sharing our story THE VERSATILE BLOG

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Winning Together: Restoration Celebration 2017

Friday, Nov. 10th, 2017 On a rainy evening in downtown Portland, more than 250 people came together to celebrate Oregon’s historical structures and preservation at Restore Oregon’s most important fundraiser of the year, The Restoration Celebration. This year it was held at the beautiful Sentinel Hotel which—speaking of history—was built in 1909 and designed by … Continue reading “Winning Together: Restoration Celebration 2017”

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Natural Wood Delivers Timeless Beauty

More than 100,000 species of natural wood grace this planet. Like Michelangelo, a gifted woodworker sculpts color, grain, strength, weight and purpose to bring out the best in a building. Where flexibility is called for, bendable oak or elm is a better choice than highly dense mahogany. Exceptionally strong Douglas fir can weather abrasive elements. … Continue reading “Natural Wood Delivers Timeless Beauty”

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Erica Witbeck, Versatile Operations Manager

At Swedish restaurant Broder Nord, right up the road from Versatile headquarters, Erica Witbeck took some time out of her busy day managing schedules to share her story with me. Learning about Erica and what it means to be an “operations manager” was not only interesting, but complex. Erica started with Arciform — Versatile’s sister … Continue reading “Erica Witbeck, Versatile Operations Manager”

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Creative Window Solutions, Sleek Designs

From modern buildings that include simple lines to historic churches with grand curves, when it comes to creative window design we will use any opportunity to fire up our imagination. First Congregational Church Creative Window Solutions We have been honored to design and install windows for buildings all around Portland, including the First Congregational Church. … Continue reading “Creative Window Solutions, Sleek Designs”

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Celebrating the Towne Storage Job

Towne Storage -208 windows, 455 sashes, 13 building phases (spanning October 2016 through August 2017), 81 deliveries to site, 4,752 pounds of lead sash weights, 5,967 square feet of insulated glass units and 1.2 miles of Simulated Divide Lite (SDL) bar applied and we’re finally ready to celebrate the Towne Storage job! It was a … Continue reading “Celebrating the Towne Storage Job”

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Jeff Vasey, Versatile Wood Products Jack-of-All Trades

As a train filled with lumber roars by, Versatile Wood Product’s mill foreman, Jeff Vasey, takes a break from his normal duties to share his story with me. Jeff is the longest-working employee for Versatile and started with the sister company, Arciform, in 2001. Beginning as a field carpenter, he worked with a small team … Continue reading “Jeff Vasey, Versatile Wood Products Jack-of-All Trades”

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Richard De Wolf Interviewed on StreetTalk Podcast

This week, Richard was interviewed by Amy Rosenberg of Veracity’s StreetTalk Podcast where he spoke about his love for vintage structures, the value of mixed income levels in controversial Historic Districts (HD’s) and why it’s important to protect HD’s and why it’s easier to maintain a building than it is to change it. See the accompanying article … Continue reading “Richard De Wolf Interviewed on StreetTalk Podcast”

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Modern Outdoor Oasis — Custom Case Study

A glowing oasis of thoughtful, modern design that feels like an organic part of this architecturally-significant Oregon home. Patrick O’Neill of Greenline Fine Woodworking was called to do a historically sensitive update to one of Pietro Belluschi’s last projects. The project came with a very cool addition: a meditation room. The meditation room was designed … Continue reading “Modern Outdoor Oasis — Custom Case Study”

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Open Shelving: Mid-Century Bungalow Kitchen

Versatile brings this Mid-Century bungalow home into the 21st Century all while embracing its iconic look. Cradled in Northeast Portland’s Concordia neighborhood lies a modest and unassuming Mid-Century bungalow that has recently undergone an extensive remodel. Modernizing the interior of the home while retaining its intended aesthetic. In collaboration with Arciform designers Jeffrey Kelly and Bianca … Continue reading “Open Shelving: Mid-Century Bungalow Kitchen”

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Pine Street Market Sneak Preview

