Keeping a Wood Deck Maintained

Decks provide a great outlet for those who like to be outside but still have the amenities of home just a few steps away. In order to keep this a possibility, we must perform maintenance on them from time to time. It might be planned out or it could be a sudden need caused from an accident either man-made or from Mother Nature. A little routine maintenance can go a long way in lessening potential headaches from a lack of upkeep while giving your deck the best chance at a long and sturdy life. Continue reading

Wisconsin Welcomes You

Wisconsin_Welcome_SignsThey are as iconic for Wisconsin as the Packers, cheese, and beer. Thousands of visitors and residents stop to take a photo next to them when they are driving into the state and they are posted all over social media giving Wisconsin, and Brunsell some great exposure. Although, you probably didn’t know that Brunsell created the “Wisconsin Welcomes You” signs. Continue reading

Dreaming of Deck Season

Deck1-Man-HappyHour-No-TalentA small breeze floats through the leaves, tiny wings propel the neighboring birds to and from the feeders, and off in the distance the sun is tucking itself in for the night. The fresh smells of summer surround you as you lean back, and soak it in. There’s nothing quite like relaxing on the deck. At this point in the winter you may have started dreaming about some quality time outside. Whether or not you have a deck that just needs a few repairs, or you’re looking to build one this summer, Brunsell is here to help. Continue reading

The Right Kind of Wood

Deck1-Leesburg-aerial-of-fire-pitTaking advantage of summer and getting outside to work on different projects can be a lot of fun. Just make sure you’re using the right kind of lumber to endure the elements. Brunsell Lumber & Millwork can help you achieve the right look and durability. Let’s review some of the best woods that will ensure you have a sturdy structure for years to come. Continue reading

Firewood Rack

Firewood RackRight now you’re probably not thinking about throwing another log in the fireplace to heat up your home. The days are still hot and clouds of mosquitoes continue to circle. Now is actually the perfect time to start planning for winter though. Storing firewood properly can make it very accessible and dry. Continue reading

The Risks of Reclaimed Wood

Railroad ties, palettes, old planks pried from forgotten farmhouses: These are the stuff Pinterest dreams are made of, the eye candy of people who love a warm, rustic look. What with all its rich-toned, old-timey, perfectly imperfect character, reclaimed wood has maintained high popularity for so long, we’re pretty sure it’s here to stay. It’s proven irresistible to furniture sellers, home builders, home remodelers, and home-improvement do-it-yourselfers. It’s definitely beautiful, but…

Brunsell - Reclaimed Lumber Continue reading

How to Tell If You’re Buying Quality Kitchen Cabinets

When they’re brand new and professionally lit in a showroom, pretty much all kitchen cabinets look handsome, even the bad ones. That’s not an optical illusion; it’s a façade. And it’s one that can get shoppers into trouble, leading them to mistake good looks for good quality. But most of us know, at least by the time we’re old enough to be buying kitchen cabinets, that all that glitters is not gold!

What are you to do, then, if you weren’t a cabinetmakers kid? How are you supposed to know quality cabinetmaking when you see it? Here are some tips to help you separate the wheat from the chaff, so you can get exceptional kitchen cabinets that are more than just a pretty face:

  • Front pieces should be solid wood and relatively free of imperfections—no sanding marks, knots, or color or grain irregularities, etc.
  • Corners should have mortise-and-tenon joinery, preferably with long tenons and deep mortises. (Tenons are wood tongues, and mortises are slots carved out of wood into which tenons fit. Dovetailing is the most widely recognized mortis-and-tenon joint.)
  • Drawer fronts and cabinet panels should be made from solid wood.
  • Drawer sides should be made from hardwood that is more than a half-inch thick.
  • Side and floor panels inside the cabinet should be least a half-inch thick.
  • Side panels should be routed with a groove to support the drawer base.
  • Floor inside the cabinet should be fitted into the routed side panel.
  • Shelves inside the cabinet should be least three-quarters of an inch thick.
  • Hinges should be adjustable to align with the face frame.
  • Door panels should not be glued or fastened into their frames. They should be fitted into deep, lightly padded grooves routed into the frames. That way, their natural response to humidity changes over time—expansion and contraction—won’t cause cracking or warping.
  • Each drawer should be supported by two side-mounted slides rather than a single slide.
  • Shelves should be adjustable and supported by metal—rather than plastic—brackets.

Bottom line, the worth of kitchen cabinets makes itself known over years of use. But if you know what to look for in cabinet construction, you won’t need to wait all that time to find out if you chose wisely.

Brunsell Lumber - Kitchen Cabinets

Brunsell’s custom cabinets are built by true artisans in our mill. We work with clients to come up with designs that fit their budget and style, giving them as much unique as they want. Because we use time-tested craftsmanship and pour or hearts into our kitchen cabinets, their good looks don’t fade, and they stand up to whatever you dish out. Come take a walk through our showroom to see what high quality craftsmanship looks like, and maybe find the right cabinets for your home!

 

Hole in the Wall: Our Little Place that’s Not So Little

You’ve heard the phrase hole in the wall, right? Maybe you’ve used it to describe your favorite tucked-away bar with the best Old Fashioned. Or the little fabric store in your hometown that sells vintage designs by the yard. Or the breakfast café with twelve tables and two waitresses that bring extra bacon, just because. At any rate, you know what is: a small, usually modest place—often one that’s way better on than inside than one might expect from the outside.

Our Madison mill and lumber yard aren’t particularly small, but they do appear that way to drivers passing by us. We’re tucked behind the Verona Road Home Depot and its neighboring stores and it’s sometimes difficult to see going 55 mph on the Beltline. In that regard, we might look like a little hole in the wall. But here are some of the things you’ll find inside:

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We work hard to craft and carry beautiful things—pieces with gorgeous curves, lines, and other details. Not only are our finished pieces eye candy but so also are the architectural “ingredients” we carry. These include a vast array of cabinets, countertop surfaces, cabinet hardware, decking, railings, stair parts and more. If you’re renovating or constructing a room or home, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store here.

Our place is also a nice sensory experience, rich with colors and the smell of wood. But that fragrance isn’t all from the stuff in the showroom. It’s carried over from our expansive mill located just behind the showroom.

“I had no idea all of this was back here!”

We hear that a lot, even from people who’ve made a million runs to the Home Depot that neighbors us. Yet our mill is actually an impressively big and elaborate operation, where wood varieties of all kinds, fresh from the forest, are artfully crafted into stunning pieces and parts of a home. We are well known for our high-end work, which comes as the result of having the best tools and equipment wielded in the best hands in the biz. From our door shop to our cabinet shop, from custom closet-making to custom moldings, beautiful things are forged here by talented craftsmen who genuinely love their work:

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Brunsell Lumber - Custom Millwork

 

 

 

If you haven’t visited our showroom and mill, consider this your invite. Now that the worst of the construction on Verona Road at the beltline is complete, it’s a lot easier to get to us again. And we’re confident you’ll learn we’re the kind of “hole in the wall” you’re glad you found.

Woods That Pair Well Together

You’ve heard of blended wool, but have you heard of blended wood?

If you’ve ever walked into a room in which the furniture, flooring, and trim use only one wood species, you know that too much matching can backfire. Same, same, and same can make a room look flat and bland. It’s good to mix up woods in a room. It can also be good to do it within a single piece of woodwork—whether a piece of furniture, a banister, or cabinetry.

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In our custom millwork shop, we blend woods into one-of-a-kind pieces all the time. Sometimes customers come to us with specific species they want combined. Mostly they look to us for guidance, and we’re happy to give it. Continue reading