The Cutting Edge: 5 Products and Services at Channel Lumber

Happy worker at Channel Lumber.At Channel Lumber we are proud to offer a wide variety of industry leading products and services. From lumber and plywood to hardware to lumber grading, Channel Lumber has a depth of professional solutions for large and small scale construction projects. Here is an outline of 5 products and services at Channel Lumber.

  1. Green Building. Channel Lumber is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), and works closely with the  Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®). The FSC® has a 10 point mission which protects and preserves our forests globally. These include protecting the rights of indigenous peoples, maintaining long term social and economic well being of forest workers, conserving biodiversity, water resources, soils, assessing conditions of forests, and maintaining of high conservation value forests. Forests cover 30% of the Globe, with 70% of animals living in forests. LEED® is symbol of achievement in Green Building. LEED® provides a framework by which all building projects can be rated for sustainability. Their goal is to create highly efficient, cost effective, healthy Green Buildings.
  2. Concrete Forms. Concrete is a very versatile material in that it can be molded into a wide variety of useful shapes. Concrete forms  are wooden forms which outline and mold the concrete while it dries. Channel Lumber is an industry leader in concrete forms, which have given shape to countless projects including Caldecott Tunnel, Golden Gate Bridge retrofit, and Levi Stadium.
  3. Mill Work. Channel Lumber offers top notch mill work. Perhaps you have a unique design that requires custom wood. Channel Lumber can mill the wood to your specs. Or perhaps you are renovating a house, and can’t find a perfect match for a beam. Channel Lumber can make it.
  4. Sidings. Channel Lumber has stock siding in several materials including cement, plywood, hardwood, shingles, and metal. If you don’t find what you are looking for or have a custom design, Channel Lumber can build it to your specs.
  5. Project Management. For over 50 years Channel Lumber has consulted with architects, contracts, engineers, and city planners to help navigate large development projects in the most efficient, cost effective way. By working with the design team from the earliest stages of a project, Channel Lumber can effectively help with material selection, and help process the difficult building regulations here in northern California so that costly delays can be avoided.

For more information about our products and services, please contact us. 

Lathrop Generations Center

After receiving a $5 million dollar grant from the State of California, the city of Lathrop voted to build the Generations Center. Construction management services were provided by ATI Architects and Engineers, with lumber, forms and molding provided by Channel Lumber.

The 10,000 square foot facility features a Teen Center, Library, outdoor Skateboard Park, open air Amphitheater, walking paths and gardens. The center opened in June 2014, and has become a community focal point. It is the most cutting edge facility of its kind in the region.

Local teens were invited to planning meetings for the facility, specifically the skateboard park, where they molded clay into their dream skatepark. Since opening in June 2014, the center has hosted countless community events, concerts, and classes.

For more information about our products and services, please contact us.

Photo Credit. 

Sound Off: New Dolby Headquarters

Dolby Laboratories HQIn September 2015 Dolby Laboratories opened its new headquarters on Market Street in downtown San Francisco. The building was a consolidation of two separate buildings, one in Potrero Hill, one South of Market. The renovation of the former State Insurance building utilized a significant supply of fire treated Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) lumber provided by Channel Lumber.

Dolby Laboratories is known worldwide for creating the seminal circuit which removed unwanted noise and hiss from sound recordings. The circuit was patented in 1969 by inventor and founder Ray Dolby. The name Dolby since has become synonymous with industry leading sound production, and is used widely for sound recordings for movies, and popular music.

Several artists were commissioned in the design of the new facility, and the office transitions seamlessly from open, revolving work space to art installations, infusing the headquarters with creativity and innovation. The traditional cubicle format was abandoned to encourage employees to experiment and express themselves through their work environment.

In addition to sound production, Dolby Laboratories also features on site theaters, and a research facility which, among many, conducts experiments on how sound and media affect human physiology.  Current popular releases using Dolby are too numerous to list and include “Ghost in the Shell”, and “King Arthur”. For more information about how Channel Lumber can provide lumber, concrete, and services to your business, please contact us.

Photo: Mike Renlund

Hip to be Square

For a group of employees who affectionately refer to themselves as “Nerds”, the employees of Nerdwallet have one of the hippest HQs in San Francisco. Located at 901 Market the company is housed in one of the most competitive, emerging commercial neighborhoods in San Francisco.