We have been deeply enjoying the process of designing and installing a very unusual project. A custom single hung window system and storefront for Siteworks at the new Pine Street Market food hall.  It is set to open in May 2016. Pine Street Market was originally called the United Carriage & Baggage Transfer Building. This … Continue reading “Pine Street Market Sneak Preview”

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Overstock Door Sale: Your Choice $150

Last but not least, these more complex Exterior Doors feature some great vintage ’70s detail. Choose any of the below doors for $150. Delivery not included, doors sold as-is. Pick up must be scheduled during standard Versatile hours – 7:30am-4:00pm. To purchase a door, email Iman: iman@versatilewp.com Full Lite French Doors with split finish (both … Continue reading “Overstock Door Sale: Your Choice $150”

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Overstock Door Sale: Your Choice $100

We’ve got some beautiful french doors, screens, multi-lite entry doors, even a bit of stained glass. Choose any of the below doors for $100. Delivery not included, doors sold as-is. Pick up must be scheduled during standard Versatile hours – Monday-Friday, 7:30am-4:00pm. To purchase a door, email Iman to arrange payment and delivery: iman@versatilewp.com   … Continue reading “Overstock Door Sale: Your Choice $100”

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New Year’s Overstock Door Sale! Your Choice $50

It’s a new year and time for Versatile to do a little clean up and clean out of our overstock door inventory. Lucky you! Here’s a chance to get a great deal on some interior doors. Choose any of the below doors for $50. Delivery not included, doors sold as-is. Pick up must be scheduled … Continue reading “New Year’s Overstock Door Sale! Your Choice $50”

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2015 Restoration Celebration Honors Versatile

A restoration celebration honoring versatile client’s achievements. We were honored to have the opportunity to join the architecture and restoration community in celebrating Oregon’s achievements in restoration. This was held at Restore Oregon’s Restoration Celebration in November. We were also very excited to watch as several of our clients were honored with DeMuro Awards this … Continue reading “2015 Restoration Celebration Honors Versatile”

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Eclipse Storefront — Postcards from Our Shop

This custom eclipse storefront is for the new open-air Pine Street Market… Here’s a peek at what we’ve been working on in our shop… A residential entry door gets a charming arched top… …with a three-point locking system Our talented crew created a CNC replication of the original double hung detail for the Pine Street … Continue reading “Eclipse Storefront — Postcards from Our Shop”

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Restoring First Congregational Church

Constructed in 1895, the First Congregational Church of Portland is a dominant Venetian Gothic icon along the city’s South Park Blocks. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Portland Landmark. This historic structure towers above its neighbors quite literally, with its 175′ bell tower at the southwest corner. This … Continue reading “Restoring First Congregational Church”

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Carle Kitchen Cabinets — Custom Case Study

Nestled deep in Southwest Portland, the Carle family kitchen was the subject of an extensive remodel that was completed in late 2014. Interior designer Barbara Sumner and architectural designer Kristyn Bester worked with Versatile’s Product Designer Rex Vaccaro. Their job was to update and modernize the kitchen complete with stunning kitchen cabinets. The design process … Continue reading “Carle Kitchen Cabinets — Custom Case Study”

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Mid-Century Custom Cabinetry — Custom Case Study

This architect designed mid-century modern home featured existing hemlock cabinets that needed restoration, plus a client who wanted to expand square footage and increase the utility of the space for entertaining. Versatile refinished and modified the original kitchen cabinets to house new appliances and fabricated a new bank of cabinets that matched the existing style … Continue reading “Mid-Century Custom Cabinetry — Custom Case Study”

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Curtis Nagel, Versatile’s New Drafter

After his enlistment in the Navy Curtis Nagel returned to Texas to complete an Associate Degree in Architectural Technology. To begin his professional journey as a drafter. Curtis’ most recent accomplishment was obtaining his Master’s Degree in Technology Management with an emphasis in safety (occupational and industrial hygiene). During each of these degrees, Curtis worked full time … Continue reading “Curtis Nagel, Versatile’s New Drafter”

