914INC. Westchester Magazine Sixth Annual Small Business Awards

Robert A. Rising, Owner

Robert A. Rising, Owner

Yonkers and Hartsdale • Outstanding Minority-Owned Business

When Robert A. Rising, aka “The Black Lumberjack,” realized he couldn’t find his dream furniture locally, he decided to build it himself. By 2004, the Mount Vernon resident’s passion project flourished into a unique business: NYCitySlab, a custom-woodworking company that mills lumber and creates furniture from more than 25 species of reclaimed local wood. The operation has grown to include a shop in Yonkers and a lumberyard in Hartsdale, employing eight workers.

Rising won’t fell a tree just for profit and only collects trees that are old, dangerous, or otherwise need to come down for natural reasons. The lumber is air-dried for one year per inch of thickness, finished in a kiln, and presented to customers to choose the perfect wood for their projects. Rising’s eco-friendly handiwork earned him a spot as one of 10 “makers” honored at the 2016 Martha Stewart American Made Summit.

NYCitySlab’s latest projects focus on public and community spaces, including turning cleared trees from the Sarah Lawrence College campus into 35 tables for its new Barbara Walters Campus Center and furnishing the Roberto Clemente Plaza in the Bronx with 86 benches made of Westchester wood.

Rising is particularly fond of projects that have a personal touch. “People call me to take down a tree that’s been in their yard for years, one that’s sentimental, and I get to put it right back in their house as something new,” he says. “I’m taking something that would be discarded and turning it into something that has value.”

Made to Order

We've just delivered over 900 sq. ft. of beautiful Yellow Pine flooring (tongue and groove) and custom stair treads to a residence on the upper east side.  When the renovations are completed in this lovely townhouse, we're sure the floors will be a conversation piece.

Give us a call.  We can customize beautiful flooring for you as well!

One Reason to Love Auctions...

is because you can pickup such wonderful items.

Got this Fairbanks Morse & Co. platform balance scale last week.  Love it, love it, love it.

Thaddeus Fairbanks, an American inventor, invented the first platform balance scale in 1830, and established E & T Fairbanks & Company with his brother, Erastus.  Soon they were selling thousands of these scales not only in the U.S., where they were integral to the marine and railway industries, but also in Europe, South America and China.  Charles Morse joined the company in 1850 and the company became Fairbanks, Morse & Company.  The company expanded into manufacturing various products including radios, washing machines, power mowers, water heaters, etc.  Today, Fairbanks Morse manufacture diesel and dual-fuel engines.

Talk About Recycling

We're all for re-using, re-claiming, re-purposing and recycling.  We have a great client who has been renovating her 19th century Brooklyn home for over a year now.  She first came to us for a live edge Walnut slab headboard with built-in side tables.  While working on her headboard, she asked us about flooring. Her idea was to use salvaged white pine sub-flooring from the house as main flooring and supplement with other white pine boards where needed.  Sounded great to us and we had just the white pine to mill for her, our old growth white pine from Second Avenue (see reclaimed wood page for background info).  The white pine, like so many Manhattanites, was about to make the exodus to Brooklyn.

Sometimes good ideas need a little tweaking, a bit of creativity.  Turns out that the usable amount of sub flooring was less than originally thought and it was too thin.  Not too thin for sub flooring but too thin for main flooring that would see a lot of foot traffic.  We offered to mill as much of our Second Avenue pine as needed and we'd take the sub flooring.  A workable idea for all of us. 

The sub flooring sat in our workshop for weeks, all 101 boards. They sat on dollies in a corner of the shop looking a little worse for wear until we ran them through the planer, but we knew we'd have an opportunity to use them.

Enter one slick, fast-talking midtown Manhattan gym owner with a short lead-time, and budget- challenging reno project. One of the things he wanted was reclaimed wood wall paneling.  And we had just the right stuff.  So we cleaned those boards up, white and gray washed some and left others unstained and got to work.  If we do say so ourselves, the subflooring which turned into wall paneling looks pretty great.

Meanwhile, we were able to provide our Brooklyn homeowner with beautiful period flooring that just needed some TLC.  In our book, the results are beautiful all around.


So whether you need custom paneling or flooring, give us call.  We may even feature your project on our blog.

We're Back!

Not that we ever left, but after almost two months of incredible challenges, it finally feels like we're back to what we do best.  Life has been busy, and it's getting busier, but it beats the alternative!

NYCitySlab ABP

A bit dramatic (All Points Bulletin) we know, but sometimes that is what it takes to get the job done. 

So here's the scoop:  On Monday, March 6, the Yonkers Fire Department is generously allowing us two hours to get some of our equipment out of the old shop.  Two hours is not a lot of time and as many of you know, our equipment is not for the faint-hearted.

We're sending out a call to our friends, friends of friends, family, people who follow us on social media, clients, almost-clients, people who met us at the Flea, etc.

If you can spare the time, come help us get our stuff out of our old shop.  We are eternally grateful for the encouragement and support we receive from all of you. 

  • Monday, March 6, 2017, 10AM to 12PM
  • 222 Lake Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10701