F.A.Q.

F.A.Q.

March 02, 2020

Q) What is the Local Pickup // DIY Delivery Shipping Option?

A) This Shipping option is for customers who want to save on shipping by picking up their Alabama Sawyer orders at our local shop, or by arranging pickup/delivery options themselves.  This option applies to small products and furniture items alike!

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Q) Do you use any traditional hardwood in your products?

A) We use 90% fallen urban wood. (We also have customers who only trust us to do their work, so there are times we branch out in terms of materials.)

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Q) What is urban wood?

A) Urban wood comes from trees that grow in/ around a city, town, or human settlement. 

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Q) Where do you get the trees?

A) Our trees are sourced entirely from the urban forests of Alabama and the immediate region. More specifically, they come from municipalities, businesses, and homeowners.

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Q) Why urban wood? 

A) At least part of the reason we use urban wood is because of its unique personality and look. It has knots, burls, and insect holes. It’s unpredictable, yet still beautiful. The grain patterns tend to vary, which consumers love. 

Another reason is sustainability. We make products using trees that would otherwise rot in a landfill. By creating products using these trees, we are preventing the release of carbon into the atmosphere that would take place as the tree decays. The tendency of wood to store carbon is referred to as carbon sequestration.

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Q) I want to know more about the design process/ buying options. 

A) There are a few different options for buying from Alabama Sawyer. 

Option A: You buy from the website and select a predetermined size. No customization is necessary here. Production can then take anywhere from 6 - 12 weeks. After the project is created, we arrange for a delivery and then the project is delivered. 

Option B: You can look at our website and online gallery to see how the predetermined options fit your vision. After determining exactly what you want, you can call or come in. 

If you decide to come in, you’ll be given a brief tour of Alabama Sawyer. We don’t have a showroom, but we’d love to have you drop by. Then you can get a quote for the project. Next you’ll get a drawing of your project, which eventually has to be signed off/ approved by the furniture makers. 

Then, you’ll need to make a deposit on the project to ensure it gets scheduled. Once your project has been scheduled, you can get samples of the wood to give you an idea of what your project is going to look like. However, keep in mind that urban wood is unpredictable in appearance, it has insect holes, knots, and burls. Samples are never going to look exactly like the finished piece, but they can certainly provide a close approximation. 

Then comes production, which can take anywhere from 6 - 12 weeks. After the project is created, we arrange for a delivery and then the project is delivered. 

Option C: There are times where we do projects that are 100% custom. This isn’t something we normally do because these custom projects aren’t always a good fit for us. That said, it does happen. These projects have many of the same steps for OPTION B. As such, after the drawing is approved and the customer makes a deposit, the project is added to the schedule.

Production then takes anywhere from 6 - 12 weeks. After the project is created, we arrange for a delivery and then the project is delivered.

Q) How should I clean my Alabama Sawyer product?

A) For cutting boards specifically, we have a blog post for that. But for non cutting board items, the first step for both oil finishes and surface varnishes is to keep them well dusted, and keep the product out of direct sunlight / away from extreme temperatures. For varnished wood furniture, use a washrag lightly dipped in warm water to clean the mess. Dry any remaining wet spots immediately.

For oil finished surfaces, you'll need to seek out certain cleaning products like boiled linseed oil, turpentine, and white vinegar. Then, make a solution with 1 cup of the boiled linseed oil, 1/3 cup white vinegar, and 1 cup turpentine. This is the solution you will use to clean your oil finished surface. Then you'll need to dip a clean washrag in the solution, and lightly wipe down your wood surface. Let sit for a few minutes, then gently wipe the excess oil off. 

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Q) Can I leave my Alabama Sawyer product outside?

A) Our products will last a lot longer if they are kept inside, and out of direct sunlight. That said, you can still keep wood furniture outside. Just keep in mind that it'll react to the elements and change over time. This change isn't necessarily a bad thing, just be wary of it if you decide to store an Alasaw product outdoors. 

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Q) Do you sell your wood?

A) Yes. About once a quarter we open our shop to the public for a wood sale. For updates on the next sale, sign up for our wood sale newsletter or follow us on Instagram. If you are looking to purchase over 100 board feet, fill out our contact form and we can set up an appointment.

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Q) Do you cut down trees?

A) We are not a tree service and do not cut down trees. We work with tree services to have timber delivered to our mill. If you need a tree service, visit our list of recommended tree services in Birmingham.

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Q) Are you open to the public?

A) Sometimes. Our shop can be seen at our wood sales or open house.

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Q) Do you buy trees?

A) Sometimes we do. When they are of a specific species and size, and we know we can use it for a project. We pride ourselves on using what the state of Alabama and the Southeast region provides for us. 95% of our wood comes from the area.

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Q) What is your return policy?

A) Anything customized, ie. lumber cut to specific dimensions or furniture built to order, cannot be returned or cancelled. Purchases directly from our inventory of home accessories have a 7 day period for return. Returns must be in re-sellable condition. Returns are at the customer’s expense and must be insured for the full purchase value. NOTE: Shipping services generally do not insure reused boxes or packaging. Once we receive the returned items and verify that they have not been damaged or altered, credits or refunds will be issued to the customer to whom Alabama Sawyer sold the product. You can initiate a self-service return. Alasaw has the right to deny credit for any returned goods that do not meet the requirements of our return policy, so please treat our pieces with lots of TLC! here.

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Q) What kind of shipping do you use?

A) Our small products are shipped UPS or USPS. For international orders, contact us for DHL pricing. For furniture, we prefer “Blanket-wrap” shipping for the best care and quality of service. This also ensures that nearly all packaging is reused indefinitely. When crates and freight shipping are required, we will adjust accordingly.

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Q) What kind of trees do you salvage?

A) We can use a wide range of hardwoods that meet the 20" standard and especially, if there is a project that you have in mind. For our own inventory, we look for Walnut, White and Red Oaks, Hackberry, Cherry, Hickory, Pecan, Sweet Gum, and Magnolia.

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Q) What if I have a tree to donate?

A) We may be able to use trees that are at least 20 inches in diameter. Longer lengths (8'-12') are better. Talk to your tree service to see what is feasible. You can contact office@alasaw.com about potential projects or dropping off your logs at our mill in Bessemer. Ideally, we would reuse every tree that comes down, but we need to focus our efforts on trees that have a project associated with it, like our tree concierge services or logs that make the most sense for our investment of resources.

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Q) Can I leave anything on my Alabama Sawyer products, like food or drinks?

A) We strongly encourage you to use place mats for food, and coasters for beverages. The same goes for anything that might produce heat (like our 5 o' clock Sawyer Candle!)