Company owners Mark and Tim Johnson firmly believe that the company wouldn’t have gotten where it is today without the hard work and loyalty of generations of employee families who have worked at the lumber company over the past century.


The following customer comments are a testiment to our entire staff's diligence and commitment to serving the woodworking community.

"... I end up buying things that I need. And you would think that I would have everything I need...right?"-- Scott Phillips, host of The American Woodshop on PBS.

Our relationship with Scott Phillips began over 40 years ago when, as a forestry student, he came for a tour of our sawmill. Scott remembers that day very well, “I thought, man, this is heaven…because you sold these wonderful woods. And what’s been neat for me, is to see you grow. I got to see Johnson’s Workbench, your retail division, at its very beginning.” For the past 18 years, we have enjoyed Scott’s involvement in our fall wood shows.


LLJ: Are you seeing any new interest in woodworking?
SCOTT: In America for years we saw declining numbers of independent home woodworkers. And I call that the Microsoft years -- where the digital age won over the imagination of the up-and-coming students in high schools and colleges -- and they did not go down the traditional woodworking road at all. Other things took their imagination.

Well, now the current generation in the high schools and colleges – they’re actively pursuing woodworking related careers and classes. So much so that it’s creating shortages of classroom space. There are waiting lists to get into the woodworking programs. That’s a very important message to get out there.

The other thing is for people who do not think that woodworking is growing again in America, they need to go to the website, woodlinks.org and see how active this organization is, building woodworking programs in schools in America right now.


LLJ: What new woodworking technologies are you intrigued about?
SCOTT: There are some really cool things that are going on. In one of my shows this season, I designed a shell that I carved by hand for Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture. By hand, that shell takes me about 35 hours to carve. Well, I thought, boy, I’d like to build several of these lowboys, Queen Anne style, with the shell, and it’d be nice if I could just carve those out on my CNC. Now I can carve those shells in an hour and 42 minutes. Still my work, I designed it, but not in the traditional way. And so there’s a huge new wave of interfacing computer technology into woodworking through the many affordable CNCs that are coming into shops these days.


Now that is not to take a way from the major innovations that have come in the hand tools as well. There are some wonderful metal break-throughs that are making steel for cutting tools last tremendously longer. There’s new technology in Forstener bits that is phenomenal.


The other thing, on the cutting side of things, Freud has come up with a router bit design, its called the Quadra-cut, its just staggering what that bit will do. It’s the most unbelievable cut I’ve ever seen. It produces the finest edge I’ve ever seen off of any router bit for small shop use.


The woodworking market may appear stagnate, its not. It’s very vibrant, it’s growing, and people are innovating. I’ve been doing woodworking now since I was 11. So that’s 42 years of woodworking. And the proof that innovation is still coming, to me, is that any good woodworking store, like yours, when I go in, I cannot leave that store without spending around $400 on things I’ve never seen before that will make my work go better.


LLJ: How did you develop a love for woodworking?
SCOTT: My father got the very first Masters in Forestry from Purdue University. I went to forestry school at Michigan State. One of my professors, Jonathan Wright, had everyone introduce themselves in class. I said, I’m Scott Phillips, and that’s all I said. Professor Wright picked me out of the crowd and asked “Your father wouldn’t happen to be John Phillips would he?” I said, “Yes sir, how did you know that?” He replied, “I helped him get his masters at Purdue in 1947.” You know, that was really neat.


LLJ: You mentioned you’ve been woodworking since you were eleven. Do you remember your first woodworking project?
SCOTT: My dad had about 1,000 bf of walnut that was 12” and wider from the family farm that he had set aside for his favorite projects. I didn’t know that. I just saw his woodshop there, and the wood, and saw an opportunity.


It was summer time and Dad was out in Idaho fishing. I couldn’t ask him if I could use it, so I just started building things for the neighbors. And the thing that sold the best was solid walnut shelves, made out of these nice wide walnut boards. I was making money hand over fist that summer. I sold the shelves for about $15 a shelf, so they were dirt cheap, and since I didn’t have any money in them, that was pure profit. Just a little bit of shop time, right?


But when dad got home and saw his walnut pile almost completely gone he asked, “Where’s my walnut?” I thought he’d be very proud of me for the initiative as a woodworker, and making all these things for the neighbors. Instead I got a spanking out of that. I think I used about $2,500 worth of walnut.


LLJ: Is that why you bought the ginormous walnut tree while you were at Hartzells -- to replace your dad’s stock?
SCOTT: I actually have some of that wood left over from the top log, but that tree ended up in a hotel as veneer in Europe. That was my biggest timber purchase ever. My timber buying days were wonderful. I started buying timber for Hartzell Veneer Co., which is now out of business unfortunately, back in 1978 when I graduated. I did that for seven years. That was a dream job. But in 1980, the export prices for walnut and oak sky rocketed and in a matter of three years all the domestic supply of merchantable walnut and white oak had been depleted to the point that veneer companies could no longer cut domestic veneer the way they use to. It was either change and start producing thinner veneers or get out of business. Hartzell ended up getting out of business. I’d probably still be buying timber today if that would not have happened. I loved that job.


LLJ: Speaking of loving your job, what are your personal highlights from The American Woodshop?
SCOTT: We came up and did the tour of your plant there…that will go down in history as one of the top 10 shows. People absolutely love that show. Because its rare for TV shows that take you behind the scenes into the lumber side of it like that.


