Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Change of Direction

A busy few weeks, although progress on the desk was naturally, slow!

After much soul searching I have decided that no matter how much love I put into my daughter's desk, no matter how much stain I put on it, the wood is still going to be crap and look like crap. The good news is that I liked the design, so I intend to re-use most of it. But my daughter is going to have to wait a while longer now!

 Original magnolia top

So I decided to switch to a different wood. As it turns out, I have several nice slabs of east Indian rosewood that I bought off ebay several years ago. According to the seller, they were from Florida and got blown down in a hurricane, maybe Andrew - I don't recall for sure. One of them will be perfect for the top. I am thinking to cut some jarrah veneers and veneer over the magnolia legs. The jarrah was salvaged from a local mansion that was torn down a few years ago.

 East Indian Rosewood top

Jarrah and more EI rosewood

I emptied the kiln of the last load, and put in a new load of misc things, with some elm, yellow cedar, cherry, and more maple.  I am most excited about the yellow cedar, I think there will be enough good material there to complete my long-delayed curved front glass cabinet that I have been wanting to do for a couple years. The cherry is mostly a disappointment, there is just so much spoilage when I dry cherry it is really disheartening.

 Currently drying away in the kiln . . .

I also had one piece of arbutus in the last load. It has only dried one summer, but the log was down for 3 or 4 years before I milled it. So I put one piece in the kiln as an experiment, and it turned out very well. Hardly any warping or cracking at all, I was very pleased. Some mineral staining on it though. I may put the rest of it in the next load, although the other pieces are closer to 3" thick and may not react as well.

 Arbutus front and centre

And the neighbour has finally sold his house. I need to be out of the garage by Feb 1. Seems like lots of time but I am sure it will go by quickly. I am trying to get in touch with the buyers to see if they are interested in renting.

And my contact at the beach who sets up logs for me  retired at the end of last week. So who knows what the future holds - maybe less milling and more woodworking! I did get down the day before he left and milled up a couple small logs, an oak and an elm.


  1. Nice pictures and nice wood as usual! Do you always kiln dry your wood? One other question, I know that you get most of your wood from the beech, but was wondering where would be a good place in BC to get good wood, I will be driving thrue BC in march and wanted to get some wood, like yellow cedar, red wood, and probably a few other westcoast species, and was wondering if you knew of a few good place to buy from, small saw mill would be great!

  2. Hi David,

    Glad you are coming to visit BC! Since I don't buy any local wood, I am not really up on the local suppliers. Sunbury Cedar in Delta comes to mind, as well as Reimer in Abbotsford, and there are several others in Chilliwack. Robert Prince is a quirky miller out in the valley, has a number of huge barns full of wood to get lost in, prices are no deal though. If you are going to the island, there is a cool mill in Chemainus.

    I always kiln dry my wood, I find air drying gets it down to around 12%, the kiln takes it down to around 8% or so.

  3. Thank you Dan, I will try to check these out!!