Decades of Doors at Versatile Wood Products

Hollywood Theatre. Timberline Lodge. The Old Church. The Ladd Carriage House. The Hallock-McMillan Building. Harlow Hotel. Heceta Head Lighthouse. The Woodlark. The Fried-Durkheimer House. These are among some of Oregon’s most loved and recognizable places for their historic, aesthetic, and cultural value, and conservationists throughout our region have worked diligently to save them for the enjoyment of future generations. Whether these buildings are historic or new, commercial or residential, Versatile Wood Products has had a hand in keeping many of these doors opening and closing now and into the distant future.

Newer, more modern buildings are important too and deserve the same attention to quality, style, and aesthetics. Many Portlanders will be familiar with fine restaurants and breweries like Ava Gene’s, Full Sail Brewery, Woodsman Tavern, and Pine Street Market. Students study in the newly constructed Dundon-Berchtold Hall on the University of Portland campus. And people enjoy living, working, shopping, and relaxing in places like the Cook Street Apartments, Design Within Reach, Albina Yard, Penner Ash Wine Cellars, and the Spa at Salishan Lodge.

A custom Dutch door for a home designed around porthole glass that inspired the homeowner. Photo courtesy Versatile Wood Products.

There are also many gorgeous homes in Portland and the surrounding Metro area that are important in a more intimate, personal way to those who inhabit them. Some are historic homes over a hundred years old with intricate woodwork and ornate details, and some are new, modern, and sleek.

Erica Witbeck, Operations Manager for Versatile Wood Products, explains that Versatile’s craftspeople make custom doors “by hand using solid wood and traditional joinery methods, while using modern technology and materials, such as CNC for precise arches or cutout details and high-quality composite cores for flush doors. We have the talent and experience to come up with a design that meets your needs, and our process allows for the flexibility to create truly custom designs, while being fluent in traditional door construction methods.”

“The door we did for the restoration of the Fried-Durkheimer House has my favorite juxtaposition of salvaged original architectural details integrated into a solid new door that will operate smoothly and last another hundred years.”

The Fried-Durkheimer House, also known locally as the first Morris Marks house. Photo courtesy of Versatile Wood Products.

The Harlow Hotel (1882) in Portland’s historic Pearl District. Photo courtesy Versatile Wood Products.


Versatile Wood Products has worked on multiple historic projects throughout Portland and the Pacific Northwest. They replaced the doors for the Ladd Carriage House (1883), the Harlow Hotel (1882), the Woodlark hotel (1908/1912), and the Hallock-McMillan Building, Portland’s oldest commercial building, which was built in 1857.

“When the boundaries of traditional design are tested, Versatile’s team comes together to determine what is feasible and find the best way to honor the design intentions while making sure the door will look great, operate properly, and remain solid and functional for years to come. Custom doors all come with their own set of challenges.

When we are working with very tall doors, wide and heavy doors, existing openings in old buildings that aren’t square and true, coordinating details seen in surrounding architectural elements, and addressing highly technical hardware requirements, this can be complex, but we love the work of identifying solutions and making them come to life.”

The Woodlark Hotel. Photo courtesy of Versatile Wood Products.

The craftspeople of Versatile have the necessary expertise to repair and restore original historic doors, both residential and commercial, including the ornately detailed door of the Fried-Durkheimer House, an 1880 Italianate; the beautiful landmark Heceta Head Lighthouse (1894); and the doors of several historic churches, including The Old Church (1882) and Westminster Presbyterian Church (1914).

Westminster Presbyterian Church. Photo by Jason Houser.

At the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Irvington, Versatile was hired to create a new door pair for the church’s grand entrance as part of a larger restoration effort. Erica Witbeck describes the process:

“The doors were pulled to be stripped of paint and restored, but once the paint came off we were able to see that the doors needed replacing; there was old chipboard in between the wood layers, which was part of the reason the doors were failing.

In the Gothic-arched entryway, there was a decorative wooden transom that is in very good shape, so it remained installed. Our challenge was to replicate the design of the failed doors, but re-design them to better align with the details in the original transom. Some of the panels did not line up well with each other, and this was a chance to improve on the previous door pair. The new doors continue the panel design as though they were made at the same time.

The transom is stained oak on the inside and painted red on the exterior. We made the new doors with triple-laminated stiles for strength and stability, and this permitted us to use quartersawn oak on the interior of the door while using a more paintable Douglas Fir on the exterior.

We created new jamb legs to receive new heavy-duty hinges that were up to the task of supporting these massive, heavy doors. The surface-applied strap hardware was salvaged from the previous doors and stripped of their years of paint, and were given a fresh coat of flat black to complete the look.”

The new doors at Westminster Church (left). Versatile’s carpenters create the new door for Westminster Church (right). Photos courtesy Versatile Wood Products.


