CommunityMontana Made


Montana craftsman turns wood into kitchen masterpieces

Posted at 9:38 AM, Dec 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-19 11:44:55-05

BILLINGS - From charcuterie to custom-made cutting boards, your holiday shopping became much easier thanks to a Made in Montana entrepreneur.

"We get in our rough lumber, we’ll cut it to length, adjoin it, rip it on the table saw, then it gets planed on both faces before we glue it together," said Montana Block company owner Mitchell Martishius. "And then that will get planed again and cut to small strips and then we’ll glue up for a second time and that will get sanded down, squared, some more sanding."

"There’s a lot of sanding involved. Holes for feet. We brand them and then we finish them in our finishing room. They get soaked in an oil. When they are dry we put beeswax on them to seal them up," Martishius continued.

Turning an ordinary piece of wood into a masterpiece is a three to four-day process for Martishius. The supplies for his custom-made butcher blocks are 100% made in the USA, and it all starts with lumber from Bozeman.

"I started doing it because my wife wanted a board," Martishius said. "I made her a board and there was the demand and it’s just kind of grown from there."

Martishius’ Bachelor of Science degree in wood products lends itself nicely to this work, but he got his start in woodworking as a prop maker on movie sets. His work hit the theaters in movies like Iron Man 3, and his roots go back to Montana’s most famous film.

"My father met my mom on River Runs Through It in Livingston," Martishius said. "He’s still a woodworker. He works for the movie studios. I got lucky, I had a good dad who made me work when I was a kid and taught me woodworking."

Today it’s not a river but his knowledge that “runs through it” and sets his work apart. Things like wood grain, how to cut it, what makes the most durable product.

"If you’re looking at the tree stump, that would be the direction of the board for a butcher board, so you’re cutting in between the wood fibers instead of cutting the wood fibers in half," he said. "They’re like twice the amount of work, but far superior more durable product."

A product to be proud of as many look to put a piece of Montana under the tree.

"It feels good to make quality products that people use every day," Martishius said.

Click here to visit the company's website.