The new Nerdwallet digs can house up to 300 employees, though when they moved in they had roughly 150 employees. The feel of the office is light, with lots of comfortable, non traditional places for employees to meet and break away. Sun filled corners, all window conference rooms, bean bags, all add to this home away from home ambience.

In addition the facility features free yoga and boot camp classes, free catered lunches, and a fully stocked bar (JD81) with over 80 spirits that employees can mix and match. Oh, and of course there is a ping pong table.

Channel Lumber provided a variety of products and services for this visionary project. For more information on how Channel Lumber can help your next project, please contact us.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

Deep in the Desert: The Red Rock Casino

Red Rocks Las VegaChannel Lumber provided lumber and services during the construction of the Red Rock Resort in Summerlin, NV. The project was proposed in 2003, and construction completed in 2006.

At the time of the construction, there was little development in the surrounding area of Summerlin. The local zoning was controlled by the Howard Hughes Corporation, and the initial plans were not approved due to the building height, number of condominium units, and light pollution. The plans were changed, and eventually a consensus was reached allowing the project to move forward.

The Red Rock Resort is known as the “local’s casino”, and features an impressive list of amenities and features. The design was an attempt to bring back the ‘modern elegance’ displayed by the classic Las Vegas properties of the 50’s and 60’s. Of note is a 6 million dollar collection of Swarovski Chandeliers of all shapes and sizes throughout the resort. Additionally the art collection has featured Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Paul McCarthy, and more. The full service spa hosts a full moon gong/yoga/meditation event for guests, and there is a nightly pool party. The Red Rock Resort has a 72 lane bowling alley and is definitely not your typical casino!

For more information on our products and services, please contact us.

Photo Credit

Channel Lumber Goes to Hollywood

matrix reloadedIn the 2003 action film The Matrix Reloaded, starring Keanu Reeves, an entire chase sequence was filmed on a fake Freeway. The Freeway was built from scratch using products and services provided by Channel Lumber.

The Freeway, named “Paterson Pass”, after the Production Designer Owen Paterson, was built on an airplane runway at a former Naval Air Station in Alameda, California. Although the final scene is only 15 minutes long, the crew spent three months filming. This does not include construction of the freeway itself. The “Fake Freeway” was eventually dismantled.

The Freeway is noted for being nearly indistinguishable from an actual freeway. In order to block out views of San Francisco and the bay, a high concrete barrier wall was built, resembling an acoustic barrier wall you would see in urban areas. Still, at some points features like the tip of the Transamerica Pyramid Building, or the Bay Bridge can briefly be seen under the scrutinizing eye. The freeway sign shows “Whipple Avenue, Woodside Road, and Marsh Road”, which is an actual sign from Highway 101 near Redwood City.

Even with the authenticity of the Freeway itself, computer generated images were used to fill in details like power lines, buildings, and over-crossings. For more information about how Channel Lumber can provide lumber, concrete, and services to your business, please contact us.

Photo credit

The Pinterest Headquarters: Where Creative Inspiration is Born

Pinterest-HQPinterest has a new headquarters in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco. The company calls itself the “world’s catalog of ideas” and is truly an expansive index of all things hobby, do it yourself, and personal interest. The new office space has numerous wood features, with lumber provided by Channel Lumber. The Pinterest headquarters opened in 2014.

Like many modern offices, Pinterest has an open, airy and bright feeling. The absence of traditional offices and cubicles encourages employees (or in this case “Pinployees”) to collaborate. Benches are featured near staircases so colleagues who don’t work near each other are encouraged to have a moment together. 

The office itself acts as a metaphor for the business, and hobby interests are integrated into the art and design. Theme nights are set up when employees share or teach personal, non-work related skills and interests to their coworkers. And of course a state of the art espresso and beer bar, and organic kitchen round out the Pinterest work experience.

For more information about our products and services please contact us.

Project Feature: Cedar Kayak

Here at Channel Lumber we are committed to providing the best lumber products and services in our industry. Our customers often have a personal passion for wood working. We’re always interested and amazed by the variety of projects that our lumber is used for.

We interviewed Channel Lumber customer Morris H. about the kayak he built with Cedar purchased at Channel Lumber.


