Betty Gullett on Apr 30, 2016
When I opened the shipment, I gasped. The quality was so above what I expected. I had forgotten the quality of dedicated American made products. With proper care, this tray will last for decades. Tip: During wind storm, the large tray swayed and brought down the aluminum pole with other bird feeders. I'm working on how to prevent this.
A life-long carpenter inspired by birds, animals, and fine woods.
Kotimaa Woodworks of Minnesota was founded in 2011 by retired Master Carpenter Ron Makela.
His love for all birds and animals has inspired him to dedicate his senior years to building and designing these unique bird homes and feeders.
Each model is handmade in his woodworking shop in Hutchinson, MN, a farming community west of the Twin Cities.
Ron grew up on the Iron Range, in the northernmost part of Minnesota. He learned carpentry as a trade early in his life, and has always excelled in craftmanship and innovative yet practical design.
He takes great care in the production of all the models and is happy to have an interesting occupation to keep him busy.
When he's not in his woodshop, he's most likely gardening or boating on Lake Superior.
Kotimaa Woodworks is currently transitioning from red cedar to white cedar in the manufacturing of our product lines.
Red cedar is cut on the west coast of North America from a beautiful stand of timber that is alive and growing well for future generations.
This timber is far too valuable in its large dimensions to be cut into such small pieces for our products.
Our new source of cedar (white) is locally harvested in swamps where the gale force winds of Lake Superior has created a blow-down. Here the cedars are uprooted and lay on their sides waste away with time.
Our local harvester sells the butt log (prime cut) to a mill that uses the full log for ornamental supports, columns, and architectural features.
The second log is sold to Kotimaa Woodworks to be sectioned for our KØKKØ fire logs in the round.
If a premium log is revealed it is cut into rough boards that are then air dried and subdivided for bird houses and features.
The third log (typical cedars only produce three usable 8' logs) is peeled and becomes a cedar fence post or rail. The branches are also sold for railings and custom features in rustic homes.
The final product from the white cedar is the small branches that are readily eaten by the whitetail deer population.
Once my cedar is ready for use and it turned into product, we save the sawdust & shavings to be used in wood duck nesting boxes. My goal is to use every ounce of cedar from my logs.
Around the web
Owner, Maker, Designer
I founded Kotimaa Woodworks of Minnesota in 2011 after I retired as a carpenter. Kotimaa means "home" in Finnish - it's the name of my and my wife's home in Hutchinson where we live with our two dogs.
Ginger Makela Riker
Daughter of Ron Makela and former employee of Google, Twitter & Vine.
Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards