TMI Forest Products, Inc. and the History of Tubafor Mill, Inc.

You cannot talk about the origins of TMI Forest Products without beginning with the founding of Tubafor Mill, the place where it all began for the company more than 60 years ago.

In the Washington State town of Morton, a logging sawmill was making a reputation for producing railroad ties. In fact, so many railroad ties were produced by the Morton sawmill the town quickly earned the designation as the "Tie Capital of the World".

The 1960s & 1970s

After nearly 20 years of orders from railroad companies, in the late 1960s the demand for rail ties began to decrease. Concerned about their future, the owners of Tubafor Mill decided to branch out and began manufacturing additional products. One of these product lines was 2x4 studs and this change lead to the iconic "Tubafor" name. Seeing the need to continue to grow, "Tubafor" searched for another species to fulfill the sawmill's full potential. The best fit was the local supply of Coastal Western Red Cedar.

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What began as an offshoot of the mill's free production time eventually turned into a rapidly growing facet of the business. With the Tubafor boards being well received by the building community for their quality and performance, the company began increasing the production of posts and fence rails for WRC fences. More builders and homeowners began passing on the good news about the durability, value and impressive look of the mill's dimensional lumber and Western Red Cedar fencing. The Tubafor name became a common brand name and was synonymous for not only the 2x4 fence rails, but the Coastal Western Red Cedar fence boards themselves.

As the decade progressed, demand for "Tubafor" Mill's Western Red Cedar fences increased. With sales now strong and still growing, by the mid-1970s the mill's owners made the decision to produce only Western red Cedar pickets and move completely out of the dimensional lumber manufacturing business. Even though the 2x4 product did not remain, the Tubafor name was forever etched into the lumber community.

Purchase by The Probyn Group

In 1978, Tubafor's reputation of manufacturing premium coastal Western Red Cedar fencing had crossed the border and peaked the attention of the owners at The Probyn Group, a family owned network of red cedar suppliers headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Seeing a complementary match for their interests, the proprietors of Tubafor Mill entered into discussions with Probyn and soon after the sawmill was purchased. For the many employees and companies that did business with Tubafor Mill, the transition between owners was seamless, as the quality of the mill's Coastal Western Red Cedar fences remained the best in the industry.

This acquisition allowed The Probyn Group the unique opportunity to grow the mill's operations by investing in its' team members, purchasing additional equipment and increasing the mill's production capacity. This gave Tubafor the opportunity to open the market for their Coastal Western Red Cedar fences to a far larger potential audience. With The Probyn Group's support the stage was set to take a small mill in Morton, WA with a great product, to the largest cedar fencing manufacturer with the highest quality product in the industry.

From the 1980s to the Beginning of the 21st Century

Never being satisfied with good enough, in the 1980s an additional production facility was built for Tubafor Mill in the Olympic Peninsula community of Amanda Park, WA. Here at the Crane Creek facility the mill began pioneering a pre-finished white wood fencing board that is commonplace today and marketed under the brand name of "RightWood™." In the nearly 30 years since the launch of the Rightwood board on board fencing brand tens of thousands of homeowners have purchased, installed and enjoyed the appeal of these attractive, durable fences.

The 1990s saw a new wave of technological innovations for the sawmill manufacturing industry. Tubafor management dove headfirst into upgrading all of its manufacturing equipment and processes, taking full advantage of new production capacity and more accurate grading processes. The results were spectacular and the mill was able to increase its production, and improve quality and consistency even further.

Needing to recognize the fact that it had evolved into a company that offered more than one brand of fencing, in 2006 Tubafor Mill decided to market its products under the name of TMI Forest Products Ltd. The mill still is known throughout the lumber and forestry communities as Tubafor, but the company's new branding helped many people recognize there was now a great deal more going on than just 2x4s.

The Road Ahead for TMI Forest Products Inc.

Now well into our second half-century of business, TMI Forest Products is well positioned to take full advantage of the incredible changes happening within the wood manufacturing industry. Today the company is the largest division within The Probyn Group and the largest manufacturer of Coastal Western Red Cedar fences in the world and owning 60% of the market share.

At the start of 2012 a third line of fencing was introduced. Dubbed "Tubafor™" to mark recognition of the mill's reputation in the North American building community, this line of high quality fencing takes full advantage of the advanced grading technology that TMI has invested in. Made "for the pros, by the pros", the Tubafor cedar fence line complements TMI's signature brand of Western Red Cedar fences as well as the still popular pre-stained RightWood™line of fencing.

Whether you are a homeowner looking for ideas for your fencing needs, a professional that wants specs and dimensions or a retailer seeking the resources to support your business, the new TMI Forest Products website was built to accommodate your needs today and anticipate the ones that you will have tomorrow.

TMI wants to earn your business and, more importantly, your respect based on the products we produce and the values we follow.

Thank you for taking the time to share in our history. Do you have a question or a comment that you would like to share with us? We welcome all your correspondence.