Phone: 800-711-9663
Monday-Friday 8-5
Saturday 9-1
Closed Sunday
Facebook
Instagram
Houzz

WOOD WORTHY STORIES

Unga Guitars

A luthier (/ˈluːtiər/ LOO-ti-ər) is someone who builds or repairs string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box. Meet Perry Vasquez, the owner and creator of Perry Unga Guitars. This Salinas native has been making guitars for 16 years, originally starting in his high school wood shop class. Perry likes to start his process with the inspiration of unique, quality woods. It’s no wonder that we caught him roaming our warehouse here at Jackel Enterprises! We wanted to learn more about Perry and his Unga guitars, so I had him answers these questions so we could share his story with you. Q: How and when did you discover Jackel Enterprises? I found Jackel about 10 years ago. There was a hardwood specialty shop in Salinas that closed and I needed an alternative. Jackel happened to be the closest alternative and they had exactly what I wanted.   Q: What species of wood do you purchase from Jackel Enterprises for your instrument projects? I like to use a lot of domestic woods on my guitars. My favorites are Sugar Pine and Alder for my bodies. I also like to use burled redwood on tops and backs of electric guitars. I also like how light weight redwood is. Maple is tied for first on the favorite list. Almost all of my guitars have maple on them. Maple is great to use for guitar necks because of its strength, especially, figured maple. Both woods can be very striking and look amazing naturally. I also like using woods I can get on the regular and locally. I like to be able to touch woods I am going to be using. I also love looking through wood stacks. It feels like a treasure hunt and a lot of times it is. Q: What is your creative process when building your instruments? My Creative Process a little different than most luthiers and builders. Most of the time, it’s a piece of wood that inspires me to turn it into something. Other time it’s an idea I’ve drawn out or an aesthetic look I want. Very rarely am I chasing a sound or tone, or even considering what the instrument will sound like in the end.  For me chasing tone can take me down a rabbit hole and become very unrewarding. In my experiences working as a repair guy in different shops and dealing with many musicians, I’ve learned a few things. When it comes to guitars hanging on a wall in a shop, I want my instrument to stand out. So, I try to build guitars that people are drawn to. When you are drawn to something then you might pick it up.  I always make sure my guitars feel so good you don’t want to put them down. I’ve noticed when a guitar looks and feels amazing, what it sounds like doesn’t have much weight on the decision to buy it. When I build an instrument, I like to have fun with it and express my self artistically. As far as the build process, I keep it simple.  I use a lot of hand tools for carving and shaping. I use a few bigger machines in the beginning for big jobs (Planer, Jointer, band saw).  I always start a full scale drawing...

read more

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Giving trees a second act: Specialty lumber company Jackel Enterprises celebrates 25 years By Tara Leonard, features@santacruzsentinel.com Posted: 05/12/16, 3:13 PM Steve Jackel with Live Edge Slab (Shmuel Thaler — Santa Cruz Sentinel) At a Glance Jackel Enterprises What: Jackel is a family-owned lumber yard and mill founded in 1991 by Steve Jackel, who currently runs the operation with son Noah. The company’s mission is to ‘source and supply wood that is meant to be seen.’ The company sells premium conventional lumber, as well as salvage and reclaimed material, serving the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and also offers mill service Where: 801 Ohlone Parkway, Watsonville WATSONVILLE >> Wood speaks to everyone a little differently. The wood you prefer for your home or office may harken back to the trees you climbed as a child, the forest you camped in as a teenager or the kitchen cabinets in your first apartment, where your future spouse taught you how to cook. As the founder and president of Jackel Enterprises, a specialty lumber company, Steve Jackel understands this relationship. For 25 years he’s been helping customers see beyond anonymous lumber to the possibilities of rare, reclaimed and salvaged wood. To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, this second-generation family-owned business has consolidated multiple facilities into one 40,000-square-foot headquarters in Watsonville. In a space that includes offices, inventory and a custom milling and manufacturing facility, customers can see the transformation from forest to finished product right before their eyes. The result is wood that’s meant to be seen, touched and talked about. Reclaimed wood refers to wood from previous buildings or structures. For instance, the Jackel inventory currently includes rustic barn boards a designer hopes to repurpose in a custom home. The company also has dozens of elegantly weathered Douglas fir pilings reclaimed from the TransBay Pier in San Francisco, just waiting for their second act in a local seaside project. Wood from an old redwood water tank, acquired from the Lompico Water District, also awaits new life in the lumberyard. Salvaged wood comes from trees that have been removed due to age, damage or construction. Instead of going to the landfill, the trees are collected, processed and milled for reuse. Businesses and homeowners frequently use salvaging to offset the cost of tree removal, turning removed trees into furniture, floor or ceiling treatments. In 2013, San Jose State took down 28 English and Scotts elm trees on the campus. Jackel was able to salvage the 100-year-old giants, which were milled into slabs. Reusing wood like this reflects an ecological awareness and respect for nature, says Steve’s son Noah, the company’s vice president. Jackel Enterprises has been a certified member of the Forest Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance since 1996. The groups back environmentally appropriate, responsible management of the world’s forests. “Salvaged material is durable and has character not necessarily found in younger trees,” Noah explained. “You’ll see intricate grain patterns, rich colors, knots and holes.” Dulcimer Craftsman Ecological awareness is where it all began. After college in Lake Forest, Illinois, Steve Jackel moved to Santa Cruz in 1972 with his wife Barbara as part of the back-to-the-land movement. “I knew I wanted to work with wood,” he explained. “There was a small shop in Felton making mountain dulcimers, and I got a job there,...

read more

Slabs Galore!

