Systems for living. Inspired by Nature.
Kind to the Earth.

Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room. Every room.
Innovative cabinet and storage solutions. Sustainably produced to exacting standards in Northern Michigan.

We are focused on sustainable cabinetry

That helps people enjoy their every day in a safe, sustainable way. We use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) Certified lumber, and Living Building Challenge Compliant — Red List Free finishes. We are most interested in durable products that we can stand behind for a long time - for example 2K water based polyurethanes and sustainable HPL (high pressure laminates).

As the world continues to outsource, we are going in the opposite direction - to control quality we aim to make as much in house as possible. For example we make our drawer boxes in house and hand lay up our veneer.

We started Smithy Works with our values

We demonstrated this in our first action: retrofitting an old wooden barn with a state-of-the art cabinetmaking shop. The Smithy Works shop is built in a beautiful wooden barn from the last century. Many of these iconic wooden structures fell to decay and collapsed in recent decades as people no longer had a use for them. However, this barn in northern Michigan’s Leelanau County had remained in sound condition, and by retrofitting the interior with a state-of-the-art cabinetmaking shop, we can continue to use the old growth timber that the Earth sprouted hundreds of years ago. The original Hemlock cladding, as well as beautiful full-log hardwood beams are all intact. The retrofit combines a connection between the hundreds-of-years-old log beams with the newest in high performance, Passive House-levels of air tightness, low-carbon and nontoxic building technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is sustainable development?

A definition we like: "[sustainable development] meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

This is a value and a way of evaluating how our business impacts the Earth. It's not something that we "do once" and we're done with. Rather it is a continual question we ask ourselves: "how are we impacting the future of the Earth and its inhabitants?"

We look to use wood that was harvested in a way that protects the forests and allows the flora & fauna to flourish. We aim to use glues, finishes and materials that are not toxic and do not create toxic by-products in their production.

Most importantly, we look to partner with businesses who hold similar values.

Sustainable development definition is from the United Nation's publication Our Common Future, published in 1987.

What is FSC® / FSC® certified lumber?

FSC® is the Forest Stewardship Council® organization. In their words:

Today, we’re the leader in sustainable forest management, operating the world’s most rigorous and trusted forest certification system

FSC® certified lumber means that the lumber was sustainably harvested and this harvesting was rigorously vetted by the FSC®. Read more on their website. If you haven't heard of them it is worth spending time learning more - they are an amazing organization.

Quote from July, 2023.

Why is non-toxic indoor air so important?

In the US people spend around 90% of their time indoors[1].

“Walking into a modern building can sometimes be compared to placing your head inside a plastic bag that is filled with toxic fumes."

- John Bower, Founder, Healthy House Institute

Unfortunately the paints, glues and building materials used today contain a variety of toxic chemicals that have been linked to a litany of health problems including asthma, cancer and birth defects.[2]

The good news is that there are safe alternatives that are just as durable, if not more, than the toxic ones.

We use finishes and glues from AFM Safecoat. They have been making safe, high quality products since 1983.

[1] The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants[2] Read more about healthy air quality in the CDC's Healthy Housing Reference Manual

Our Suppliers

Our success depends upon strong partnerships with like-minded organizations. Here are some of the companies we work with.

AFM Safecoat

AFM Safecoat

What we use: Adhesives and finishes

Since 1983, AFM Safecoat® has created products that are safe for people and the Earth. Their products are as durable, if not more, than their conventional, toxic counterparts. It is hard in this day of so many choices and such complexity to understand what goes into our products. Common place things like paint are composed of complex chemical components that require complex production processes. If a company says "green" or "Low VOC" does that mean it is healthy? It is hard to know.

We are grateful to have found AFM Safecoat. They are a company whose values align with our own and we trust. We don't have to worry if their products are healthy - we know they go to every possible length to ensure they are.

View their website

Kamps Hardwoods

Kamps Hardwoods

What we use: Locally, sustainably sourced lumber

Kamps is a family-owned hardwoods manufacturer. They sustainably source and kiln dry lumber from Michigan. Kamps produces FSC® certified lumber (the most rigorous standard for responsible forestry). This is a company who places great value on our forests and understand their crucial role in being a sustainable steward.

By purchasing our lumber locally we drastically cut down on carbon footprint due to transportation costs, support responsible forest stewardship in our home state, and support our local economy.

View their website

Interested in working together?
We're excited to talk.

Copyright 2022-2023 Smithy Works LLC