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Nicole Carruth, Versatile’s New Sales Assistant:

Meet Nicole Carruth, one of Versatile’s new Sales Assistants. She has a degree in Interior Design from Portland Community College and previously studied art. Professionally, she has a background in retail and the service industry. You’ve been brought on as one of Versatile’s first-ever Sales Assistants. Tell us about what your areas of responsibility will … Continue reading “Nicole Carruth, Versatile’s New Sales Assistant:”

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Argon Gas — Window Word of the Day

Argon Gas: An inert, colorless and odorless gas used to fill the airspace between the insulating glass panes which greatly increases the overall performance of the glass; Argon gas is less conducive to heat than air. The glass panes are sealed to keep the gas from escaping to ensure a consistent interior temperature as well … Continue reading “Argon Gas — Window Word of the Day”

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Air Infiltration — Window Word of the Day

 Air Infiltration: The amount of air that passes between a sash and a frame; Measure in terms of cubic feet of air per minute per lineal foot of crack (margin). Air infiltration is the major cause of heat loss or gain in a home. A reduction in air leaks will provide a more comfortable environment … Continue reading “Air Infiltration — Window Word of the Day”

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Insulated Glass — Window Word of the Day

Insulated Glass (IG): Glazing comprised of two or more glass panes separated by a hermetically sealed airspace. Heat transmission through this type of glass may be as low as half that without such an air space. This space may or may not be filled with an inert gas, such as argon. A hermetic seal makes … Continue reading “Insulated Glass — Window Word of the Day”

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Muntin Bar — Window Word of the Day

Muntin Bar: A short, lightweight bar that visually divides a window into “separate” panes. Did you know: Until the middle of the 19th century, it was economically necessary to use smaller panes of glass, which were much more affordable to produce, and fabricate into a grid to make large windows and doors.   More Window Words  |  … Continue reading “Muntin Bar — Window Word of the Day”

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Rex Vaccaro, Versatile’s Custom Design Manager

Rex grew up in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. He also lived in Phoenix, AZ and in Seattle, WA before deciding to make Portland home. He has an AAS in Architectural Design & Drafting plus 10 years’ experience working closely with architects, designers, engineers, and builders. He also has 14 years working with both European style cabinetry and traditional face frame … Continue reading “Rex Vaccaro, Versatile’s Custom Design Manager”

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First Congregational Church Progress Photos

Restoration of the First Congregational Church bell tower is underway so we thought we’d share some progress photos… Pieces that are unable to be salvaged are being replaced with replicas… Salvageable pieces are being touched up with a light sanding and wood putty… Modifications are being made to the partially salvageable parts… The scaffolding is … Continue reading “First Congregational Church Progress Photos”

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We’re Hiring!

Versatile Wood Products is growing rapidly and we are looking to expand our team. Rooted in the traditions of 18th and 19th century craftsmen, Versatile Wood Products provides uniquely versatile solutions to building challenges with a focus on custom-crafted historically accurate architectural wood products. Located in Portland, Oregon, our 40,000 square foot custom wood shop tackles … Continue reading “We’re Hiring!”

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Postcards from the Shop

We recently expanded our shop space and we can now take on even more projects! Take a look at what we’ve been working on… These custom cabinets are being built for a 19th century farmhouse in Hood River. These full lite doors and transom are being delivered to the former Portland Police Athletic Association building, … Continue reading “Postcards from the Shop”

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You’re Invited: Living in History Brunch & Learn Panel Discussion

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What’s Happening in the Shop!

You may have heard that the bell tower of the First Congregational Church of Portland is being restored. The south portion of the tower was disassembled by Pioneer Waterproofing and delivered to our shop in a few pieces… Our shop crew carefully laid the pieces out… …and our shop manager puzzled the pieces back together… … Continue reading “What’s Happening in the Shop!”

