Wood Lovers Unite – It’s a Global Passion - West Wind Hardwood

This article is compliments of Paul Miller; Retired wood boat builder; Hobby furniture maker. Paul also writes for Lumber Jock (LJ) Blog as ‘Shipwright’.

“I love to think outside the box and I love to do things I’ve never tried before. Almost every project I start involves design as you go flexibility and at least a couple of things that I hope I can accomplish but that I’m not sure I can. I try to use local hardwoods when I can rather than commercial “store bought” material. I like that it gives a feeling of heritage to the piece.” PM

On a recent trip to Europe, Paul made a special visit to Les Fils de J. George in Paris.  He says “to some Paris may be the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, or the palace at Versailles…………….

They are fine and I did see them but the real attraction for me this trip was an old building out on Rue Gallieni where some of the last sawn veneer in the world can be found. I won’t get into singing the praises of this stuff here but suffice to say that at about ten times the price of the common sliced veneer what we see here is pretty special.

You would never think, looking at the outside of the building, what a treasure it holds within. The veneers are spectacular and the saw that cuts it is a real treat to a woodworker’s eyes.

Les Fils de J. George in Paris


In this piece the wood being cut is ebony. The veneer is the piece with the clip attached to it and the vertical log is very slowly rising up into the blade. It’s easy to see that this is a much more time consuming operation than slicing would be.

Having seen the saw we got down to work. We walked through the mind boggling warehouse of rare and exotic woods in log, plank and veneer form and all the way down at the end we descended down a little ramp into “le cave” the cool cellar where the fine veneers are kept. Just when I thought I had reached the inner sanctum of this woodworker’s holy place, Frederic slid open a sliding door at one end of the small dim room revealing an even smaller, darker one. “Would you like to start with ebony?” he said.

At this point I have to stop and thank Thomas because Frederic didn’t say the above in English. I speak enough French to get by and Frederic speaks probably as much English but the whole process was greatly facilitated by having a translator who was fluent in both.

I’ll let the pictures tell the rest.”

wood veneer manufacturing in Paris

wood veneer manufacturing in Paris

This is “le cave” where the sawn veneers live. The entrance door the sign say “le cave de l’ébene”.

Thank you Paul for letting us use your photos & article. Browse more of his work at: Lumberjocks.com



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