Classic designs reside between the more ornate historic styles and the streamlined simplicity of modern doors. Durable, elegant, and beautiful, classic doors lend a graceful and timeless air to an entry. Versatile has created classic door styles for Pine Street Market, Ava Gene’s, Fire Station #7, Hollywood Theatre, Full Sail Brewery, and many others.

Pine Street Market. Photo courtesy Versatile Wood Products.


The artisans at Versatile can produce a wide range of styles for every application, both old and new. The hallmarks of Versatile’s modern doors are any combination of unusual operation, clever operating hardware, unexpected sizes, and designs that emphasize materials rather than elaborate details. Modern style doors are usually clear coat or stained, because the beauty of the wood is one of the major design elements.

In October 2015, Versatile built 106″ tall flush exterior doors and full lite doors for Portland’s Albina Yard. The doors feature Port Orford Cedar on the exterior and Fir on the interior, and a continuous Port Orford Cedar veneer and matching 34” transom panel above. In addition to their impressive height, both door types are approximately 40” wide and utilize offset pivot hinges to give these massive doors smooth operation and lend a seamless modern look.

Albina Yard, with its tall modern cedar doors.

In addition to manufacturing beautiful modern custom doors, they have also been entrusted with the restoration of artistic masterpieces, like this door created by artist and sculptor Leroy Setziol.

A Leroy Setziol door and the plans for its repair. Photo courtesy Versatile Wood Products.

In closing, Erica says, “There is a certain kind of joy that comes from being a part of historic preservation projects and knowing that we are helping keep our architectural traditions alive. There is also a sense of continued mission when we help bring wood back to the forefront of modern architectural design. Being a go-to supplier for classic designs permits us to keep traditions alive across all types of building and remodeling projects.”

There’s a reason Versatile Wood Products was chosen to repair, restore, and replace the doors of so many important buildings, both old and new: they produce a diverse range of beautiful, high-quality custom wood doors to suit any application. Whether you’re looking for a door to match a historic, classic, or modern structure, Versatile’s craftspeople can create a beautiful custom wood door that you will love for decades to come.

Historical Window Line Roll-out

INGENUITY Historical Window Line Roll-out

Versatile Wood Products is proud to present our new line INGENUITY™, semi-custom solid wood windows designed to match period and antique home styles. When it comes to renovating historical architecture, it can be costly when modern commercial off the shelf products do not fit the original design. We created this line with historic properties in mind, featuring period-appropriate details and traditional construction. From Victorian to Mid-Century, INGENUITY™ offers top quality and value.

The  Koehler Family Craftsman Home

This classic Craftsman home is brought back to its original character with all-wood windows, made by hand in Portland, Oregon. The dramatic quadruple mulled double hung assembly adds light, air, and traditional sensibility to the elevation.

Versatile Wood Products’ first customer for the INGENUITY™ historical window line is the Koehler Family in Portland, Oregon. Every home has a story. This 1911 Craftsman has a newer addition in the rear of the house, which means construction that varies from the original methods. Modern  framing uses wider lumber. With INGENUITY™, we offer jamb depths (including extensions in any size) that will work with any wall thickness, from any era.

Historical Window Line
Thor is working on a quadruple mulled double hung unit. For traditional weight-and-pulley assemblies, adequate space must be allowed for the weights to travel between the frames.

The INGENUITY™ window line was created to offer a competitively priced solid wood, handmade window with the versatility needed to address most any building scenario. Streamlining the design choices reduced manufacturing costs and makes specifying simple.  Most importantly, INGENUITY™ windows were designed to maintain that period look and feel of the original home that commercial-off-the-shelf windows cannot provide.  Preserving Portland’s architectural beauty is all in the details.

INGENUITY Historical Window Assembly

Historical Window Line
Natural wood varies in density, so even when sash are the same dimensions, the weights are different. For perfect balance, each weight system must be calibrated for the specific sash it needs to carry. Careful measuring and labeling must take place for this part of the build. These sash will glide easily and stay put.

Seen here, Craftsman Henry assembles the sash weights to the INGENUITY™ windows.  The Koehler family upgraded to traditional weight-and-pulley balances for the double-hung windows. INGENUITY™ windows can come as individual units, or mulled together with a continuous subsill. This effort required double and quad units in addition to singletons.

INGENUITY Hardware Systems

INGENUITY™ hardware systems come in oil rubbed bronze, chrome, nickel and brass (polished or satin available for nickel and brass). These pulleys are as elegant as they are robust, with sash lifts and locks to coordinate.

Come See US!

Historical Window Line
Ready with bows on! With the sash cord prepped and ready, the units are prepared for a safe delivery. The top sash are sent out loose to make the large units easier to handle. Next step, installation!