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Erica Witbeck, First Operations Manager

We couldn’t be more excited to announce that Erica Witbeck has agreed to join the Versatile Team as its first Operations Manager. Her job will be to improve the efficiency of our entire production process to meet client goals and deadlines. To keep Versatile running smoothly. Here’s a quick interview with Erica to give you … Continue reading “Erica Witbeck, First Operations Manager”

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Roman Candle, Ava Gene’s, Woodsman Tavern — Custom Case Study

After SE Division’s overwhelming support of Duane Sorenson’s Stumptown cafe, he opened The Woodsman Tavern to create a gathering place for good food and good drink that felt like it had always been there. The Woodsman Tavern was a 2012 Bon Appétit Best New Restaurant nominee and launched the revitalization of SE Division Street. This … Continue reading “Roman Candle, Ava Gene’s, Woodsman Tavern — Custom Case Study”

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Block House Café — Custom Case Study

In the heart of historic Dayton Oregon, The Block House Café recently moved into the 1886 First Baptist Church on Main Street. Working alongside architect Paul Falsetto and Fackler Construction, Versatile created a large back bar with surrounding cabinetry, wait-station, and tabletops from old floor joists in the building. Block House Café Goals: To create … Continue reading “Block House Café — Custom Case Study”

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Witherspoon Building: Case Study Update

What challenges did Versatile face during the Witherspoon Building project? The age of the Witherspoon building combined with the amount of steel that was required to bring the building up to current seismic standards made our job very difficult. Another challenge was incorporating electronics for a security system into a solid wood door. What were the … Continue reading “Witherspoon Building: Case Study Update”

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Walnut Doors –Versatile Showroom

You may have heard that Versatile Wood Products is getting a new showroom! The first piece to go in were these amazing, custom lift and slide walnut doors. The unusual “lift and slide” mechanism was chosen for these doors. This mechanism is primarily used for extra-large doors, allowing them to open easily without resistance from … Continue reading “Walnut Doors –Versatile Showroom”

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Showroom Sneak Peeks!

The new Versatile showroom is under way! Here are a few exciting details, all hand crafted by the Versatile team… Come and see the rest of the details for yourself at our showroom launch! Join us for a Launch Luau in celebration of our new Versatile Showroom When: Thursday, Sept 18 2014 Time: 2 pm … Continue reading “Showroom Sneak Peeks!”

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Quality Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Kitchen design by Arciform senior designer Chelly Wentworth. There are seemingly endless options for cabinet drawer inserts. At Versatile Wood Products we always try to select the top of the line products to compliment our high end cabinets. Here are some of our most used options. From Rev-A-Shelf: Waste container pullouts Cabinet Drawer Inserts This … Continue reading “Quality Cabinet Drawer Inserts”

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Doors In High Exposure Areas — Best Practices

Best Practices For Doors starts with quality…. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we are faced with a lot of rain. Here are a few ways Versatile combats the water during the build process, to keep your doors in great shape. Quality materials are a must! We always use high quality, solid wood. The materials used … Continue reading “Doors In High Exposure Areas — Best Practices”

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Evergreen Chapel — Custom Case Study

Located at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville OR, the Evergreen Chapel opened it’s doors in September 2013. Designed by architect Miles Woofter, the chapel was meant to resemble a 1930’s log cabin. The chapel is over 5,500 square feet with  Douglas fir logs and cedar ceilings. Inside, on the west and east wings … Continue reading “Evergreen Chapel — Custom Case Study”

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Washington High School Sash Windows — Custom Case Study

Washington High School opened in 1906, originally under the name of East Side High School, at SE 14th & Stark. In 1909 it was renamed as Washington High School. The original building was destroyed by a fire in October of 1922. The replacement building was designed by Houghtaling & Dougan.  It was constructed of reinforced … Continue reading “Washington High School Sash Windows — Custom Case Study”

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Replacement Sash for Historic Review — Custom Case Study

