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View Clarkie's profile

That piece of wood...

by Clarkie
posted 08-06-2016 12:14 PM

19 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile


4062 posts in 2111 days

#1 posted 08-06-2016 03:05 PM

Yes, commitment issues!

Fortunately I have ample storage ‘up high’ where those special boards are not under foot. Defining ‘special’ to me means really great grain or ‘rare’. For the great grain boards, if the dimensions are too small to use in a project I’ll figure out a way to just use the wood where it will be best seen (think table tops). Rare stuff gets used for accents, etc. (drawer pulls, small boxes, etc.)

View Aj2's profile


3424 posts in 2686 days

#2 posted 08-06-2016 03:22 PM

Nope I don’t even know what’s it’s like to have a hoard of wood.
I’m always on scout for wood.
And I have no problem cutting up anything I’ve made if I see enough wood there to make something else.
It really is a sickness.
It drives my wife nuts.


-- Aj

View MrRon's profile


5946 posts in 4132 days

#3 posted 08-06-2016 05:20 PM

Believe it or not, I had a piece of 3/4” plywood I kept for years awaiting the proper time to use it. It was made many years ago when 3/4” plywood was exactly 3/4” and had face plys thick enough that you wouldn’t sand through it. It was flat with no voids. I finally used it on a project where a flat surface was needed. I’m always on the lookout for old lumber.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4601 days

#4 posted 08-06-2016 09:13 PM

About two or three weeks ago when buying maple for a project I saw one of THOSE boards and bought it and I know it will hang around until just the right time. Sometimes projects are just in the wings waiting for that special piece of wood, sometimes its the other way around. I may have misunderstood but it seemed that you wrote of GIVING a piece of wood away!...the words are assembled in a syntactically correct way but I just cannot understand that someone would voluntarily GIVE a beautiful piece of wood away LOL!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View onoitsmatt's profile


446 posts in 2064 days

#5 posted 08-06-2016 09:33 PM

Ha Clarkie! My first thought while reading about that piece of wood of yours was “make a couple of workbenches!” Glad you did!

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View Clarkie's profile


500 posts in 2730 days

#6 posted 08-06-2016 11:25 PM

Well, so I’m not the only one with problematic wood storing, lol. Mr Ron, I remember when plywood came in 1 1/2” thicknesses, and when linoleum was a highly sought after answer to bare floors. Mark, always a good idea to buy the wood when you can even if you don’t need it right away. Splinter glad to hear you have adequate storage space for those special pieces, I envy you. I remember another time when I saw a ad in the paper for straight grained fur at very reasonable prices. I went to see what the man had, man what an amazing amount of good fur. The lengths were 16 footers. He had 2×12’s, 2×10’s, 2×8’s, and of course 2×4’s. I asked why he was selling it off, he said he had planned on building a 3 stall garage and it wasn’t going to happen now. The wood was stored under cover for 3 years. I needed 2×12’s for a front porch stairway, so I asked the price of them, get ready, he said I could have any or all for 10 cents a foot. I bought as much as I could manage to store in my shop. I told my friends who were woodworkers and they just blew it off, saying they didn’t need any now. Few months later they were coming by the shop trying to buy what I had in stock, notice the words ‘trying to buy”. They should have bought when I did, but, oh well. Okay, thanks for all your input and stories.

View Ocelot's profile


2622 posts in 3527 days

#7 posted 08-07-2016 12:33 AM

i was walking in the woods one day, about 10 years ago, and came upon a red oak that had been freshly exploded by lightning. a piece caught my eye. i picked it up. still trying to find the perfect thing to do with it.

no caps. typing one handed with toddler in lap

ill take pic soon

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View BorkBob's profile


127 posts in 3581 days

#8 posted 08-07-2016 12:33 AM

My grandson is building a huge dining table of cherry. He found some stash on Craigslist and we went to look not expecting much. Well, let me tell you about cherry Nirvana!! The guy has had it stickered and stored in a barn loft for years. We bought, for $1/bd.ft.: 2-4”x4.5”x9’, 8-4”x4.5”x5-6’, 5-6/4×9-11”x5-6’, 6-6/4×7-11”x8-9’. Most of it is clear although there is some checking and cracks.

There is still a truckload of lumber there. More cherry, some white oak, red oak and maple. We did not get too nosy because it was about 110* up there. If he still has it in a few weeks, we may buy it all.

The cherry is in my shop and ad I think on of the 4×4.5×9’ hunks is going to stay there just to look at.

-- Please Pray for Our Troops / Semper Fi / Bob Ross /

View BurlyBob's profile


7958 posts in 3154 days

#9 posted 08-07-2016 02:13 AM

I’ve got a piece of black walnut with some incredible grain characteristics. I’m hanging on to it till I can find someone who can resaw it so I can book match a table top.

View Clarkie's profile


500 posts in 2730 days

#10 posted 08-07-2016 02:37 AM

BurkBob, nice score on the cherry for sure. I’d go back and get the rest, good stock is getting harder to find. Hello Burly Bob, how big a piece is that walnut? Always enjoy working with walnut and cherry, just a pleasure to work. I’m reminded of another story, a friend gave me a call asking if I had any wormy chestnut in stock. He was making a top for a Stanley 45 box, and needed enough for the top piece. I told him no, I didn’t have any at the time, but to wait and see if I could locate some. Just so happened that weekend while at a garage sale, the guy who was having the sale, asked if anyone needed any lumber. I asked what type of wood, he responded, “wormy chestnut”, lol. For the sum of 10.00 he filled my pick up with wood. I called my friend and he had gone ahead and ordered some from a distributor, costing him about 35.00 with shipping. Funny how things happen.