But, I will never forget, being with Sam Maloof on his property, the day that the State of California took over his original homestead for an 18 lane highway expansion project. We shot that, and that became my favorite TV show of all time.


Sam started by building furniture out of orange crates and is now one of the biggest names in all of woodworking. He brought an honest approach to woodworking. It wasn’t complicated, he always considered himself first and foremost a woodworker. He didn’t take any other trappings other then woodworker. Sam was one of the best artisans who ever walked the face of the earth. He really had an eye for line and thus, that’s how he developed his distinctive style.


Sam always was humble, he was always appreciative, and the other thing I was really inspired by and tried to make part of who I am is, Sam would always share ideas with others openly and freely. He really did try to share good ideas with people to help their work go easier and better. So if there was one lesson that I’d like to remember Sam by more then anything else, I would guess it would be how much he gave. He was a genuine giver to others. That’s huge in this world."


(For more information about Sam Maloof’s work, visit malooffoundation.org).



We've only been here a couple of times but love their products and on-site service. We have a 1925 house and when we need a special size of wood or tool this is the place to go. They have knowledgeable people at the desk who helped us get the right kind of wood planed to our exact measurements. Definitely worth the trip. -- Lexa Bell



Picked up the boards today, all went well. A pleasant person in the showroom directed me to Phil, he dropped his work to help me. Phil figured out what I needed and the best way to get it. Not an easy task since I'm an amateur. The guys in the yard were equally helpful. For both the Cedar and some White Oak a man helped look the boards over and explained grain direction terminology in words that I could understand. My first Johnson's Workbench experience was positive. Again Thanks to all, Jeff H.



“As a woodworking newbie, you were awesome and helpful (and not condescending!). Thanks. Be back soon!”A South Bend customer


"This is why we go to Johnsons!"

“Just want you to know what great people you have working with you... We're a small company who relies on quality and service. Your people exemplified what that means. "This is why we go to Johnsons!" Thank you” -- Wendall P.


"service was exceptional."

“Everything about this place was amazing! The service was exceptional - you helped us search through boards to find just what we wanted. Thanks so much!!” -- Daniel B.




"I ordered 100 board feet of white cedar and was pleased every step of the way... Delivery was easy. I left some sawhorses out and when I got home, there it was. Most importantly, the wood looks fantastic. I had no part in the selection process, but every board looks great. There are only one or two that don't look 100% usable, but even then it's just a couple gouges or a little bark. Way better quality, and much easier than going to the home center. Excellent prices too. I'll definitely be ordering more. - Charlie Shick




"Great people to work with,great hardwoods at fair prices...properly dried so when you finish a project it stays put...one and done,and it's no hobby that how I raised ,clothed, and fed my family for near 60 years ! I'm now about to turn 80 and still enjoy the saw dust...thank you Johnson's. - Gorden Quick




"Just wanted to say thanks for the great service and products. My first delivery and it couldn't have gone better. Granted I'm not a big buyer but will recommend. Its nice to see service and professionalism. Again thanks!.
-- Mike, Auburn IN




"Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you for the beautiful custom butcher block table we received from you in November. We absolutely love it and it seems to be of great quality and sturdiness. We have received tons of compliments and were so pleased with the speed with which we received the table and ease of attaching the legs. Hope to do business with you again some day. "
-- Megan H.




"I'm writing this thank you note for the Christmas greeting card over the holidays and getting me great pricing for the material purchased last year. Your pricing got me work... I always will have your company in my bids. Thanks again..." -- J.C. - Clevland, OH




"I received my lumber order last Thursday and it was outstanding!! The whole process was very simple and you answered all of my questions and were very patient throughout the month it took me to decide on my complete order. I have recommended LLJ to friends that were a bit skeptical of ordering finish lumber sight unseen but after they saw the quality of lumber I received I am sure they will be placing orders soon. Thank you again." -- Charles Kurtz




Just a short note to thank you for the ease of delivery with our first order. Your driver showed up within inches of the shop, never having been here before. He was cordial and a real pro, the entire time. We hope to see him again in the near future, hauling us another load. Thanks again for the experience! " -- J.C.




I recently purchased 63 bd. ft. of select cypress from the Charlotte location...My local wood supply store...had three boards of cypress that were terrible. They tried to tell me that they were the best available due to drastic shortages. However the material I received from you was almost flawless. I really doubt that there will be more than 1/2 bd. ft. waste, if that. I have not seen such quality lumber anywhere. It arrived in 3 days in excellent condition. My sincere thanks to Chris for such helpful and professional service and L. L. Johnson Lumber Mfg. Co. for the high quality product provided. I will use you for all future needs where possible and certainly will tell many others about your superior personnel and product. Again, many thanks. R. Jack Conley




"Just received my order for 4 glued up red oak panels. Packages were wrapped well and arrived with outer packages in good condition. The panels are beautiful. You will certainly be a part of any project we do that calls for glued up panels. Have also recommended you to one of my woodworking friends here in this area. Thanks for your good work." -- J.P. - Madison, MS




"Our order arrived yesterday afternoon. It looks fantastic! I can't thank you enough for all your help and for looking out for us. We are tickled to death with the lumber!! Thanks again. It has been a pure pleasure doing business with you and your company! Now mama is really putting the pressure on to get it nailed up! -- A.W.




"Another great lumber package! Terrific value. Thanks."
-- P.G.




"Quality service and products help craftsmen churn out the good stuff! Keep it up." -- Rex


All L.L. Johnson Lumber prices are subject to change.
Questions? Please contact us!
Copyright © 2023 | Privacy Policy