This lovely condo building on the National Historic Register was in need of refurbishment. There were strict requirements to meet in order to maintain the historic character of the building. Their budget precluded custom replacement sash and other window components. Here’s how we helped their contractor, PATH Construction, find a Uniquely Versatile solution that was … Continue reading “Replacement Sash for Historic Review — Custom Case Study”

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Entry System — Postcard from the Field

Just received these completed project images from a recent entry system we custom built as part of an exterior renovation package. Take a look: Here’s the before picture:   About Versatile Wood Products  | Contact Us

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Douglas Fir — 5 Surprising Facts

IT’S NOT ACTUALLY FIR. Technically, Douglas Fir is a pine or a spruce. It is often written in botanical texts at “Douglas-fir” to keep it distinct from actual Fir species. True firs have cones that sit upright like little owls on their branches. The Douglas fir cone hangs down and stays intact when it falls … Continue reading “Douglas Fir — 5 Surprising Facts”

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Full Sail Brewing Custom Entry System — Custom Case Study

We were happy to recently complete a custom storefront system for Full Sail Brewing’s Hood River corporate offices. It was the perfect mix of Uniquely Versatile elements: unusual scale, specific climate and weather conditions. And a client with a very specific design aesthetic in mind. Here’s a look at the goals and challenges of the … Continue reading “Full Sail Brewing Custom Entry System — Custom Case Study”

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Extension Jamb — Window Word of the Day

Extension Jamb: Lumber extending from a window or door frame to accommodate different wall thicknesses. Why do you need an extension jamb? Since the energy crisis of the 1970s brought on the demand for thicker insulation, most contemporary houses are framed with 2×6 studs. Windows, though, are generally still configured for 2×4 walls, so the … Continue reading “Extension Jamb — Window Word of the Day”

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Restore or Replace Your Window — 5 Quick Checks to Decide

We get this question every day at Versatile: When is it better to restore your existing windows and when is it time to replace them? Here’s a quick check guide to evaluating the condition and value of your current windows to discover which option may be best for you. 1. IS THERE ROT? Any window … Continue reading “Restore or Replace Your Window — 5 Quick Checks to Decide”

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Frame — Window Word of the Day

Frame: The horizontal and vertical members of  a door or window unit which surround the sash, are used to secure the door or window unit into the rough opening and to the building, and/or to which the hinge and lock strike hardware are normally attached. Frame components include: Head Jamb: The top horizontal member Side … Continue reading “Frame — Window Word of the Day”

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Custom Double Hung Window — Custom Case Study

This may look like a humble little double hung but what appears to be straightforward actually involved a lot of attention to detail, careful coordination and amazing craftsmanship. When this job is finished it will be very difficult to identify the original windows from our new window; aside from the fact that the new window … Continue reading “Custom Double Hung Window — Custom Case Study”

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Fingerjoint — Window Word of the Day

Fingerjoint: A series of interlocking fingers prcisely cut on the ends of two pieces of wood which mesh together with heat-based adhesive. It is stronger than a butt or lap joint, and often contributes to the aesthetics of the piece. Alternate names include box-pin joint or box joint. It’s advantage is that it does not … Continue reading “Fingerjoint — Window Word of the Day”

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Casement — Window Word of the Day

Casement: A window unit that swings open from one of its vertical edges. Casement windows are normally operated with either a casement lock and stay bar system (the traditional hardware) or a mechanical crank system with a concealed hinge. This unusually long bank of casement windows was custom designed by Versatile Wood Products and features … Continue reading “Casement — Window Word of the Day”

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Stairwell Lift Door — Custom Case Study

Sometimes the answer to a tricky design challenge isn’t a choice between manufactured and custom options. Sometimes the answer is to use the best of both. Here’s how we tackled one very unusual vertical lift stairwell door with a combination of manufactured and highly custom Versatile solutions. The Challenge Versatile client Bobby Meeker had a … Continue reading “Stairwell Lift Door — Custom Case Study”

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Cottage Style — Window Word of the Day

