Member Spotlight: Nicola Logworks Ltd

Posted by Rumin Mann
May 31st, 2010

New to BC Wood is Nicola Logworks Ltd. Nicola Logworks is a “multi-discipline” log and timber construction company. They have been in business since 1989.  In the early years, John was motivated primarily by his passion for log and timber building, (which has since become their slogan). They were not very profitable, but they were having fun! John’s focus on life-long learning meant that they were constantly trying something new and developing new work methods or jigs, which in turn meant finding a project to try them out on, or accepting a project and then developing the system and knowledge to produce it.

Ironically, this “not-for-profit” mentality has resulted in their successful and profitable position today. Their broad scope of skills meant that they are able to adapt to market trends and changes and possibly be contributors to some of the directions the market has taken in log and timber construction.

While they continue to produce classic hand crafted log homes, their focus is directed more towards post and beam, timber frame, stairs, and parts and pieces.  They specialize in dovetail joinery (picture on right), a style of log work which is rapidly growing in market demand.

5 years ago, John developed a custom lathe, which enables them to handle logs of up to a diameter of 42″ and length of 58′, creating a specialty niche. In addition to improving their production, this machine has been a gateway into commercial work. Blending the handcrafted tradition with cutting edge technology allows them to undertake and understand a very wide scope of work.

By investing in specialty 3D timber modeling software and committing themselves to the learning curve of mastering the programs, they are now able to offer extensive online consultation with architects and engineers, produce working drawings, and troubleshoot. They are finding a great deal of satisfaction in commercial projects, largely due to the challenges presented and innovations that are inspired by the various requirements.

Their main joy rests in the synergistic relationships they enjoy with their colleagues. They collaborate extensively with Dai Ona of DaiZen Joinery, as well as other log and timber builders. They are not shy of bringing in other talent on a job if it means that the customer will be better served in doing so.

Over the years, John has gained a reputation as an innovator in their industry and was featured in the publication “Log Home Design” as one of the 50 most influential contributors to the North American log building industry. Their work has won and contributed to the winning of, several Tommie Awards, both gold and silver.

John has served as president of the International Log Builder’s Association for 5 years in the 90’s. He has also contributed to the “Log Building Best Building Practices Guide, and is a founding member of the BC LTBI (Log and Timber Building Industry Association), a trade association committed to industry issues, including training and apprenticeship program, for which he helped write the curriculum.

They are currently working on an unusual project at the growing Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops; the new lecture and study hall. (Hall of Learning).

Inspired by the traditional “Keek-wili” pit houses  of the interior tribes, the roof system –designed by Jeff Gravistin of David Nairne & Associates and Jarle Lovlin of Diamond & Schmitt Architects, and engineered by Fast and Epp Structural Engineers (of the Richmond Oval) marries the clean dimensional appeal of glue-laminations (Produced by Structurelam) and the character of rustic pine beetle killed logs.

For more information on Nicola Logworks, please visit their website:

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