sharing our story THE VERSATILE BLOG

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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 Design: Multi-Slide Doors

When Patrick O’Neill of Greenline Fine Woodworking was called to do a historically sensitive update to one of Pietro Belluschi’s last projects, it came with a very cool addition: a meditation room designed collaboratively with Michael McCulloch, a noted Portland architect who is the current owner of the home. Project Goals The intention of the design was … Continue reading “Modern Design: Multi-Slide Doors”

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Open Shelving in a Mid-Century Kitchen

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 McKelvy, Versatile Wood Products had a unique opportunity to be a part of this transformation. … Continue reading “Open Shelving in a Mid-Century Kitchen”

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Postcards from the Field: Pine Street Market Sneak Preview

We have been deeply enjoying the process of designing and installing a very unusual custom single hung window system and storefront for Siteworks at the new Pine Street Market food hall that is set to open in May 2016. Originally called the United Carriage & Baggage Transfer Building, this 1886 structure had a past life … Continue reading “Postcards from the Field: 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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Versatile Clients Honored at the 2015 Restoration Celebration

We were honored to have the opportunity to join the architecture and restoration community in celebrating Oregon’s achievements in restoration 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 year! The Restoration Celebration serves a dual purpose: it is … Continue reading “Versatile Clients Honored at the 2015 Restoration Celebration”

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Postcards from the Shop

Here’s a peek at what we’ve been working on in our shop… This custom eclipse storefront is for the new open-air Pine Street Market… 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 “Postcards from the Shop”

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Meet Shop Carpenter Mike Perkins

Meet one of Versatile’s newest Shop Carpenters, Mike Perkins. What inspires you about custom woodworking? What drew you to this line of work? I’m inspired by bringing the old back to life by using age old techniques and processes. The hands on aspect is what drives me and I’m able to utilize my 28 plus … Continue reading “Meet Shop Carpenter Mike Perkins”

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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. 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 tower was once … Continue reading “Restoring: First Congregational Church”

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Meet Custom Design Specialist Josette Katcha

A native to the Midwest, Josette studied interior architecture and worked as a preservation and design consultant on both new construction and restoration projects for 7 years. Lured by the mountains and architectural styles of the Pacific Northwest, Josette moved to Oregon in 2013 to receive her Master of Science in Historic Preservation at the University … Continue reading “Meet Custom Design Specialist Josette Katcha”

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Case Study: Carle Kitchen Cabinets

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, to update and modernize the kitchen. The design process for this particular project exemplifies our modern era; … Continue reading “Case Study: Carle Kitchen Cabinets”

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Case Study: Mid-Century Custom Cabinetry

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 “Case Study: Mid-Century Custom Cabinetry”

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Meet Versatile’s New Drafter: Curtis Nagel

After his enlistment in the Navy Curtis returned to Texas to complete an Associate Degree in Architectural Technology and 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 “Meet Versatile’s New Drafter: Curtis Nagel”

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Versatile’s New Sales Assistant: Nicole Carruth

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 “Versatile’s New Sales Assistant: Nicole Carruth”

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Meet Versatile’s Newest Drafter: Taylor Rife

Taylor Rife is Versatile’s newest Drafter. He has a Certificate of Computer Aided Design and Drafting from Portland Community College and a Culinary Arts Diploma from Oregon Culinary Institute. He drove a cab for four years, commercial trucks for a short time and cooked in a variety of restaurants. Read on to find out what … Continue reading “Meet Versatile’s Newest Drafter: Taylor Rife”

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Window Word of the Day: Argon Gas

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 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 as … Continue reading “Window Word of the Day: Argon Gas”

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Window Word of Day: Air Infiltration

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 “Window Word of Day: Air Infiltration”

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Today’s Window Word: Insulated Glass

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 “Today’s Window Word: Insulated Glass”

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Meet Shop Manager Jeff Varner

You’ve been brought on as Versatile’s Shop Manager. Tell us about what your areas of responsibility will be. I will primarily be monitoring systems and processes as they relate to the daily activities of the shop: production schedules, safety standards, resource needs, tool repairs, etc. My goal is to help facilitate a clear and efficient … Continue reading “Meet Shop Manager Jeff Varner”

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Window Word of the Day: Muntin Bar

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 “Window Word of the Day: Muntin Bar”

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Meet Versatile’s Custom Design Manager

Rex grew up in a small town in north eastern Pennsylvania but 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 and 14 years working with both European style cabinetry and traditional face frame cabinetry. … Continue reading “Meet Versatile’s Custom Design Manager”

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First Congregational Church of Portland

Restoration of the 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 up and our … Continue reading “First Congregational Church of Portland”

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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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Get to Know Your Window & Door Guy: Rod Hilkiah

Where are you from? Olympia, Washington. I’ve been in Portland for 19 years.  What is your position at Versatile Wood Products & how long have you worked here? I am the Versatile Estimator.  I started March 2nd, so about two months. How long have you been doing this? I’ve been in the carpentry world for … Continue reading “Get to Know Your Window & Door Guy: Rod Hilkiah”

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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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Ready to Win a 4 City VIP Baseball Tour from Integrity?