Full view of the finished vessel.

Q: The Cedar vessel pictured, is it considered a Kayak?

A: Yes. It was built from plans which named it after a fast swimming fish called a Wahoo.

Ribs in early phase construction.

Q: What was your inspiration to build it?

A: Kayaks can be purchased, but I like the challenge of building a one-of-a-kind kayak that  can be paddled in the rough waters of the San Francisco Bay.  I always receive compliments from fellow kayakers and beach walkers.  Sometimes I notice drivers on the road turning their head to admire the wooden boat on my car roof.

Unfinished hull.

Q: Is this the first boat you have built? Do you have a shop?

A: This is my fourth wooden boat.  Previous ones were built from plywood and lack the beautiful curves of the Wahoo.


Q: What other types of wood project have you undertaken?

A: I designed and built my house, but I am not a professional in this area.  I am currently building a wooden stand-up paddle board using wood from Channel Lumber.  I will send you pictures when I am finished.

Detail view of the hull.

Q: Why did you choose Cedar? Is this a common wood used to make vessels of this type?

A: Cedar is frequently used for kayaks because of its light weight, workability, availability and resistance to rot.  Its color and grain are beautiful.  Cedar kayak paddles do not require varnishing, although cedar kayaks are covered in clear fiberglass, epoxy and varnish to add strength, watertightness, and protection from the sun’s UV.

Detail view of the deck.

Q: What type of outing is this vessel best suited for?

A: The Wahoo has a narrow, long hull which is ideal for racing.  The paddler sits inside while a neoprene skirt keeps water out of the cockpit.  The kayak behaves well in rough water, but the paddler needs to have sufficient skills such as rolling back up in the event of a capsize.

Q: What is the most adventurous trip you have made with it?

A: Paddling in San Francsico Bay, when the wind blows over 20 mph and the waves are 4 ft, offers enough adventurous trips.  I have launched from Berkeley to Treasure Island and Ferry Pt in Richmond to Angel Island in these conditions.  A quiet day on the Bay might be in the Oakland Estuary or under the Richmond Bridge.

On the water.

Photo credits: Morris Ho.

For more information about our products and services please contact us.

Channel Lumber Supplies Tropical Wood for Stanford University Benches

Channel Lumber recently partnered with Boyett Construction to build a series of benches on the Stanford University Campus.

The installation includes an “X and Y” bench, and in addition circular and bracket bookend courtyard enclosures. The benches serve as functional places for students to gather, and socialize, while maintaining a design concept congruent with the academic setting.

The benches were built of Ipe, supplied by Channel Lumber. Ipe, also known as Brazilian hardwood, is a tropical wood growing throughout Central and South America. Often a top choice for decking, Ipe is extremely durable, strong, naturally resistant to moisture and decay, and insect infestations.

Channel Lumber Stanford

A bird’ eye view of the circular bench being installed.


The other half of the circle bookends the plaza, creating a courtyard feel.


Although Ipe can be heavy and hard on tools, the grain and color are consistent from board to board, making for a beautiful, long lasting finished product.


Detail of the Ipe,  and the fine craftsmanship.


The bench installation features an X and Y. Here is the Y.


And the X.


The plaza view of the X with enclosing bracket benches.


The same plaza from above, showing the X installation completed.

Channel Lumber has been an industry leading building supplier in the Bay Area for over 50 years. Please contact us today for more information about our products and services.

Custom Moulding: Start to Finish

Using a computer-aided design (CAD) program we are able to be more accurate than ever with our custom mouldings.

Channel Lumber CAD

The process starts with our new CNC machine from CNC Technology, Inc.

Channel Lumber CNC

Here is a closer look at the metal being ground.

Channel Lumber

The carved knife is added to a moulder header and is then attached into the mouding machine.



A piece of lumber is run through the moulder and the knife carves out the inverse pattern of the knife profile.

Sample molding.

The finished product: a sample moulding!


Here is the plastic pattern and the inversed sample moulding piece.

Recent projects and clients utilizing our moulding services include the San Francisco Presidio (Boyett), and the historical restoration of Nystrom Elementary School (Roebbelen), which required replication of over 50 patterns.

Contact us today to see how custom molding can benefit your next building project!