Versatile is not your average commercial off-the-shelf window manufacturer. We provide historically accurate windows made by hand, in Portland Oregon, that are built to fit any original window opening.  Want to keep your original jamb? We offer inserts with spring balance operation as well, which install in a snap without having to demo your original woodwork. Looking for casements or picture windows? Divided lights, or obscured glass? INGENUITY™ has a design solution for you. Our experienced team specializes in balancing original period designs with modern technology and has created a repeatable process to create economical alternatives, whatever your design needs.

Come see our showroom at 2303 N. Randolph Ave., Portland, OR 97227
Mon – Fri 7:30 am – 4:00 pm

Product Development with Rex: Ingenuity Windows


Written by Snow Blackwood

Ingenuity Windows

I spent some time with Rex Vaccaro, Versatile Wood Product’s Product Design Manager, last Thursday. We talked about the new line of Ingenuity Windows™ they are developing and I learned a little bit more about Rex.

Ingenuity Windows
Learning about Versatile Wood Products’ design process with Product Design Manager, Rex Vaccaro.

The exciting news? Versatile Wood Products is developing a new semi-custom line of windows!

What does that mean for clients? You now get the quality of a custom-built product Versatile customers have come to know, but with the ease, efficiency and affordability of a modular product.

“Some of the ‘big-box’ window companies we were working with were supplying a less than average product. It was time for us to develop a line of our own,” says Versatile Wood Products owner, Richard De Wolf.

And after about 6 months of development, Ingenuity Windows™ was born.

“Curtis, Alan [Rex’s product design team] and I had talked over the years of developing a book of standards similar to what we have for our cabinetry line. The fact that this is happening now, is very exciting for us. It’s going to change everything. With the ease and efficiency of a semi-custom product line, we can streamline the process for these jobs, while continuing to put energy and focus into the creative development of our fully custom products,” says Rex.

I’m not a window designer, architect, or remodeler, so Rex had his job cut out on detailing the process and the product. We started in the office, where he has laid out wood window prototype pieces.

Ingenuity Windows
Rex demonstrates how the sash design will accommodate insulated glass units.

Rex describes some of the challenges specific to custom product design:

“There are several things we consider when we design any product. Basically, we want minimum waste and maximum efficiency. We ask what is the style we are developing for? What wood species are we working with? What grain pattern is desired? How stable is the wood? Is it salvaged wood? Salvaged wood throws a whole new twist into things.”

The Ingenuity™ line aims to achieve the most sought after details available in their custom window designs and to standardize the knowledge they’ve gained over the years in developing their custom windows.

Careful consideration of things like the jamb depths, joinery methods and window sills were important.

“When a client comes in with an old sash that’s not functioning properly, we ask; Where did it fail? Why? We designed our Ingenuity windows with a jamb thicknesses required for oversized windows, mortise and tenon joinery and a sill that prevents any accumulation or wicking of water up into the jamb, a common point of failure,” explains Rex.

Because Versatile specializes in historic design, the Ingenuity line was developed with traditional windows in mind.

“After testing various designs, we arrived at a 1 ½” thick sash with 5/8” thick insulated glass units. We revised the muntin bar details in order to retain the desired energy performance from the glass, while producing a sash that would fit into any of the jamb scenarios that were required. The designs will fit into an old house and look historically accurate, and will meet historic review standards.”

We head out to the shop to see the progress of the window development. Danil and Sarah  are in the process of developing a window as we speak. I get to see the drawings and the hardware selections.

Ingenuity Windows
Rex is as comfortable in the shop as in the office, “I’m out here a lot consulting on designs. I like to get my hands dirty every so often as well,” says Rex, smiling.

“We selected the most sought-after finishes for the pulleys, sash locks and adjusters. Some of these pulley finishes were plated just for us,” Rex shows me the options laid out on boards.

Versatile quality means using the finest hardware. This means solid brass, made by longstanding hardware manufacturers such as IDH and Harwick.

Ingenuity Windows
The Ingenuity line finishes will include, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Antique Brass, Satin Brass, Polished Brass, Chrome, Polished Nickel and Satin Nickel.

On the drawings I’m able to see more clearly the details Rex was explaining which will allow for compatibility with older homes.

Ingenuity Windows
Rex shows the difference between the Ovolo profile and the new Ogee that was created to conform to the new sash thickness.

An important part of the semi-custom line development are the forms that are set-up for contractors.

“Developing and streamlining the ordering process is a critical aspect of efficiency, both for the client during the ordering process, and for the shop during the build. We are in the process of creating eight different cut-sheets [architectural drawing/diagrams] for the different window types. The cut-sheets show how the window relates to the wall, so a contractor can make a quick decision. We want these to be very easy to use and readable,” Rex explains.