As proud Marvin Window Dealers, we’re excited to share with you this new promotion they are doing to introduce the latest details about their Integrity line of fiberglass windows. It comes with an opportunity to win a 4 City VIP tour to visit some of America’s iconic baseball stadiums. What’s the connection between fiberglass windows … Continue reading “Ready to Win a 4 City VIP Baseball Tour from Integrity?”

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Meet Versatile’s New 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 and keep Versatile running smoothly. Here’s a quick interview with Erica to give … Continue reading “Meet Versatile’s New Operations Manager”

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Case Study: Roman Candle, Ava Gene’s & Woodsman Tavern

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 “Case Study: Roman Candle, Ava Gene’s & Woodsman Tavern”

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Get to Know Your Window & Door Guy: Alex MacKenzie

What is your name and where are you from? Alex MacKenzie and I grew up in Pendleton, Oregon. What is your position with Versatile, and how long have you worked here? I am a “fenestration consultant”, aka window and door sales team member, and have been here for 3 years. I worked in the shop … Continue reading “Get to Know Your Window & Door Guy: Alex MacKenzie”

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Case Study: The Block House Café

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. Goals: To create a large, functional … Continue reading “Case Study: The Block House Café”

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Get to Know Your Window & Door Guy: Eric Voss

What is your name? Eric Voss What is your position and how long have you worked with Versatile? I am the Shop Manager, and have worked with Versatile for 8.5 years. I started with Versatile Sash. How long have you been building custom wood products? 35 years How and why did you start woodworking? I’ve … Continue reading “Get to Know Your Window & Door Guy: Eric Voss”

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Case Study Update: Witherspoon Building

What challenges did Versatile face during this project? The age of the 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 Uniquely Versatile … Continue reading “Case Study Update: Witherspoon Building”

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Versatile Showroom: Walnut Doors

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 “Versatile Showroom: Walnut Doors”

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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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Cabinet & Drawer Inserts

Kitchen design by Arciform senior designer Chelly Wentworth. There are seemingly endless options for cabinet and 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 This series is … Continue reading “Cabinet & Drawer Inserts”

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Best Practices for Doors in High Exposure Areas

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 will play a large role in the … Continue reading “Best Practices for Doors in High Exposure Areas”

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Case Study: Evergreen Chapel

(photo courtesy of Woofter Architecture) 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 intended to resemble a 1930’s log cabin. The chapel is over 5,500 square feet, was constructed with Douglas fir logs, and has cedar ceilings. … Continue reading “Case Study: Evergreen Chapel”

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Case Study: Washington High School Sash Windows

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, and constructed on the same … Continue reading “Case Study: Washington High School Sash Windows”

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Case Study: Replacement Sash for Historic Review

This lovely condo building on the National Historic Register was in need of refurbishment but had strict requirements to meet in order to maintain the historic character of the building. Their budget precluded custom replacement windows. Here’s how we helped their contractor, PATH Construction, find a Uniquely Versatile solution that was right for them. What … Continue reading “Case Study: Replacement Sash for Historic Review”

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Postcard from the Field: Entry System

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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5 Things that May Surprise You about Douglas Fir

1.IT’S NOT ACTUALLY FIR. Technically, Douglas Fir is a pine or a spruce and so 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 … Continue reading “5 Things that May Surprise You about Douglas Fir”

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Case Study: Full Sail Brewing Custom Entry System

We were delighted 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 “Case Study: Full Sail Brewing Custom Entry System”

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Today’s Window Word: Extension Jamb

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 “Today’s Window Word: Extension Jamb”

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5 Quick Checks to Decide: Restore or Replace Your Windows?

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 “5 Quick Checks to Decide: Restore or Replace Your Windows?”

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Today’s Window Word: Frame

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 of … Continue reading “Today’s Window Word: Frame”

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Case Study: Custom Double Hung Window

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 “Case Study: Custom Double Hung Window”

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Today’s Window Word: Fingerjoint

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. The advantage of the fingerjoint is that … Continue reading “Today’s Window Word: Fingerjoint”

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Today’s Window Word: Casement

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 “Today’s Window Word: Casement”

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Case Study: Stairwell Lift Door

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 “Case Study: Stairwell Lift Door”

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Today’s Window Word: Cottage Style

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 “Today’s Window Word: Cottage Style”

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Window Word of the Day: Check Rail

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 “Window Word of the Day: Check Rail”

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Window Word of the Day: Brick Mould

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. Brick mould 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 … Continue reading “Window Word of the Day: Brick Mould”

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Today’s Window Word: Bead

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 “Today’s Window Word: Bead”

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Today’s Window Word: Balance

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 “Today’s Window Word: Balance”

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Today’s Window Word: Blind Stop

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 “Today’s Window Word: Blind Stop”

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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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Project Case Study: Custom Wood Island

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 “Project Case Study: Custom Wood Island”

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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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Postcard from the Field: Evergreen Chapel

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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