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BEN BLOCK


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BEN BLOCK


While he was growing up, Ben’s parents sawed lumber together at their custom sawmill Block Brothers Lumber in Monroe, Maine, where they cleared land and designed and built their home from the ground up. Sawing lumber offered them a way to work with their hands, to be self-sufficient, and to provide a useful, tangible service to people in their community. Ben had to leave Maine—and return home—to discover that this was what he wanted, too.

Ben studied ethnomusicology and education history and policy at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduating he moved to a small town outside of Durham, North Carolina, where he worked briefly on a horse farm and in an elementary school before finding work in a cabinet shop. Woodworking was a natural fit for a guy who had grown up with sawdust in his pockets. A stint at a small guitar shop helped him further hone his skills and deepened his appreciation for detail and quality. He eventually moved home to Maine, started building cabinets and doing finish work for a builder in his hometown. In 2013, Ben founded his business, now housed in what was once a gas station and pizza place in downtown Searsport.

These days Ben lives on a dirt road in the house his family built, surrounded by furniture his late father made from lumber he sawed and trees he cut himself. Drawing on his deep familiarity with the materials and his love of the craft, Ben is exacting, and committed to making timeless custom cabinetry of the highest quality.

 

 
First, we listen. Our clients come to us with a vision and it’s our job to turn that into something beautiful with real everyday purpose.


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THE HISTORY


THE HISTORY


 
I remember my Pop saying he had named his sawmill business Block Brothers for his future sons, before any of us were born. Now I’m proud to carry on that name in a new iteration of the family business that didn’t start until after he was gone.
 
 

Ben gained an early appreciation for the materials he works with today, watching trees turn into logs, logs turn into lumber, and lumber turn into furniture.

Ben’s parents worked in tandem while their sons were growing up. His mom worked for years as the “pilot” at the mill, piling slabs, stacking boards, and rolling logs—all the while pushing each of her three boys in a swing by her side.

Block Brothers Lumber lives on in thousands upon thousands of board feet of lumber in houses and barns throughout New Hampshire and Maine.

 
 

In 1992, Ben's parents moved the family and sawmill from Epping, New Hampshire to Monroe, cleared land, and began building a post-and-beam house of their own design.  Here, Zach, the youngest Block Brother, helps notch mortises in the pine beams.

They cut the trees. They sawed the lumber. They built the house.  

Ben, age 8, hammers pine sheathing onto the north wall of his family’s Monroe home. Twenty-four years later he lives in the same house, and sleeps behind this very wall.

 

 

Pop with his mallet, 1992.

 
I use my Pop’s tools in the shop every day. They serve as a constant reminder of where I came from and how I got here.

Pop's mallet in the shop today.