Man, …what a great weekend!
I recently remodeled a master bath which included making a new custom cherry vanity.
Well, that meant we had to take a two hour road trip to pick up materials at Owl Hardwood Lumber in Desplaines, Illinois.
I decided to go on a Saturday so my wife, Lynn could go with me and stop for lunch on the way back.
We always enjoy going there together and walking down the aisles of exotic woods stacked to the ceiling.
She's gotten pretty good at identifying the different types now.
I love how the smell of walnut and oak fills the air… and the sounds of big machinery buzzing in the back shop.
So many beautiful wood grains like Lacewood and Cocobolo, Zebrawood, quilted and Birdseye maple, drawing your eyes to observe them from different angles and wonder how a tree can create such beauty.
They have small blocks for making bowls and pens, and huge three ft. wide slabs of Bubinga, 20 ft. tall, three inches thick, standing on the end of the aisles, destined to be a spectacular board room table,... no doubt.
After checking out all the varieties of wood with Lynn, I loaded a cart with sheets of maple plywood and hand selected several 1×8 cherry boards for the vanity and a few for my own cherry kitchen I'm working on.
She really likes to help me select the grains of the boards. She knows what to look for and even sights them to make sure they were straight.
It's a proud moment for a cabinet maker, married 32 years….What a gal!
On the way back, we stopped at her favorite spot - Super Dawg, a Chicago landmark hotdog drive in and had a great lunch. BTW - Never ask them for ketchup! ... Ha!
Then, we stopped at an antique store that was going out of business. I found four Stanley hand planes sitting outside on a display table. What are the odds of that? BTW - I'm a tool collector too, if you didn't know.
My heart started pounding as I looked closer, trying not to let the salesman see my bugging eyes.
The big Stanley No. 7 was very old. There were no dings or cracks on the rosewood handles or the body, it was all original and it had the desirable sweetheart blade, still sharp too…..nice.
The No.4 and No.3 Stanley planes were not as old but in very good condition. I don't think they had ever been used or sharpened.
The no.15 Stanley block plane was weathered but not rusty. It was hardly used and had a sharp sweetheart blade too…..Wow!
Time to negotiate.
Now, you have to know….I am a prolific watcher of American Pickers.
Mike and Frank have taught me a few tricks and now it was time to go after this pick like a honey badger
break the ice and Pop on a good deal.
I pretended to be ignorant when the salesman asked me to make the first offer. I said I was interested in the No.7 but if the price was right, I might take all four of them.
He insisted I make the first offer so I threw out a number of 40 bucks. He said the no. 7 was worth at least $100!
He counter offered at $100 for all four. I came up to $50 and he came down to $60. So, I counter offered at $55 but he stayed firm at $60.
Time to flip a coin! .... $50 bucks if I win and $60 if he wins - I call it.
I pulled out a quarter, called heads and flipped it in the air. It landed on the ground and rolled under the table.
We leaned down and looked under the table cloth and watched it roll round and round to a stop…. Tails!
We stood up and laughed about it and heartily shook hands as if we both won the bet! ....Ha!
Yea, I lost the coin toss but it was worth ten bucks to work the deal and see the salesman overjoyed at his good fortune…. And I still walked away with the best deal, without a doubt.
Hey!.... no sales tax or E Bay shipping either.
Meanwhile, my wife found an antique Victorian plant stand made of quarter sawn oak and a Rookwood pottery vase for half of what they were worth.
We both scored!
On the way back we took the scenic route through the North Shore neighborhoods and checked out the big mansions and small towns.
Always a good time on a road trip with the wife to the Lumber Yard!