Collecting Wood

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Blog entry by Dekker posted 10-24-2007 04:31 PM 1025 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made yet another trip to my local lumberyard (30km, 19miles), and decided I needed some more variety in my wood selection at home. I really wanted to find some spalted maple (I have fallen in love with the look of the stuff), but they did not have any (only poor samples of spalted ash).

In the end, I picked up some Bloodwood and some beautiful bird’s eye maple. The bird’s eye is something I’ve been wanting to work with, having seen some really great examples in the LJ gallery. I also picked up the maple because I was looking for a nice light-coloured wood to contrast with the predominantly dark wood that I have in my collection,.

The bloodwood was an impulse purchase, though, and I’m interrested to see how it machines and finishes. Has anyone else had experience with it? My lumber is only skip-dressed, but it appears there is a bit of shimmer in it. Is this just a trick of the light, or is bloodwood known for its chatoyance?

And by the way, are there other Jocks out there who buy lumber just ‘cause it is inspiring, even though you don’t have any immediate plans for it??

-- Dekker -

12 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3958 days

#1 posted 10-24-2007 04:49 PM

All I know about Bloodwood is sthat it is heavy. Wish I had a lumber yard that close.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3870 days

#2 posted 10-24-2007 05:20 PM

As for your last question, I buy all my wood that way. I almost always design the project around the wood. The wood is what dictates shape, form, finish, details, etc. For me it is more about making something that best shows off a particularly amazing piece of wood.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3870 days

#3 posted 10-24-2007 05:23 PM

I buy it because it’s a great deal, because it’s pretty, because I haven’t used it before, because someone wants to get rid of it, because today’s Wednesday, because I’m paying a delivery charge anyway …

-- -- --

View woodchips's profile


238 posts in 3960 days

#4 posted 10-24-2007 06:35 PM

yes as a matter of fact i just bought some lacewood the other day out of pure impulse. it was so beautiful that i couldn’t not buy it. not sure what its going to accent yet but time will tell.

-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4088 days

#5 posted 10-24-2007 07:11 PM

I generally don’t buy on impulse, but I certainly do scavange free wood on impulse. Never know when it might come in handy!

-- Paul, Texas

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4062 days

#6 posted 10-24-2007 09:57 PM

I am also an impulse wood buyer – in fact I just ordered some Tiger Maple, cause I could:-)). Don’t know what it will become, or should I say what type of box it will become. I’ve worked with bloodwood one time before and was quite pleased with the outcome. It takes a very nice finish.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4396 days

#7 posted 10-24-2007 10:15 PM

Dekker see my workshop . I never buy on impulse. I always have a project in mind. (Ya right) LOL

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3897 days

#8 posted 10-24-2007 11:09 PM

Interesting topic. Oh yes, definitely – buy, scavenge, beachcomb or scrounge – all on impulse. If it looks interesting it’ll eventually end up being made into something. I can’t leave a stunning piece where it is; I might never see anything like it again. As many of you say; the wood will often determine what it’ll end up as. My wife and I have a great understanding. She knits and is exactly the same with yarns. We did an inventory & she has something like 45 miles of wool stashed away! Sshh! she hasn’t suggested I do the same with my wood.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Dekker's profile


147 posts in 3876 days

#9 posted 10-25-2007 12:23 PM

Karson Your “collection” is impressive! But I must say, even more impressive is the fact that you can get work done in your shop! It looks more cluttered than mine!

YorkshireStewart, 45 miles of wool? Why not encourage your wife to do the same with your wood? That would mean you were entitled to 237,600 board-feet of lumber!! (more than Karson!)

-- Dekker -

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3897 days

#10 posted 10-25-2007 03:55 PM

That’s a good way of looking at it Dekker!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3984 days

#11 posted 10-26-2007 01:05 AM

I am always looking for wood. Sometimes you find a piece that talks to you, so you have to buy it.

Wood is unique. Once you find a unique piece you know that you will never find another piece exactly like that one, so you take it home with you.

Even at Lowes or Home Depot I look through the lumber (Douglas fir when I lived in California and Southern Yellow Pine here in Texas). I look for that perfect of quartersawn (or majority quartersawn) piece with a tight grain pattern. You don’t see them too often, but you do, and then you get a real deal.

Sometimes I stand around just looking at my wood collection. Then about six months ago a thought struck me. What the hell am I saving this stuff for. I have to start using it so as not to let the kids have it someday.

So now I am using it up as I come up with new projects.


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4083 days

#12 posted 10-26-2007 01:28 PM

Recipe for spalted maple (from local woodcutter)

Take maple log.
Put in pond for 2.5 years.
Remove from pond.
Mill into slabs of varying thicknesses.
Let dry.

Voila! Spalted maple.

We’ve made some nice bottle stoppers and pens out of his offcuts. Brown, red and black colors mixed together naturally really look cool.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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