There are currently two categories of windows available in the Ingenuity™ line: Casement and Double Hung. Within those categories there are myriad possibilities—Casements can be configured to be awnings or hoppers as well. Both styles are available fixed or inoperable. Additionally, they are available as single units or as mulled assemblies, full light or with muntin bars. They can even do direct glaze.

As we finish up the tour, I learn a little more about Rex. It turns out Rex started his career in architecture, designing luxury homes. Rex is humble and  introspective as he tells me about his path in architecture and product design.

Ingenuity Windows
Rex stands against a background of more than 230 different jigs, each designed for a different hardware prep.

“I loved working for the architect; he was incredibly creative and taught me a lot about luxury home design and the intricacy of structures,” Rex says.

Rex started with Versatile in 2011 working mostly in cabinetry design. Now he also designs windows and doors, and manages his team in the estimating, design, and drafting processes.

“I started with the whole home and now I design the details, the architectural elements. Having an understanding of the underlying architectural structures helps lend context to designing the architectural details. The more you see these things, the more they start to make sense,” says Rex.

Come meet Rex and  celebrate the release of the new line; Ingenuity™ windows on Thursday, April 14th 4-7pm at the Versatile Open House Party!

Photo Gallery (photos by Mitch Hose):

Ingenuity Windows
Rex uses CAD, KCD, Enroute, and Google Sketchup to mock up designs and usually has about 20-25 projects in progress at a time.

Ingenuity Windows
Sash lifts, double hung sash locks and casement latches.

Ingenuity Windows
“We used this prototype to test different weights and how they affect a block and tackle balance system for the Ingenuity line,” says Rex. These balances are used for double hung windows where a traditional pulley-and-weight system isn’t feasible, such as an insert, or when a weight pocket isn’t possible.

Ingenuity Windows
Sills for the Ingenuity line wait to be cut for framing.

Ingenuity Windows
Brass pulleys in oil rubbed bronze finish are cleanly mortised into the jamb.



Vancouver Hilton Rustic Eclipse Doors

Versatile’s newest project

We’ve been busy working on an exciting  new project. Here’s a sneak preview! Working with Siteworks as the General contractor, we are custom building rustic eclipse doors.  This is a 5-panel eclipse (folding) door system for the Vancouver Hilton. It features a sturdy, stable engineered core with rustic reclaimed tongue-and-groove lumber that was precision-milled by our team to work with the extremely tight tolerances that the modern hardware requires.

Sound complicated? Well it is every bit as complicated as it sounds. This method as stated has very strict requirements but the Versatile team’s skill and enthusiasm are up to the challenge.

What Makes This So Versatile?

Versatile is known for custom built. And for quality that lasts. We use only the highest quality methods for our clients, ensuring they receive the best.

Take A Look at Some Photos From The Shop

Vancouver Hilton First Completed Slab and Giant Frame
This picture shows the first completed slab in front of the giant frame that it will be set into the panels

Siteworks Vancouver Hilton Rustic Eclipse Panels Henry
The remaining four slabs being sized by Henry

Siteworks Vancouver Hilton Fitting and Installing Panels, Thor with Henry Assisting
Installing Panels: Thor with Henry assisting

Siteworks Vancouver Hilton fitting and installing Panels, Henry Assisting
Fitting and installing panels, Henry assisting

Siteworks Vancouver Hilton Prepped Door Slab
Prepped door slab

Rustic Eclipse Doors assembled are Quite Breathtaking Both In Size And Beauty.

Siteworks Vancouver Hilton Assembled Eclipse Panels
Assembled eclipse panels

And to think that all this was finely crafted from rustic reclaimed tongue-and-groove lumber


Siteworks Vancouver Hilton Reclaimed Tongue & Groove Lumber
Reclaimed tongue-and-groove lumber

 We Can’t Wait To Show You More

Siteworks Vancouver Hilton, Beckwith Sash, Sarah
Here’s Sarah starting on some trim details for an elaborate and unique window—stay tuned for more! Oh and in the background are some enormous frames she built for the Timberline Lodge Cascade Dining Room. More to come on those as well.

This project highlights Versatile’s ability to take two pieces of a project and bring them together. The fun is in the craft and we can’t wait to show you our completed project.

What Does Custom Wood Building Mean?

Custom Wood Building

Custom wood building is an art that has been around for about as long as humans. Many of the same terms we see today were used thousands of years ago. On Raymond McInnis’s site, A History of Woodworking, he shares a piece from an article written on Stonehenge:

“…The largest weighs as much as 50 tons. Unique today, Stonehenge was probably also unique in its own time, some 4,500 years ago – a stone monument modeled on timber precedents. Indeed, its massive lintels are bound to their uprights by mortise-and-tenon joints taken straight from carpentry.”

