Adventures in Working Wood #4: Bought some lumber and started some projects

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Blog entry by NinjaAssassin posted 02-18-2014 01:21 AM 3326 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Shop time again...finally! Part 4 of Adventures in Working Wood series Part 5: It's been awhile... »

Well, as the title blatantly states, I bought some lumber and started a few projects (in addition to the other projects I’ve got going). I made a trip to see a local guy that owns a sawmill. He mills and kiln dries the lumber the puts it up for sale. He only has local species available but he makes up for that with really great prices. He’s got cherry and walnut for 3.75/bf! The only other places I know of that sell hardwood in my area sell each for $5.00/bf or more so this is pretty fantastic. I ended up walking out of there with the following:

I think I need to add “lumber rack/storage” to my to-do list.

That’s two 4/4 cherry boards about 6 or so inches wide and 7-8 feet long, 5 reclaimed oak boards (some quartersawn), a few small oak boards with a walnut one thrown in there and a cherry board that’s about 14/4 and maybe 4-5” wide and was 4 feet long. Only cost me $40. That’s a good deal in my book!

Now for the projects – I’ve started a chisel rack (which is rife with terrible craftsmanship) and a mallet. The chisel rack is being made out of oak bought from Lowe’s. I saw Lysdexic’s chisel rack build and liked his idea for through tenons so I thought I’d give that a shot. It’s the first time I’ve attempted any sort of traditional joinery and…well, you can probably guess how the mortise turned out.

The front…

The back…

Airframer and Don W offered some helpful advice to prevent this in the future as well as how to repair this, which I greatly appreciate.

Then there’s the mallet. I’m making that out of cherry with an oak handle. Here’s where I’m at on that…

A pretty awesome first for me was that I planed that cherry almost perfectly square. The oak isn’t planing particularly well. It’s like the grain changes directions about 2/3rds the way down or something because it planes nice and smooth, then all of a sudden there’s terrible tear out. I might end up going with a different piece of oak or another species entirely for the handle.

I also built a general purpose bench from 2×4’s and a sheet of plywood:

Oh, one more thing, my first project made it to #1 lol

Click for details

-- Billy

4 comments so far

View Scott R. Turner's profile

Scott R. Turner

276 posts in 4201 days

#1 posted 02-18-2014 01:33 AM

Hey Ninja, I see from your latest post you’re in NoVa, as am I. What’s the local sawmill you’re using, and where is it located? I’d love to be able to use local woods.

View NinjaAssassin's profile


656 posts in 2737 days

#2 posted 02-18-2014 01:56 AM

Hey Scott. The company and website is They’re in Catharpin. It’s actually located at a residence but way in the back (it’s a pretty big property). The guy’s name is Russell. Right now he has a whole bunch of cherry but that’s not all he has. Seemed like a really nice guy and genuinely likes what he does. Very helpful, too.

-- Billy

View clieb91's profile


4213 posts in 4948 days

#3 posted 02-18-2014 03:10 AM

Billy, Looks like a great haul and a pretty good start to the shop. I to am in the NoVA area and will have to check out the sawmill. We have one that is real local but don’t deal with the guy very much. Thanks for the link as well. Oh and btw.. congrats one your first project. :)
Look forward to the next ones.

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View jfk4032's profile


384 posts in 3539 days

#4 posted 02-18-2014 01:26 PM

I’m on the other side of the river and have used ecofriendly before. Russell has some interesting pieces to go with the standard local woods and is nice to deal with. There’s also a great sawmill up here in central Maryland, Timberline Farm Sawmill and he both air dries and kiln dries his wood. Just came back yesterday from Groff and Groff in southern PA…lots of wood available in our region!

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

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