Cottage-Style: A Double Hung window with a bottom sash that is taller in height than the top sash. This style is commonly seen in Craftsman style houses (1900 to 1930) in the configuration shown on the left, where the six lite upper sash is paired with a unobstructed larger lower sash. A bit about the … Continue reading “Cottage Style — Window Word of the Day”

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Check Rail — Window Word of the Day

Check Rail: The bottom rail of the top sash and the top rail of the bottom sash of a double hung window that meet horizontally in the center of the unit or the two vertical members of sash in a slider window that meet in the center. This is also sometimes called the meeting rail. … Continue reading “Check Rail — Window Word of the Day”

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Brick Mould — Window Word of the Day

Brick mould: The part of the exterior of a window that is designed to cover the small gap between the frame and the exterior siding. It is typically made of wood, wood composite, aluminum or PVC and received its name because brick was once the most common exterior facade or facing. Traditionally, brick mould was … Continue reading “Brick Mould — Window Word of the Day”

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Bead — Window Word of the Day

Bead: Also called sticking, this is a molding or stop placed around a window frame to hold the glass in place by pressure. In traditional woodworking, a bead is typically a rounded shape cut into a square edge to soften the edge and provide some protection against splitting. Beads can be simple round shapes, or … Continue reading “Bead — Window Word of the Day”

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Balance — Window Word of the Day

Balance: A mechanical device, normally spring-loaded, used in hung windows to counterbalance the weight of the sash during operation. History of Spring Balance Systems The Old House Journal shares some intriguing history on the invention and original uses of a spring balance system to replace to weight and pulley system. Here’s an excerpt: The Source … Continue reading “Balance — Window Word of the Day”

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Blind Stop — Window Word of the Day

We’re launching a new feature: A Window Word A Day. We hope you’ll find this look at the history and meaning of some of the window world’s more obscure terminology informative, useful and maybe a bit entertaining. We’ll spend the next 2 months unveiling a new definition each day. Pay attention! At the end we’ll … Continue reading “Blind Stop — Window Word of the Day”

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A Revealing Restoration

The Daily Journal of Commerce had an intriguing cover story yesterday about the Witherspoon Building, a 123 year old downtown building on the Portland Historic Resource Inventory that is being renovated to serve as the headquarters for Parliment, an advertising and brand design firm. The building has a fascinating history, including stints as a brothel, … Continue reading “A Revealing Restoration”

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Custom Wood Island — Custom Case Study

Turned legs, maple butcher block featuring end-grain detail and a mixture of stainless steel and wood elements come together to create an unusual and challenging design puzzle for the Versatile Wood Products team as they work to create this custom kitchen island for a client in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Here you see how the end … Continue reading “Custom Wood Island — Custom Case Study”

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A Tale of Two (Historic) Doors

Versatile recently had the pleasure of working with Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale and his partner Phillip Iosca to repair and restore the two 135 year old doors on the front of the historic building that once housed a picture frame factory and now provides both living space for Phillip and Thomas and rehearsal space for … Continue reading “A Tale of Two (Historic) Doors”

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Evergreen Chapel — Postcard from the Field

Check out the big beautiful hole they have made in the Evergreen Aviation Museum’s log chapel project. It’s just waiting for our windows to be installed… About Versatile Wood Products  | Contact Us

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Oregon’s Most Endangered Places

Versatile Wood Products is a proud sponsor of the Historic Preservation League of Oregon’s annual “Most Endangered Places” list. Yesterday’s announcement of the 2013 list includes some fascinating structures… from a blimp hanger in Tillamook Bay to a historic schoolhouse in Antelope Oregon to the iconic State Hospital. The list includes two projects we have … Continue reading “Oregon’s Most Endangered Places”

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A Refreshed Welcome

Welcome to Versatile Wood Product’s new blog! We thought we would begin with a recent project we worked on that helped a home owner create a more welcoming entry to their home. Here’s what the entry looked like before we got there: A bit scuffed and unwelcoming, right? And here’s how it all turned out: … Continue reading “A Refreshed Welcome”

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