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Alaska Specialty Woods in Media

Check out some of the media publications ASW has been in.

An Intimate Portrait of Southeast Alaska’s Sawmills

By HEIDI BOHI

Cole is founder, owner, and president of Alaska Specialty Woods, a boutique sawmill in Craig that specializes in producing acoustical soundboards from 100 percent salvaged, downed wood that is purchased from the Tongass National Forest micro-sale program. He only cuts standing trees if they are dead, he says. This practice is part of his brand he intends to maintain always.

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Bedell Guitars: Alaska Specialty Wood Profile

Brent Cole Sr. and his crew (including two of Brent’s sons) scour the forests of Prince of Wales Island and the surrounding islands and waters for Sitka spruce trees that have fallen, are floating in the water, or are being retired from service in a booming ground, bridge structure or floating house.

Craig shop helps make music from fallen trees

By Leila Kheiry

Materials for musical instruments have some unique qualities, especially wood instruments. People seek out specific densities, appearances and types. KRBD sent a reporter to a shop in Craig trying to meet all of those specifications for instruments around the world.

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Just Listen” : Brent and Annette, A Family of Musicwood Producers (2 of 6 part series)

We ambled down the road and through the rain to our first lesson in woodworking. Alaska Specialty Woods (ASW), co-owned by Brent and Annette Cole, is a major soundboard producer on the island. We pulled into the drive and were immediately welcomed by Annette who was grinning and eager to show us the operation. The place was caked in sawdust. Antlers dangled from the rafters and every available space was jam packed with plates of wood. These soundboards will be mandolins, guitars and other string instruments someday strummed by the hands of established musicians and frustrated hopefuls.

Tongass in transition: Striking a chord with old growth trees

The last sizable timber mill in the state has struggled to find enough trees to keep the saws running. But down the road, a small mom and pop operation is thriving with a unique business model.

Alaska Specialty Woods uses salvaged trees to make instrument tops, which are shipped all around the world. But this sustainable company still wants the timber industry to stick around.

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Brent and Annette Cole stand inside their original shop. Since May of 2015, the couple have begun production in their new facility, where drying, processing and storage can happen under one roof. Photo Bethany Goodrich, 2014.

From salvage to song

By Bethany Goodrich | For the Capital City Weekly

With Folkfest happening this week, Southeast Alaskans will be swinging, dancing and celebrating the changing seasons. If you are lucky enough to attend, keep your ears on the mandolins, acoustic guitars and other stringed instruments. The woods for many of these instruments begin their lives as the ancient giants of our beloved forest.

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