Modern Wood-Building

With the progress in modern technology and industrial demands, Woodworking as a field has changed. For example, the development of (CNC) or Computer Numeric Controlled Machines in 1949 made it possible to mass-produce and reproduce products faster—not only faster but with less waste and the ability to produce more complex designs. Along with CNCs, the emergence of rechargeable power tools sped up the creation of many projects. They also required much less body strength and endurance than in the past. Despite the increase with technological advances, the quality and craftsmanship of custom wood-building remains unmatched.

What Does Custom-Built Mean?

According to the Merriam Webster, custom built simply means, “Built to individual specifications.” Sounds pretty straightforward, however there are many intricate details involved. Custom wood building is more than making a window or door. It requires more than just the right tools and space. These are essential, yes, but custom building also requires a lot of skill. At Versatile Wood Products every project, both big and small, modern or historical, is performed with the utmost quality and dedication.

“Versatile provides historically accurate custom wood sash, cabinetry, doors and millwork using techniques originated by 18th and 19th century craftsmen. We are committed to creating spaces that honor and make history. By preserving traditional ways of building and blending them with modern technologies and performance standards, we design and build solutions that harmonize aesthetics and temperament with function and utility.”

Versatile’s experienced team specializes in balancing period appropriate architectural design specifications with modern performance standards, combining historic techniques and modern technologies.

What does manufactured mean?

Custom Wood Building




Wood is manufactured in a few types, Plywood, particleboard, fiberboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and veneer. In addition to the CNC machine, another reason for the increased popularity of mass-produced wood products was the invention of manufactured wood. Manufactured wood products have become a popular choice because they are less expensive to produce. Manufactured wood products are also more readily available at Big Box stores.

Understanding what custom wood building and manufactured wood are is important when starting a project. For example, determining the exact specifications for choosing the right window or door is important. Having the exact build for a particular project is crucial. Not just for the aesthetics, but for long-term quality.

“By hand-selecting tight grain wood patterns and using time-honored techniques our products will last for many years to come.”

How Versatile produces lasting quality

To better understand the separation between custom wood building and manufactured wood, the following Versatile projects will highlight the distinction. In this first custom case study, the restoration of a historical landmark highlights the stunning craftsmanship Versatile (and Arciform) demonstrate. The agility and flexibility accompanied by the great care required shows why custom wood building is essential.

Restoring First Congregational Church

The First Congregational Church turned to Versatile and Arciform to stabilize and restore the wood elements of this feature. Constructed in 1895, the First Congregational Church of Portland is a dominant Venetian Gothic icon. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Portland Landmark. This historic structure towers with its 175’ bell tower at the Southwest corner.

Restoring the Gothic tracery was more than just “replacing parts.” The goal was to retain as much of the original fabric as possible. However, what appeared to be repetitive details in the columns and tracery were in fact unique. This prohibited the efficiency of replicating one element to be reused as a template throughout the entire tracery at similar locations. After meticulous documentation, all parts were mapped and translated into CAD files. Having these otherwise inaccessible components in-house provided the unique opportunity to prepare a custom library of details for First Congregational Church.

All new pieces were made of Western Red Cedar, the same wood species as the original elements. This was to ensure historic accuracy and material performance. Replacement parts were then fit in place for sizing and routed with the cove detailing ensuring the tracery appeared seamless. The final product was delivered in sections for ease of hoisting and installation by Arciform.

Modern Buildings

In these three short project highlights, the breadth and skill level of Versatile is apparent. These again demonstrate custom wood building as an art that surpasses manufactured wood products both in ingenuity and workmanship.


For The Zipper, Versatile and designer Guerrilla Development used simple solid wood frames and sills. They also used direct glazed windows in solid clear vertical grain fir. This helped to create a truly innovative modern design.

The Evo Building challenges were to create custom casements in Douglas fir to match historic photos of the building. It was nearly impossible to replicate a two-toned color scheme in aluminum but was easily accomplished in wood. The hinged casements on the upper floors were a fall-hazard. Versatile used a sash limiter that would open by 3″ to prevent the potential for someone to fall out.










The Albina Yard (which can also be seen on Think Wood) had extraordinarily high flush exterior doors: 142” tall and 108” tall full lite doors. In this project Versatile utilized offset pivot hinges to give massive doors smooth operation and an uninterrupted modern look. The project called for building flush doors in a continuous fir veneer with a matching 34” fir transom panel above. The design challenge was that both the flush exterior doors and full lite doors were extraordinarily high in addition to being about 40” wide.

Architecture: Lever Architecture
Contractor: Reworks Design Build

Custom Wood Building Is Good For The Environment

A report by Green Building Elements provides a wealth of researched information that supports the value of custom wood building. A study conducted by Architecture and Design reports that 16% of all the fossil fuel consumed annually is converted into concrete, steel, aluminum and brick building materials. On the opposite end, wood reduces its carbon footprint.

