Family-owned RBM Lumber Inc. is a blend of quality timber products,
sustainable harvest methods and innovative new ideas
By Sydney Jordt
1973. While still in high school, brothers Ben and Roy Thompson traded 10 cords of firewood for a chainsaw.
They may not have known it then, but that chainsaw was the humble beginning of what would become one of the Flathead Valley’s most respected, innovative and resourceful lumber mills:
RBM Lumber Inc.
“Keeping the environment healthy is a goal for nearly everyone in the logging industry, and RBM is no
exception,” says Roy. RBM Lumber is owned and continually developed by the Thompson family, who operates the business with the help of an extremely talented and experienced staff.
RBM does much of its own logging, combining old-world techniques with an incredible respect for the forests they harvest from.
“Throughout our history we’ve made a point of using as much salvaged timber as we can,” says Roy. “Sustainability is a huge part of our philosophy, and we do all of our logging with that in mind.” Timber is in the Thompson family blood, and “RBM
is always adding something new,” says Roy, feigning an exasperation that quickly melts into a laugh.
One such “something” is a brand new door shop, which RBM has been developing and refining for the past year. This shop is focused on fashioning unique doors unlike any other in the industry, giving each RBM customer yet another way to give their home a distinctive look and feel. “Most of our doors have a rustic feel to them; our focus is to bring out the natural character and beauty of the wood,” says Roy. “Really,” he adds, “That’s what we try to do with all of the wood in our mill.”
RBM Lumber offers a seemingly endless list of products, including flooring, paneling, molding, stair treads, railing, counter and table tops, furniture wood, wainscoting, rough lumber and beams, siding, picture frames and a large inventory out of which to service
their customers. In 2010, RBM added beautiful Huntwood cabinets and most major brand appliances to their product lineup.
Customers receive friendly help and solid advice every step of the way from the knowledgeable and caring RBM team, which now includes its own in-house kitchen designer, Janeth Thompson.
The newest RBM venture is a pellet mill, which utilizes much of the lumber mill’s byproducts by turning them into fuel
for wood-burning pellet stoves. The material used to create the pellets is always debarked and stored in bins to eliminate dirt and debris which greatly reduces “clinker” buildup in a pellet stove.
RBM also uses a high percentage of larch and fir in their pellets, which produce significantly less ash than other wood species. RBM is
currently offering pellets at the introductory prices of $3.75 per bag or $175 per ton, a limited-time value difficult to beat. “The pellet mill benefits RBM in that we can make better use of our byproducts, which melds well with our stance on making the very best use we can of every log that comes into the yard,” says Roy, who goes on to say that, “The pellets themselves benefit the environment as well as our customers, because they are cleaner-burning and more efficient than regular firewood.“We hate waste, and adding the pellet mill is just one more way we can make good use of what we consider to be a very beautiful and precious natural resource: timber. That’s what RBM Lumber is all about.”
RBM Lumber Inc. is located at 685 Berne Road in Columbia Falls (just off of MT 206) and can be reached at 406-892-4208. You can also
visit the Missoula store at 3535 W. Broadway (406-728-3535) or visit RBM online at www.rbmlumber.com