LumberJocks

My name is Chip, and I'm a walnut addict......

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Blog entry by Chip posted 03-29-2007 05:43 PM 1580 reads 1 time favorited 47 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One evening, years ago, I was walking down the street when a guy, leaning against a dimly lit telephone pole with his hat pulled low across his face whispered “psssst, hey buddy, want to try something really special?” I asked if he was speaking to me and he said “yes, You look down. This stuff will put a smile on your face.” He held up a small, brown object and waved it in front of my face. In the light of the overhead utility lamp I could see that what he was holding was a beautiful, glistening cathedral grain piece of wood. I tried to ignore him and keep walking but as I did I heard the words that would forever haunt my sleepless nights… “First board foot is free. Just try it. Promise you won’t be sorry.”

Well, I’m a woodworker. And as we all know, there is one word that weakens the knees of even the best of us. That word, of course, is “free.” I turned, grabbed the object from his hands and ran, ran as fast from that sordid place as my feet would take me. I ran for what seemed like hours, streams of sweat flowing down my forehead. Ran in a haze of guilt and shame until, not really knowing how I got there, there I was, standing in the middle of my workshop.

I sat down, laying the board gingerly on my workbench. Studying it, eyeing it, knowing that if I tore into that wicked thing, there may be no going back. No stopping me from a life of darkness (walnut’s a dark wood, get it?). Finally, as if in a trance, I calmly got up and collected the paraphenalia I would need to try this strange and beautiful substance.

Goggles, check… filter mask, check… sharp cutting tools, check. It all seemed to easy. And all the while a voice inside my head kept saying “stop, don’t do this! There’s so much more to woodworking!” I slowly lowered the goggles and mask over my face. Helplessly I leaned over, my hands nervously shaking as I flipped the switch on my table saw…

It’s been ten years now, in and out of local lumberyard/half-way houses. Ten long years since that fateful night. Yea, I’ve tried maple. I’ve even given oak and mahogany a try. But always that voice comes back to me, beckoning and sinister as ever as I ponder my next woodworking project. And always I falter, weak and hopelessly smitten.

DAMN YOU THORSEN SIDE TABLE CHALLEGE! DAMN YOU I SAY!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!



47 comments so far

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2840 days


#1 posted 03-29-2007 05:57 PM

I know you have tried Maple.. Oak… Mahogany… You are sooo right… they are not nearly as um… effective as Walnut… However… its just this one time… I think you need to try a little figured Cherry… don’t judge it too quickly though as it gets better with a little time… (and sunlight.)

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2913 days


#2 posted 03-29-2007 05:58 PM

oh my goodness.. my sides ache from laughing and tears are blurring my vision.
lol You are the best!!

.. and then came LumberJocks …. from one addiction to another. That’s how it goes, you know. You’ll have to start blogging every day as well… oh how quickly the addiction spirals.

Still laughing!!
Thank you. I needed that.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2845 days


#3 posted 03-29-2007 06:02 PM

Darn Drew, you kinda look like that guy under the light pole now that I think about it. And now you’re sellin Cherry. hmmmmm.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Greg3G's profile

Greg3G

815 posts in 2838 days


#4 posted 03-29-2007 07:06 PM

Is there a 12 step program for this? I can assure you that Lumberjocks is the wrong place to get over this type of addiction. I have had a tool addiction for quite some time and still find my self standing and salivating at the WoodCraft store….I have tools I haven’t even set up yet (don’t have the space to set them up yet….that’s a long story of a very messy shop.) There is a brand new General Morticing machine still sitting in the box in the corner waiting for the time when it will have its own space…perhaps I’ll unbox it for this Thoreson project….that will leave space on in the corner for another tool.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2913 days


#5 posted 03-29-2007 07:08 PM

good plan Greg!!

((standing up and applauding for Greg))

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2914 days


#6 posted 03-29-2007 07:24 PM

If not Greg, you can send that Mortising machine my way. I will put it to good use. :)

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2989 days


#7 posted 03-29-2007 07:28 PM

Hi Chip, I’m Michael and I do Hickory. That way I get the light of maple and the golden of Oak and the dark streaks. I’ve tried other woods too, and when I want to mix my woods together i do Walnut.

I gave up trying to quit.

I started out just covering my Hickory with Mineral Oil… (The cheap finish fix) but lately I’ve been spraying with several coats of Lacquer. I’ve even got my “money-man” doin’ Hickory too. And he isn’t even a Lumberjock.

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2840 days


#8 posted 03-29-2007 07:41 PM

Um… Hey… Obi… have you tried Cherry? It looks great and works sooo nice as well… You can get a lot of hickory type light and dark from it but it has such a nice cinnamon glow about it you will never get over and it will not fail you. As time goes on it gets better but you will always need a bit more and a little more to keep you going. (Much like many other woods). I think you need a shot… I love Cherry and have even experimented with the Brazilian variety as it has cherry in the name as well.

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2989 days


#9 posted 03-29-2007 07:52 PM

I don’t really care for Cherry… too prissy And I mad the magazine table out of Cherry

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2845 days


#10 posted 03-29-2007 08:13 PM

Drew, Drew, the cherry pusher man.

And Obi, “admitting the problem is half way to solving it.” they tell me in my ummm, sessions.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3079 days


#11 posted 03-29-2007 08:37 PM

That’s great Chip…

Perhaps a bit of butternut every now and then, just to tide you over between fixes?

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

376 posts in 3050 days


#12 posted 03-29-2007 10:19 PM

Is hickory easy to come by out in CA, Obi? I haven’t seen much of it available around here.

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3153 days


#13 posted 03-29-2007 10:35 PM

Chip: Sorry for your addiction. I use leftovers from the cutoff bin for smoking. (BBQ that is) I can’t let any of that wood go to waste.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

376 posts in 3050 days


#14 posted 03-29-2007 10:38 PM

I’ve work with a guy who competes in BBQ competitions, and he’s always asking me to cut up Red Oak scraps for him to use in his smoker. It’s his favorite “flavor” of wood.

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2845 days


#15 posted 03-30-2007 12:45 AM

Karson, you’re killin me. The leftovers aren’t walnut are they? Please tell me they aren’t walnut. I’ve seen pics of your wood stash and I could probably build a hutch with your “leftovers.” Karson, tell me it isn’t so! (starts to break out into a cold sweat).

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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