with the Idaho Brand Commission. The brand is a Wineglass with a bar to the side. The brand has been used for three generations in our family. My Grandfather stated about the brand that it was a “wine glass without the wine”. Both Rex and I worked on Grandpa’s farm while growing up and we have very fond memories of Grandpa and how he taught us to work and enjoy being able to work. So we named our business as a tribute to Grandpa Swainston.
Rex Condie grew up as the only boy. He has three sisters. So he worked alongside his Dad on the farm. Rex was introduced to logging and milling in the ‘50’s and early ‘60’s by his father when they would go to Mink Creek with Rex’s Uncle to fell trees with an ax and a 2-man tree saw. They would skid the logs with their car over to be winched up onto the trailer then be taken to a relative’s sawmill. They would then barter with the relative to get the logs milled. His Dad and Uncle used the lumber to build barns and sheds on their farms. After Rex graduated from College with a Welding Engineer’s Degree, he worked for 10 years at several nuclear power plants under construction throughout the United States. The last one was the Palo Verde Power Plant west of Phoenix. When that job was ending after 5 years, Rex wanted to stay in the Phoenix Area, so he bought a Welding Shop near the Phoenix Airport. There he did specialty welding until he retired four years ago. While living in California near San Francisco in the early part of his career, Rex started to reclaim urban logs. Back in 1976 and 1977 Rex saved Curo Walnut from the walnut orchards near Walnut Creek, California, from the dump. He would cut down black walnut trees, sell the limbs for fire wood, then take the logs to Idaho to have them milled. When Rex’s Dad retired from milking cows, he made furniture from the walnut tree lumber Rex had stored in his Dad’s barn. Rex had always wanted to own his own sawmill.
I grew up on my Dad’s dairy farm in northern Utah, which is right across the state line from Idaho. I loved to make things out of wood. My Dad would always complain that I had been robbing his wood pile again. After high school I went to Utah Technical College in Carpentry. After college I moved to the Boise, Idaho area where I became a Journeyman Carpenter with the Carpenters Union. I worked as a Journeyman Carpenter for 10 years before becoming a Superintendent of Commercial Construction. After 30 years as a Superintendent I retired. I own a small acreage where I built my home, a two story barn/garage, remodeled my workshop and added various sheds and structures all using reclaimed wood from construction sites. As you can see, I love working with wood! About 4 years ago I asked Rex if he would help me put together a saw mill. I wanted to mill my own rough sawn lumber for siding for my new barn/garage, plus I wanted to be able to make my own lumber for the projects I wanted to build. Rex became very excited because he was interested in a saw mill as well. So Rex and I pooled together our resources and put together this business.
This year Tim Adams joined our partnership. We are so glad to have him on board! Tim Adams was born into a military family in Agana, Guam, his father being a civil engineer in the US Army Corp of Engineers.. Both his father and mother served our country in the military for many years after. He has lived all over the country from coast to coast and in France for 4 years as a young adult. He has been in the construction industry since his high school days and continued to pursue his career in this industry building custom homes and custom remodeling. Tim and his wife, Cathy (of 30 years), moved to the Phoenix area in 2007 and love the area and plan on staying through the rest of their years.
He has always been involved in carpentry and decided to become partners with LaVor and Rex to build a business saving the urban forests.. He enjoys milling the trees that we get from the Valley of the sun (Phoenix AZ.) and interacting with the many artisans that are our customers. Tim stated, “This is and will be my newest career as long as I am capable.”
Our goal is to grow this family business and add more equipment that allows us to specialize in providing any species or wood and cut it to any specifications that our customer’s needs. We are very conservative with what nature provides us and want to see that we do our best to reclaim the Urban Forest throughout the Phoenix area. It is such a loss and waste when a healthy tree is cut down or blown over resulting in it being hauled to the landfill, or cut up for firewood, or ground up into wood chips for landscaping. We have saved trees that fell during a storm or died from beetles or disease. These trees could make very unique furniture, counter tops, picture frames, wood beams or mantles, or whatever you imagination can come up with.
Thank you for reading about us!
Call Us Today (623) 208-9578
SAVING ONE TREE AT A TIME FROM GOING TO THE LANDFILL TO GIVE IT A NEW LIFE