“When trees are made into building materials, that carbon dioxide remains sequestered in the finished products. When wooden building materials reach the end of their useful life, they are often repurposed or recycled into new products. All that stored carbon dioxide is kept out of the atmosphere virtually forever.”

Green Building Elements also reports a cooperative program between a company called Whole Trees in Madison, Wisconsin and the USDA Forest Service. Entire trees that the Forest Service harvests during routine thinning efforts and discards are used. They are turned into beams, trusses and joists to use in building construction.

Custom Wood Building is good for your Health

Custom Wood Building

Custom wood building is not just beautiful and unique in each design but is also good for your health. Another study by Architecture and Design finds that, “the feelings of natural warmth and comfort that wood elicits in people has the effect of lowering blood pressure and heart rates, reducing stress and anxiety and increasing positive social interactions.” Wood products within a room have been shown to improve indoor air quality by moderating humidity. The study also finds that being surrounded by wood at home, work or school has positive effects. Not just on the body and brain, but also on the environment. It can even shorten hospital stays through reduced recovery times.

Truly, Custom Wood-Building Is an Art Of Craftsmanship

From the use of mortise and tenon joinery dating back thousands of years to our state-of-the-art CNC router, Versatile Wood Products’ custom wood projects are built to last.

Creative Window Solutions, Sleek Designs

From modern buildings that include simple lines to historic churches with grand curves, when it comes to creative window design we will use any opportunity to fire up our imagination.

First Congregational Church Creative Window Solutions

We have been honored to design and install windows for buildings all around Portland, including the First Congregational Church. This was an opportunity to restore and recreate the magnificent tower that once was the tallest structure in Oregon at 185 feet! Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, the church is a rare example of Venetian Gothic architecture—few others exist in America.

First Congregational Church Creative Window Solutions

First Congregational Church Creative Window Solutions 2

Albina Yard Window Solutions

Since we wanted to offer a modern appearance to the Albina Yard building, we went with glass walls and flush awning windows. An awning window is much like a casement window. It is mechanically operated with a crank, hinged at the top so that the sash pivots in lieu of swinging.

Unlike the casement, though, an awning window can be open when it’s raining, making it appropriate for this office space.

Albina Yard Window Solutions


Evo Building Creative Window Solutions

A fixed window can be found in designs from traditional to contemporary. Allowing sunlight into a room, fixed windows offer a decorative view of the outside in hard to open spaces. This window is a single sash that’s attached to the frame. Fixed windows are also the most energy efficient type. We chose this style for the Evo building, providing custom Douglas fir. The upper floors feature custom windows that were a match to historic photos that the architect had obtained.

Evo Building Creative Window Solutions

Loyal Legion Creative Window Solutions

Keeping classic architecture intact, we went with the popular Eclipse system for folding windows for the Loyal Legion building in Portland. This window provides a large opening with no vertical element to split the opening when the window is open. These windows can be grouped together so that all of the panes of glass are in one plane. This gives a cleaner and more contemporary look to these windows, even when styled with traditional trim and pane patterns.

Loyal Legion Creative Window Solutions

Carle Kitchen Cabinets — Custom Case Study

Kitchen CabinetsNestled deep in Southwest Portland, the Carle family kitchen was the subject of an extensive remodel that was completed in late 2014. Interior designer Barbara Sumner and architectural designer Kristyn Bester worked with Versatile’s Product Designer Rex Vaccaro. Their job was to update and modernize the kitchen complete with stunning kitchen cabinets.

The design process for this particular project exemplifies our modern era. Most of the communication during the process happened via Skype since the Carle family had been residing in Amsterdam when the project began. As with any remodel project, the designers hit a few snags. The home was still under construction when the family returned to Portland. Ultimately, however, the Arciform and Versatile teams were able to achieve a contemporary, streamlined kitchen. A kitchen that is both functional and beautiful for the Carle family.


Kitchen Cabinets

What was the scope of the project and what were the design goals?

 For Versatile, the scope involved an entire run of custom upper and lower kitchen cabinets. As well as a pantry wall; a large kitchen island with a cantilevered eating area, and a built-in window bench. Some retrofit shelving and a wet bar in an adjacent living room were also included in the design. The finishes ended up being a contemporary mix of stainless steel-wrapped upper kitchen cabinets, paint grade surfaces for the pantry wall, and solid, clear, walnut grain aligned horizontally on the lower kitchen cabinets.

What challenges did the project face?

The biggest challenge that this project presented was the fact that the client had a strong desire for all of the lower kitchen cabinets to carry a visually  distinctive horizontal line from the wood grain along the length of the kitchen. The surface area along the sink wall and island was very broad. There was some difficulty in locating beautiful, solid pieces of walnut that were large enough to cover those surfaces. The main issue with long spans of wood, however, is that they will always warp over time. So there was an initial fear that the kitchen cabinet faces would warp and be ruined.

