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Dakota Timber Co. gets ready to grow in new Fargo shop, showroom

Jack Hordorff cuts lumber at Dakota Timber Co. in north Fargo. David Samson / The Forum1 / 3
Seth Carlson describes his product at Dakota Timber Co. in north Fargo. David Samson / The Forum2 / 3
Matt Johnson works in the finishing department at Dakota Timber Co. in north Fargo. David Samson / The Forum3 / 3

FARGO—A local salvaged lumber company has a new name, but that's not the only thing that's changing with its recent move to a new shop, showroom and sawmill in north Fargo.

Dakota Timber Co. recently started operating out of a new facility at 3202 7th Ave. N. A grand opening party is set for Thursday, March 2, that includes a sale from noon to 5 p.m., and free drinks and live music by The Cropdusters from 5 to 8 p.m.

The business originally went by ICSS Supply Co. when it started in 2012, but recently adopted its new name as it prepared to move to the larger Fargo facility from its previous sites in Moorhead.

Along the way, President of Operations Seth Carlson said the move also gave his company a chance to get new machinery and set up properly in a building that has room for a full finish department, showroom and the community's only full-service sawmill.

Seth Carlson describes his product at Dakota Timber Co. in north Fargo.

"We got all new equipment, so we're increasing efficiency quite a bit," he said.

At first, Carlson said his business simply aimed to salvage lumber from old buildings and grain elevators. While he did a small amount of machining himself, he mostly tried to sell the lumber as-is to others.

He said Dakota Timber Co. is now a full-fledged manufacturer that processes, cuts and finishes about 10,000 square feet of trim, flooring, paneling and other building materials each week.

Making a move

Built in 1969, the 11,280-square-foot structure that Dakota Timber Co. now leases was renovated and fit up after the owners of Magnum Trucking recently purchased it.

Carlson said he wanted to retain the "warehouse" feel, especially in the showroom that displays mantels, paneling and flooring options, so he repurposed the old warehouse lights for showroom lighting and kept the old concrete floors.

But most of the building is now a manufacturing center, with one part separated as a finish department that also has a new buy-by-the-board section and the other half housing equipment and workers who process reclaimed lumber.

Their work results in trim, window jambs, flooring, paneling, stair treads, mantels and other building materials that end up in businesses, apartments and homes across the region, primarily in North Dakota and western Minnesota.

Matt Johnson works in the finishing department at Dakota Timber Co. in north Fargo.

Carlson said he and his staff of about a dozen can turn reclaimed lumber into just about any building material. While customers at first sought old boards to make rustic, rough floors and accent walls, he said people are increasingly looking for an alternative to buying new while still being able to achieve any modern or classic look.

"I think customers are realizing it's actually a practical solution for interior millwork or exterior, and we do exterior siding and stuff, too," he said. "It's actually becoming a legitimate branch of the specialty millwork industry."

Carlson has helped reclaimed wood grow as a design trend in the community in recent years, and he said he still enjoys his work because he has a chance to make a difference in the wood industry.

"To have an actual, quantifiable impact where we're actually reducing demand for new lumber, that's always been my No. 1 goal," he said.

Business profile

What: Dakota Timber Co.

Where: 3202 7th Ave. N., Fargo

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

Phone: (701) 361-8827


Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.

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