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Articles & Stories

Italian woodworker uses his own trees in his workshop

Monday, May 30, 2016

Italian woodworker uses his own trees in his workshop

By Martina Valentini

Since a boy, Silvano knew he wanted to make a career working with wood. He enrolled in a technical institute in Turin to further his woodworking skills, and then in 2000 opened his own carpentry business.

“New customers, when they first met me, just thought I was some kid, and would ask me to speak to the owner…” Silvano recalls, laughing.

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“I wasn’t interested in making standardised products. I was always attracted to custom designs – furniture, stairs and other items could pose both artistic and technical challenges.”

Blending his technical skills with his artistic creativity, Silvano was always on the lookout for tools to help him realize his vision – the Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill among them.

“It had caught my eye in 2004 at the Wood Fair in Biella. I quickly realised that the sawmill had a lot of potential for the work I was trying to do.”

A couple years later, he bought his own LT15 sawmill. “The new machine had a low price and a great value, along with good quality. I could saw large quantities of timber while incurring very low operating costs. Before long I had repaid the investment I had made and was gain pure profits.”

Another dream of Silvano’s was to be able to use wood from his own forests instead of relying on imported timber from other parts of Italy and the rest of the world. “I felt bad about using my own trees just for firewood, so I began to take the best ones to use in my own products.”

His dreams have now been realised – he owns his own company, and has full control over the timber he uses in his projects, often using chestnut, ash, lime and beech, and sourcing them less than 1,000 metres from his workshop. 

The trees in his own forest, Silvano knows them well – the uniform colours of lime or the grain of the flaming ash (ideal for both classic and modern furniture). With the addition of the LT15, Silvano’s workshop is completely self-sufficient. Every year, Silvano cuts the trees required to last him through the next season, saws boards, and lets them air dry naturally. 

“After the first 4-5 years,” Silvano shares. “I was able to abandon using imported wood, and now more than 90% of the wood I use is from my land and nearby my house. Using my own wood cuts costs by almost 40%!”

For each tree, Silvano can easily prove its traceability, and so recently he applied for and received PEFC certification for sustainable forest management, another important step in demonstrating the quality and reduced environmental footprint of his products.

Silvano entered several of his projects into Wood-Mizer’s 2015 ‘My Project’ customer contest, and the project that won the most attention was a wooden bathroom sink. The design was for a friend who was renovating his home, and after two years of use, is perfectly functioning. 

His four young children all share their father’s passion for wood, using off cuts from the workshop to construct their own ‘innovations’ from wood. Perhaps one of them will take over the company one day?



Welcome to the stories and articles section of our website.

Here you will discover how Wood-Mizer sawmill owners worldwide are actively growing local economies by processing wood more sustainably and profitably. 

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