Where there’s a will, Ron Hailicka finds a way- at OWLS

{gallery}/12_15_09/mill{/gallery}Mention the name Ron Hailicka around Butte Falls and, for that matter, around construction, logging, and education far beyond Butte Falls, and most folks will not only know the name, they will speak of the name with respect.

Impossible is surely not part of Hailicka’s vocabulary. That is evidenced when he was asked to locate and mill materials to assist in the restoration of the “oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world,” none other than “Old Ironsides.”  At over 210 years old, it was quite a task and a challenge to locate and match the specific type of fiber needed for precise restoration. It required locating and milling very high end, over length ship building materials.

Once that task was successfully completed and Hailicka was witness to his efforts, he began to think that a small, custom mill could fill a great need in the area.  He began by assembling a team of lumbermen and a few machines to start a mill in Butte Falls. And thus in March of 1995 Oregon West Lumber Sales, Inc. (OWLS) was born.

A few years later, Hailicka purchased road front property on Highway 62, just north of Eagle Point and he moved the operation to that location. The need for such a mill proved true, and he added an edger, planer, resaw, moulder, sander, dry kiln and delivery truck to facilitate the growing need of customers for niche product lines.

Hailicka is an entrepreneur with an ability to take on new projects and keep his crew working even through these rough times. One of his greatest joys in life is to create and maintain jobs for people of the community. He says, “We all need to be doing things that help our local economy, with Oregon West we’re able to fill a niche, create jobs, keep hard earned dollars in the community, and put one of our greatest natural resources (trees) to their best use.”

“As far as we know we are the only mill in our area that can process logs, kiln dry lumber, and surface these items to a finished product, All In House. If you calculate how many jobs that whole process creates its substantial,” added Manager Larry Ellis.

Some of OWLS capabilities are surprising. They can break down a log of any size, cut up to 18” thick, 24” wide and 24ft. long. They can cut slabs up to 56” wide and 16 ft. long. They also kiln dry and surface products such as flooring, exterior siding, ceiling, wainscoting, paneling and more.

“Two of our most exciting new product lines are our extra wide slabs and our natural log fireplace mantles,” said Ellis. “We work closely with local tree removal services to find the material for some very unique pieces.  We’ve been able to get our hands on black locust, black walnut, black oak, white oak, figured big leaf maple, madrone, port orford cedar, and yew wood. These make for some very interesting one of kind pieces.”

They also recycle lumber, taking lumber from one use and turning it into another. Gym flooring and wood used in bowling alleys are two examples of wood that can be turned into new uses.

Ranchers, farmers and truckers love their full size lumber for its added strength. Contractors like the idea that they can special order lumber to their specs and are not forced to purchase only what a retail store offers.

Homeowners love the warmth and feel of the real wood products that OWLS produces especially for them.

Ellis said they are able to go the extra step with service for the folks that have lumber to be processed by keeping records for them.   

If you’re in the market to add strength, beauty, or warmth to your home through the use of natural wood products you should stop by and look at the possibilities that OWLS offers. Hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and 7- 1 p.m. most Saturdays. Or for an appointment and tour call (541) 826-5540 or go to www.oregonwestlumbersales.com or owls4@embarqmail.com.  They’re easy to find, located at 13770 Hwy 62  about two miles north of Eagle Point.

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