Carle_2003_Kitchen_A_P_Pro_ (9)

What were the Uniquely Versatile solutions?

The first step in solving the problem was to communicate with designers working on the project. With regards to the sink wall, the solution was to simply compromise on the pattern, and face the cabinets with a classic vertical grain rather than risk the possibility of warping. To create a horizontal appearance on the surface of the nine-foot long island, a laminating method was used. A few boards of walnut were glued together along their long edges in order to add stability.

Laminated wood still carries the possibility of warping. By alternating the grain patterns on the boards (essentially flipping every other board so that the grain pattern is opposite the one before it), more stability is added to the wood,  creating a preventive measure against warping. We were also able to retain the horizontal grain pattern that the client wanted, and applying these solutions to the project resulted in a stunningly beautiful set of kitchen cabinets.

Carle_2003_Kitchen_A_P_Pro_ (4)

Versatile is always looking to come up with inventive solutions for the challenges faced when collaborating with others. Our creative team worked with the talented designers at Arciform to achieve their client’s needs for this beautiful home in Southwest Portland.

About Versatile Wood Products | Contact Us

Block House Café — Custom Case Study

 block house cafe

In the heart of historic Dayton Oregon, The Block House Café recently moved into the 1886 First Baptist Church on Main Street. Working alongside architect Paul Falsetto and Fackler Construction, Versatile created a large back bar with surrounding cabinetry, wait-station, and tabletops from old floor joists in the building.

Block House Café Goals:

To create a large, functional, and aesthetically pleasing back bar that hides the seismic bracing. Re-purpose original floor joists to create tabletops and a bar top.

 Block House Café

Block House Café Challenges:

The biggest challenge we faced with the back bar, which included 10’ high walnut pieces, was installation to conceal three alcoves that were created by updated seismic structuring. The tabletops and bar top proposed a few challenges. They were created from wood salvaged from the original floor joists from the building. We were concerned about the tabletops cupping or warping. We needed to create a flat, smooth surface on the bar top as there were many wormholes in the wood.

The Block House Café

Block House Café Uniquely Versatile Solutions:

We worked around installation problems of the bar by pre-building it in 3 separate pieces. Along with some tolerances to allow for variations in the walls when it was installed on site. The three pieces overlapped once installed to look like one piece of furniture while hiding the bracing behind.

To address the tabletops potentially warping, we added a dovetail key underneath to tie the planks together. By attaching the key to the middle plank only, the planks could expand and contract naturally, but not warp or cup. And finally, to create a smooth, flat surface on the bar top. The wormholes were filled with clear epoxy rather than a colored putty. Since the natural color of fir changes over time, the clear epoxy will make a smooth surface without worry that the wood color would ultimately shift away from the color of the putty. Versatile’s experience and expertise allowed us to anticipate potential issues and create solutions before they became real problems on site.

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Walnut Doors –Versatile Showroom

Versatile Showroom: Walnut Doors

You may have heard that Versatile Wood Products is getting a new showroom! The first piece to go in were these amazing, custom lift and slide walnut doors.

Shop carpenters Jeff, Eric & Dan show off the ready-to-be-installed doors in the Versatile shop.
Shop carpenters Jeff, Eric & Dan show off the ready-to-be-installed doors in the Versatile shop.

The unusual “lift and slide” mechanism was chosen for these doors. This mechanism is primarily used for extra-large doors, allowing them to open easily without resistance from weather-stripping.

Project Goals

The goal of these conference room doors is to provide privacy, while also allowing some visibility to avoid cutting the room off entirely. Panes of insulated glass were incorporated, also providing sound reduction. To provide extra stability, all pieces were laminated together. A continuous grain pattern was selected to run horizontally through the doors. With the continuous grain and rich colors, these doors play a large part in creating the ambiance of the new showroom.

The mechanism is completely stainless steel, eliminating corrosion concerns. It can be used with doors up to 800 pounds, making it perfect for this large scale application.

Curious how it works?

To open the door, the handle raises up and lifts the door off the track to allow it to move easily without resistance from the weather-stripping. Once the door is pulled closed, the handle is lowered and the tracks make contact to create a tight seal and lock.


There are only a handful of companies that can make a lift and slide door. Here at Versatile Wood Products, we can design and build a door to meet your exact specifications. Our goal is to fulfill our customer’s design needs with the right door and hardware that will ensure a functional design and operating system over the lifetime of the door.

Intrigued yet?

Come and see these doors, along with other beautiful custom doors and windows at our showroom launch on September 18th!


Join us for a Launch Luau

in celebration of our new Versatile Showroom

When: Thursday, Sept 18 2014
Time: 2 pm to 5 pm
Where: 2303 N. Randolph Ave
 Koin us for cocktails, tropical treats and a whole roast Kalua pig.