View bondogaposis's profile


5876 posts in 3240 days

#11 posted 08-07-2016 03:39 AM

I have been holding on to a big leaf maple burl slab for over forty years through 6 moves, Hell I’ve never had a wife last that long. I guess I should make something with it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View splatman's profile


585 posts in 2287 days

#12 posted 08-07-2016 06:12 AM

no caps. typing one handed with toddler in lap

ill take pic soon

- Ocelot

I’ve typed single-handed many times, and never used it as an excuse to not use caps. With either hand, pinky on shift key and thumb or index finger on target letter key or thumb of shift key and pinky or ring finger on target letter key, depending on which hand I’m using and which side of the keyboard the target key is on.

Do take pix and show us!

I was determined and I took the first cut, making 3 work benches from the stick.

- Clarkie

If you have not already, show and tell us on the Workbench Smackdown thread, please.

View Clarkie's profile


500 posts in 2730 days

#13 posted 08-07-2016 10:48 AM

Hello Bondo, man, talk about commitment, 40 years for that piece of “special stock”. I have an acquaintance that has had 4 wives and 8 moves and still has the car he is going to complete one of these days, lol. Splatman, the benches made from that stick happened over 35 years ago, sorry no pics available.

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3403 days

#14 posted 08-07-2016 12:07 PM

I have a declining load of 1876 oak from a barn in SW Pennsylvania, but I do use it very rarely.

My one piece that is being hoarded is an unreplacable place of chestnut that came out of a different barn. About 12-14” wide, and almost 5’ long, 1” thick, I have only ever made one thing out of it that I can remember, the face on my first guitar that I ever built. It was also from the 1880 era. I look at it a lot, but cannot bring myself to put a saw to it.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Clarkie's profile


500 posts in 2730 days

#15 posted 08-07-2016 12:18 PM

Hello Paul, well, reverence takes many forms. Funny how once you do use that special board it comes to life most times and is much appreciated by others. I think this may open another topic in the future, about what is the oldest tool that is still in use by you, how long it has been the favorite. My first hand tool was an 1895 Stanley 45 with the cutters and box. It is still with me in my toolbox, like an old friend.

View Joshua Oehler's profile

Joshua Oehler

169 posts in 2579 days

#16 posted 08-07-2016 06:13 PM

For me, as corny as this is going to sound, I have a ton of wood that I am waiting for it to tell me what it wants to become. In my area in SW Florida I have no easy access to anything other than typical construction/cabinet lumber. There are no lumbermills/hardwoods dealers or even any Rockler or Woodcraft within a 3 hour 1 way drive from me. Whenever I am out of town once or twice a year I make it a point to find one of these stores to visit. I usually end up buying a couple of nice looking boards and then I bring them back to my shop where they sit on a shelf. It normally sits there until it gives me some inspiration. Some pieces have end up being turned, some lids for boxes and some decided they didn’t want to play nice and got chopped up into small pieces and scattered around to hide the evidence of my failure.

There are times as well that there is some personal connections. For instance I have a. 2” x 8” x 36” piece of walnut sitting in my shop. I got it from my uncles workshop after he passed away a couple summers ago. I intend to do something with it that is special to me that will remind me of my uncle, I am still awaiting the proper project to come to me though.

I also think there is a “fear factor” at times as well. What that fear is could be quite different for everyone but it is still there. When you don’t have access to exotic/figured woods you don’t want to ruin that 1 piece you have. When you don’t have the extra money to spend on lumber you are afraid to ruin the only valuable piece you have. You may not feel confident enough in your technique to use that nice piece so you keep saying you have to practice more. Maybe you even know that that piece of lumber is going to be the doors for one of your bucket list pieces of furniture that you will start on “one of these days” that you just keep putting off because you think its still too much for you to accomplish. Whatever your fear is though that keeps you from making that first cut into that pristine piece of lumber…it all seems to go away as soon as the blade digs in to the wood.

-- - "But old news can change, as memories float downstream. So don't judge me by my failures, only by my dreams"

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1788 days

#17 posted 08-07-2016 06:41 PM

I carried around a couple pieces of black walnut for about 6 years. I never wanted to cut them into smaller pieces, I wanted to wait for the perfect project so that I could keep them whole. Well, it never happened and I finally broke down and made a dining table frame that sat on a couple of sewing machine stands.

View MrRon's profile


5946 posts in 4132 days

#18 posted 08-07-2016 08:02 PM

I did have some pieces of very old mahogany. It was perfectly straight and finally built a machinist’s tool chest out of it. When you find an old piece of well aged wood, it stays straight; something you can’t say of 2nd growth wood.

View Clarkie's profile


500 posts in 2730 days

#19 posted 08-07-2016 08:52 PM

Hello jbay, nice job, and very good use of two old stands. Joshua, I agree, as soon as the first cut is made you feel different and the wood worker comes to life.

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