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Wood bends into many shapes in the hands of a log entrepreneur

Wood specialist Timo Peiponen works with wood while respecting traditions and dreams of his own furniture collection.

Timo Peiponen’s work is guided by the appreciation of traditional construction.

Wood is a living and ecological material. There can be big color differences between the surface and the heartwood. Annual rings of the tree have different widths. The growing conditions of the tree may create different tensions in the trunk. A wood worker must be able to read the special characteristics of his material.

– Larch is beautiful, but susceptible to warping. Aspen works for planks and log structures, but sculptures made of it would crack too violently when dry, wood business entrepreneur Timo Peiponen analysed.

Peiponen saws different types of wood in his workshop: birch, alder, maple, pine, spruce, linden, oak and elm. Most recently, there was bird cherry wood on the saw table. Before that, Peiponen sawed the needs of a few tables from sembra pine.

In addition to tables, there is demand for, for example, wooden chests and beds. For himself and his spouse, Peiponen has built a double bed with relief carvings on the ends and sides.

– The dragons’ tails cross at the foot end, and the big end shows the dragons’ necks facing each other. I drew the pictures on the planks, carved them with a chainsaw and continued the shape even on the legs of the bed. Finally, I painted the bed a hazel brown and applied the lacquer, says Peiponen.

The strength of a small company is flexibility

Timo Peiponen graduated as a carpenter in 2010. Over the years, he has also acquired vehicle mechanic and house builder degrees. He has been working as an entrepreneur for about 7 years now.

In practice, the work of an entrepreneur is versatile and varied. In addition to building furniture, the days are sometimes spent simply sawing logs. The strength of a small company is flexibility and the ability to react quickly if customers need more special dimensions.

– For example, once a customer asked for a six-inch balk, which could not be found anywhere. I asked what size to cut, I hit the band saw on the table and pulled the desired products from it, Peiponen recalls.

In addition to sawing, Peiponen has subcontracted, for example, doors and windows for log saunas. Sometimes we are asked to make a plank floor. Over the years, I have built a pallet sauna on truck pallets as my own work and erected log frames both in Finland and around the world.

– Now I haven’t gone 150 kilometers away to set up log frames in a few years, says Peiponen.

Appreciation of traditional construction guides the work

Peiponen Hirsityö is a good example of how entrepreneurship changes over time. In Kiminki, Karstula, a carpenter’s workshop, used to have its services as a barn, but nowadays different types of furniture are made there. The hay barn has been converted into wood storage.

There is also its own hall for drying sawn timber, where the wood can be dried outside. The quality required for carpentry work is dried in a partner’s drying room or occasionally also in the heat of one’s own baking oven.

There is also a separate log hall with log blanks and sawn and raw-barked logs. The chippings are bagged as bedding for the horses, and the combustion waste is taken to the Karstula heating plant.

Peiponen’s work is guided by the appreciation of traditional construction. It is important to him to make buildings that last over time and have good air quality.

– I criticized the fact that buildings are made into bottles and bags. Sustainable construction and wooden construction are emerging trends, says Peiponen.

Sometimes the entrepreneur sets out to correct construction mistakes made elsewhere, when in some location the special features of wood and log construction have not been taken into account. He is also regularly asked to participate in the erection of log frames.

– I have also instructed customers on how to handle the log so that it works correctly. There have been no complaints about our own installations.

The pencil changed to a chainsaw

Timo Peiponen is also a wood artist who makes unique works. Peiponen made his first sculpture five years ago. He got support for learning sculpting from books he ordered online, which gave instructions on sculpting a bear and an eagle.

– This summer I carved a dragon and swords at Kivijärvi. In every competition, you learn something new about how to use a chainsaw. There are always some new techniques for how the saw cuts and what kind of mark it makes, says Peiponen.

Usually, when Peipose goes to the Games, he has a vision of work that he has never done before. In a competition situation, however, the kind of blank you happen to get in the draw has a lot to do with carving. Sometimes you have to change plans on the fly.

– In middle school, I drew quite a lot and practiced photography. Nowadays, I don’t usually draw on paper, but the ideas are in my head. The pencil has been replaced by a chainsaw. I draw with it these days, Peiponen muses.

Peiponen builds and erects log frames.

Own furniture set as a future dream

For Peiponen, the best thing about trying is the freedom to realize yourself and the opportunity to create something new. Inspiration can be found in many directions. For example, Peiponen is interested in Norwegian log construction.

– Of course, I work for clients according to their wishes. Sometimes, however, I can suggest my own views or the customer may give me free rein to implement some decoration, for example, in which case I can use my own artistry.

Until now, Peiponen has largely done the jobs that have been asked of him and that have been offered to him. The furniture and other carpentry work have largely been unique pieces, made for a specific customer based on his wishes.

– I would be interested in designing, making and branding my own furniture set at some point. Something that hasn’t been seen before. So far, there hasn’t been time to plan it. One person only leaves one trace a day, so you just don’t have time to do everything, Peiponen reflects.

In own furniture, you could make good use of, for example, surplus materials from another company, which at worst nowadays end up as waste instead of being recycled and further utilized. This also shows the entrepreneur’s everyday responsibility and ability to think about things from new perspectives.