By Julianna Crisalli Kroncke
staff writer 

Beautiful custom pieces, one tree at a time

Mountain Dog Millworks


April 20, 2024


"You imagine it - we build it," is the motto for Mountain Dog Millworks. Pictured (above) is a redwood log being milled for furniture, including this live edge redwood dining table with two matching benches (pictured below).

In their first year of business here in Tehachapi, Mountain Dog Millworks owners Michael Altman and Toby Bachara said they can't pinpoint one specific favorite memory, but they love the entire process of creating custom, wood-crafted furniture for their clients.

"From salvaging the downed trees, milling, kiln drying, creating custom pieces, seeing it in the home and then replanting a tree in the spring, it's a rewarding process," they said.

Michael and Karon Altman moved to Tehachapi in 2017. While searching for the assistance of a master craftsman to help them renovate their cabin in the mountains, they met Toby, whose family roots in Tehachapi date back to the early 1900s. Toby relied on his years of carpentry experience to help Michael develop the main structure for his 30-acre estate. After discovering the abundance of downed trees from clearing the land, bark beetle infestation and severe drought, the men were inspired to buy a saw mill. It didn't take long for inspiration to set in, and Mountain Dog Millworks was born.

"Our specialty is custom-made, hand-crafted woodworking. Everything from charcuterie boards to massive built-in desks. Anything a client has an idea for, we can collaborate and design to their needs," they said.

Michael and Toby's advice for future small business owners

"Our only advice would be to make sure you are choosing the space for your business wisely and that it is zoned and permitted for what you need ... know what your needs will be and how to get them before you lock into the location. That will help with delays, which means downtime, which means revenue loss."

Be sure to check out Mountain Dog Millworks' website for photos of their custom wood pieces. The team is now also offering engravings on any piece, including initials, logos, etc.



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