Plus a chance to spin the wheel of fenestration for fun and prizes.

Space is limited. Click here to RSVP by Sept 10th to join in the festivities.


Help us celebrate the launch of our new show room at this Mad Men themed tiki celebration. Kick the tires of our new custom window, door and cabinetry displays and spin the wheel of fenestration to win prizes, drinks and more.

How can we help you create a custom entry that will be the showpiece of your next project? Contact to start your custom quote.

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Quality Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Cabinet Drawer InsertsKitchen design by Arciform senior designer Chelly Wentworth.

There are seemingly endless options for cabinet drawer inserts. At Versatile Wood Products we always try to select the top of the line products to compliment our high end cabinets. Here are some of our most used options.

From Rev-A-Shelf:

Waste container pullouts Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

This series is our first choice when it comes to waste storage. Versatile pullouts mount on the bottom of the cabinet and on the back of the door. This makes it easy to pullout and close. They are sleek, soft closing, have a nice slide and are very sturdy. Available in a single or double (one or two waste containers) door mount system and have an anodized aluminum frame. The bins are available in silver and white.

A less expensive option is this wire tray version:

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

This system can work with a swing door, and has a wire tray that pulls out. Unlike the first series, this requires a wider space to allow for the hinges. This is not a soft closing option.

Tray dividers Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

These are great for organizing baking sheets, dishes and trays. No more clanking around in your drawers for that cookie sheet! Tray  dividers are available in chrome and white, and can be spaced according to your preferences.

Tip out trays Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

The perfect way to keep your sponges out of eyesight, and off of your new counters. This is available in stainless steel and a variety of sizes to fit under your sink.

Cookware organizer Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

This is a great option to keep your pots and pans organized, and easy to grab, available in stainless steel.

Pullout pantry Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Pullout pantries are a great way to utilize cabinet space, while having it blend into your kitchen. Your pantry items are easily accessible from either side, and nothing gets left in the back of your cabinet. Versatile’s top two choices are below, the biggest differences being sizing options and shelving materials. These pantry systems mount at the top and bottom of the cabinet, making them extremely sturdy. They are sleek and soft closing, hidden behind a cabinet door.

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

This series is available in three heights and two widths, and have adjustable maple shelves with an anti-skid transparent coating.

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

This option is available in four heights and various widths, has wire racks and a chrome finish.

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

For a less contemporary look, this maple and plywood system is also a less expensive option. The lighter weight pullout only mounts at the bottom of the cabinet. It is available in three heights and four widths.

Spice trays Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Spice trays are the perfect way to save cabinet shelf or counter space, and are a great way to organize your spices.

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

This wood insert is a sturdy option that can be customized to fit various drawers.

There are two polymer options that we also really like.

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

This is a tiered insert, 50″ x 21″ and can be trimmed down to fit in any drawer. Available in a glossy or textured finish, and white or almond colors.

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

A smaller version is above, 16″ x 21 1/4″, that can be trimmed to fit. Available in a glossy white finish.

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Another option for spice organization is a base cabinet pullout. Available in 3″, 6″ or 9″ models, have wood shelves and are soft closing. This is a narrow pullout and can be hidden behind a decorative cabinet.

Lazy susans Cabinet Drawer Inserts

There are a few options to choose from when it comes to lazy susans. We typically select the half-moon or kidney-shape shelves as they are not attached to the door. Door mounted (attached to the back of the door) units are available only with inset doors, thus limiting cabinet options in your kitchen. Both units below are base mounted (attached to the bottom of the cabinet).

Half-moon shape Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

This half-moon shape shelf is a great option to maximize a deep and long-based cabinet. The shelves pivot and pull out, allowing for easy access to those items in the back of the cabinet.

Kidney shape Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

For a larger, corner cabinet, this kidney shape shelving unit swivels, providing easy to access to all items in the cabinet.

Pie shape Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

Pie shape shelves are a good option for an inset door and are attached to the door. They rotate to allow access to all cabinet items.

All three options are available in polymer, which is durable and easy to clean. They come in almond and white colors.

Another great insert option are the trays made by Versatile Wood Products.

Cabinet Drawer Inserts

The trays are made of bamboo with dovetail joints. They are available with or without a scoop handle. They are a great option to add some organization to your cabinets.

All of these inserts can be included in your custom cabinetry design when you work with Versatile Wood Products.

Versatile’s cabinetry specializes in traditional face frame construction and includes bamboo drawer boxes, soft close hinges and ¾ inch plywood boxes as standard features. Versatile custom designs tailor to each kitchen– without the scribes, fillers and compromises that some other cabinet manufacturers use.

There are endless options when it comes to cabinet drawer inserts, so speak to our Cabinet and Custom Product Specialist today for more information and to decide which options are best for your project,

Stay tuned for cabinet door material insert options!

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