The Hobby That Kinda Got Out Of Control

The Steel Forest Furniture Company was founded by Columbus resident and entrepreneur Chip Gerber. Chip and his family came to the area in 2010, when he started up Mississippi Steel Processing (MSP), where he serves as President.

MSP processes steel from the big Steel Dynamics plant, and there’s always odds and ends of scrap steel left over.  Chip saw opportunity in that scrap, so he bought some specialized machinery and set up a side business cutting the scrap into usable parts he could sell to other manufacturers.

One day while ‘tinkering’ after work, he drew up some designs for furniture bases to cut out of the scrap steel.  He cut the designs out using a plasma cutter, welded them together and VOILA – had an interesting looking end table.

He took it home and when friends saw it, they said ‘Cool ! Could you make something like that for me?” Well, Chip is kind of a hands-on, ‘get er done’ guy . . . so you can guess what happened from there.


Now SFFC has its own employees, a retail store and some projects underway with ‘players’ in the furniture design and distribution business. But each piece is still built one-by-one with an attention to detail and quality that is increasingly hard to find these days.

And here’s an interesting fact: the raw material the Steel Dynamics mill uses is scrap steel – SDI recycles it into ‘new’ steel. SFFC takes the leftovers of the new steel and recycles it into furniture. So it’s likely an SFFC sofa table started out life as a sedan.  Good for the environment . . . looks good in your home.