For nearly 39 years, Stephen C. Staples, co-owner of Staples Cabinet Makers Inc. has been serving the public in some form of the GREEN MOVEMENT, long before it became a recent buzzword. Reclamation expert, designer and furniture maker, Stephen C. Staples is digging deep to find new ways of re-purposing cast off materials at building job sites. Staples, designs and builds furniture and art works using lumber and architectural fragments salvaged from deconstructed sites of early New England homes, barns and factories. He is currently acting general contractor in the construction of his own Arts and Crafts home in Massachusetts. He has found a new source for material because he just couldn’t allow the cut off pieces of LVL beams to be thrown into the dumpster!




LVL (Laminated Veneered Lumber) is an engineered wood product using multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives. It is straighter, stronger and more uniform than typical lumber and is less likely to shrink, twist or warp.LVL’s are used as headers and beams where strength is a concern. The use of LVL’s allows longer distances that can be spanned without the use of posts or columns that often times take up valuable floor space.

After removing the cut off LVL’s from the dumpster, Staples told the work crew to put the rest in a pile. Over the last 39 years of business restoring antique furniture, building reproduction furniture, re-purposing broken furniture into useful new furniture and today creating art furniture from reclaimed materials, Staples has grown immune to the jokes and laughter that arise from his dumpster dives. Staples says “my satisfaction comes when a few days later I present a beautiful finished bowl to one of those who laughed and sneered. It gives me great satisfaction as they try to figure out what the bowl is made from. It’s great to enjoy the surprised look on their face when I tell them the wood came from the LVL cast offs I found in the dumpster.” Staples found that by gluing three pieces of the 1 3/4" thick beam end blocks together, he was left with a substantial bowl blank. After spinning it on his lathe and shaping it with his vast array of wood chisels, a beautiful bowl emerges. He encourages everyone to give it a try and help keep building materials from ending up in the local landfill.