Ballard, Wash.—Limback Lumber has evolved over the years, originating in the town of Ballard in 1930. Nestled in a neighborhood that rests on the outskirts of Seattle, Wash., Paul Hunsinger, president of Limback, is mindful of the noises that his business produces and tries to keep it down early in the mornings, out of respect for his neighbors.
Today, the company is located to the east of the Puget Sound, with a 40,000-square-foot establishment, including a storefront, warehouse and yard. The operation is 20 miles from the interstate, but Hunsinger said that companies make the drive to his location because of the quality and service they receive at Limback.
“The greater Seattle remodeling contractors and homeowners that regularly do business at Limback’s drive that distance to get there because of quality of lumber and service,” he stated. “And, our people. Contractors especially, who don’t like ware
Paul Hunsinger, president of Limback Lumber, handles operations and special order contractor jobs.
house stores enjoy doing business with our team.”
Limback purchases 100,000 board feet of lumber each month of kiln-dried Douglas Fir framing lumber, as well as Hemlock, Pine and Spruce. The company purchases materials from the Northwest and Canada, and stocks a wide variety of interior and exterior trim for older houses.
An impressive assortment of moulding styles that were used some 30 years ago are hewn there on the two Foley Belsaw moulders that shape 100 to 1,000 feet at a time. Limback is known to have one of the best inventories of Cedar, finished lumber and mouldings available in town, according to Hunsinger.
“People bring in a piece of moulding and we match it. We now have approximately 300 knives at our facility, which enables us to offer a wider variety of options,” he said. “Our customers know that when they come to us we’re going to do our best to accommodate them at a fair price.”
The shop is also equipped with a Grizzly planer and a Makita planer, a Delta radial arm saw and
Limback Lumber is equipped with a Grizzly and a Makita planer, Delta radial arm and table saws and two Foley Belsaw moulders.
a table saw for custom cutting lumber and plywood to size.
Limback uses a Clark forklift, as well as a Hyster forklift for transporting lumber in the yard, and for deliveries, they keep one truck driver on staff. The firm has consigned a dual axle, 1998 Volvo flatbed that holds up to 60,000 pounds; a single axle, GMC flatbed; and a full-size Chevy pick-up. Though most of the free deliveries are made to the greater Seattle area, they occasionally require travel two to three hours away to Port Orchard, the San Juans and other islands in the region.
Hunsinger is the third generation of the family lineage to run the business, after his father, Bill, retired. His brother, Bill Jr., has since joined Paul, and is running the financial aspects of their business, while Paul handles the operations and special order contractor jobs.
Tony Limback left Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he had worked for his father in the lumber business, to start his own business in the late 1920s in the Pacific Northwest. At the time, logging was prominent, aided by a canal extending from the Puget Sound to Lake Washington. There were 12 lumberyards in Ballard at one time during that era, but over the years, water levels lowered and sawmills closed. The result was the annexa
The company’s storage warehouse has an inventory of lumber that is ready for custom cutting.
tion of Ballard and the growth of the suburb that is now home to Limback Lumber.
The area is perfect for the family business that Hunsinger operates. He said that the family considered expanding, but decided against it.
“When you expand, everything changes,” he explained. “As things stand, we are capable of offering first-rate service on a consistent basis. And, it has really paid off for us.”