We have an incredible amount of slab material drying in our yard; approximately 50,000 board feet of local salvaged species. Trees are salvaged from city streets, universities, construction sites, forest fires, rural homesteads and other sites. Trees are removed for any number of reasons and we like to salvage them. Of course we are particular in our selection process in order to offer quality slab material. Salvaged trees are not saw logs, which means there is always imperfections or as we say, “Salvaged material has character”. There are knots, holes, bark inclusions, rot and irregular shapes which define each slabs unique personality. Log sections are delivered to our yard. We mill the logs into horizontal slab sections which we keep in sequence for a complete boule. The slabs are stickered, to let air pass between the sections, and banded and placed in our yard to air dry for a number of months to years. When ready much of the material is then kiln dried and ready for presentation in our warehouse or online. Salvaging trees is rewarding and inspiring. We rescue tree sections from adding to the landfill and the beautiful wood is implemented into projects. Our clients create amazing furniture, instruments and design elements from our material. The process and time is worth the reward. Monterey Cypress Log Logs getting Delivered Claro Walnut getting Milled Monterey Cypress Boule Stickered and Drying Boules Drying Various Species...

read more

After the Move

We are settling into our new facility and getting used to new processes to make the transition as smooth as possible. Building improvements are ongoing as we greet and meet with customers who are visiting the new location for the first time. Inventory is being organized and it is our goal to have the millshop at full capacity in the coming week. The crew is working hard as we continue to ride the wave of excitement from the big move to being situated in our new Jackel Enterprises...

read more

We are Open!

We are open for business at 801 Ohlone Parkway in Watsonville.  We have been giving tours to friends, family and clients who have come in for lumber or to congratulate the Jackels’ on the big move. Joe Teixeira was our first customer! Thank you Joe for your good wishes and years of business. Joe Choosing Lumber Rick Helping Joe Out We worked hard all weekend long to get ready for the big day. We are busy organizing and unpacking while we service clients. There is much to be done yet and we are happy to be...

read more

This is It…

We are officially closed for business so we can move our stock and offices over to 801 Ohlone Parkway.  We have a busy yet exciting weekend ahead of us. We have been preparing for this moment and now its here. Say good bye to 347….here we come 801! There is work yet to be done at the new facility, we will continue with finishing touches while occupying the space. The essentials are installe; our floors and doors, bathrooms, office spaces and breakroom are in and functioning. The mill is moved in and ready for production. We will set up our sales desk, phones, computers and lumber inventory this weekend. We will be back to business at 801 Ohlone March 8th; see you Tuesday morning at...

read more

The Move is On

Hi, I wanted to let you know we are open until Thursday March 6th at our current location, 347 Locust Street. We will be closed Friday March 4th thru Monday March 7th for our final move. We will be open for business Tuesday March 8th at 8am in our new facility at 801 Ohlone Parkway, Watsonville, CA 95076. See you...

read more

Mill…check!

We have been working hard this week moving our mill from 347 Locust to our new site at 801 Ohlone Parkway. We have plenty of heavy equipment to move including the 26′ long Baker resaw and a piano. We called on our friends at Azzie’s Storage to help us with the Baker mill; it was too large for our forklifts and trucks! An empty mill… and the...

read more

Elm Tea Gate at Yale University Art Gallery

Paul Discoe, a friend and colleague, was an artist in residence at Yale University in 2014 and 2015. A master temple-builder trained in Japan, Paul worked with us to source the material he wanted. We supplied Paul with Red Elm salvaged from a park in Santa Clara, California for his project. Elm is a traditional material used in Japanese architecture. The Happy and Bob Doran Tea Gate, dedicated in the Doran’s honor, is “a mixture of formal and informal [Buddhist Architecture].”(1) The gate in Zen Buddhist architecture is a symbolic marker to remind those who enter to come into the present moment. Paul was quoted describing his creation as a “gateless gate, a gate to nowhere except for everywhere.”(2) For more information or to visit the Happy and Bob Doran Tea Gate at the Yale University Art Gallery: call 203.432.0660 website artgallery.yale.edu address 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven, Connecticut Photos: Jessica Smolinski 1 & 2: Yale University Art Gallery, Spring...

read more

801 Ohlone Progress

Every day we get a little closer. We will start to move our mill over to 801 Ohlone this week. In the meantime the painting is finished, the doors are being hung and the bathroom fixtures are installed and working. Front with Entry Door Installed Stacks Room with Doors Hall to Showroom Door to Showroom Office...

read more