I read Karson’s story with great interest and enjoyed the comments and various stories and fellow Lumberjocks various wood finds that followed.
Karsons’ forum posting inspired me to blog about my experience along with the end results from my own amazing wood find.
I didn’t want to hijack his thread , and elected to write about my own experience with my own blog entry.
I had a friend who had been pestering me to come and look at a pile of maple that he had stored in his garage for over five years.
He wanted to sell it to me cheep because his wife had not been able to park her car in the garage for over five years . She had got very verbal about this and had become very sick and tired of not being able to use their garage.
Besides this fact, she was still mad at him for spending the money to go in with his buddy who long ago lost interest in this wood and the projects their were to build. They had spent a considerable amount of money having the wood milled down and hauled to their garage.
The wood consisted of random lengths and varied thickness from 4/4 to 8/4 plus.
When I ask him how much he had he said “a lot”. He didn’t know for sure but there was a large pile.
I asked him what he had intended to do with the wood. He said sheepishly ” he and his buddy had planed on building some type of special spine board they had invented to lay on that would relieve back pain”.
I said, “oh, I see, how is that working out for you,” trying to be polite.
He said well ” the board will relieve back pain, however it is causing me considerable pain some where else in my body” He then said, ’’I am also tried of my wife chewing on my butt ever time she has to park outside when it is snowing and raining”.
I told him I understood, trying hard to keep from laughing.
I was very busy at the time and never got around to going over to look at the wood. Besides I did very little work with maple and was already short of any extra storage space.
About three months later, I got a panic call from my buddy, “Get over here with your truck right now and load this wood up and get it out of here, please… please… please… he pleaded.
I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was dead serious.
I asked him why the urgency?
He got quiet, and confessed his wife had moved out last night. She had moved back to her mother’s house and would not be coming home until he got rid of the wood that was piled out of the garage.
At the time he called, I was working on a remodel project in the basement of one of my helpers home and answered my phone pressing the speaker phone button because I had my hands full of glue from laying carpet.
My helper who also was the owner of the house I was working on was listening to the conservation I was having with my buddy, and begin broadcast over the speaker phone.
He chimed in sarcastically and said ” did you tell your wife, soon to e x-wife to enjoy her stay at her mothers place and when you got around to it you would drop off all here garage sale items that are cluttering up the rest of the garage that was soon to become his new workshop so he can use up all the the lumber that is stored in the garage to build several projects”.
I cringed, however thought I secretly thought the comment was funny, trying hard not to show that.
There was a pause on the other end of the phone, followed by “that won’t work , she would get all my tools in the divorce anyways”.
Ouch, I thought that was kind of harsh, but I understood his logic and knew my buddies wife well enough that and let’s just say she was a challenge and my helpers suggestion wasn’t that out of line.
I told him I would be over in a half hour with my ¾ ton full box pickup.
Several overflowing pickup truck trips later of lumber we unloaded all the wood in my stain shop located in the back of my wood shop. The pile was four foot high and eight foot wide and had random pieces from 12 to 18 foot long.
In this pile, I found approximately 500 board feet of spalted maple in pristine condition.
(For those who are not familiar with what spalted maple is the result of activity by the white rot fungi. This activity takes place when the temperature and moisture conditions are idea)
The result of this natural fungus process produces a exotic species of maple that is very sought after by various woodworkers. This exotic wood is especially sought after by master woodworks who use it for building special projects such as Spalted Maple Acoustic-Electric Guitars (Natural) to name just one of the many uses and possibilities.
This wood commands top dollar, and must be handled with care because of the nature of the fungi.
I have built several pieces of specialty furniture in addition to a commissioned bookend matching project. This project was Greene and Greene period inspired bench.
For those interested in a brief history of the famous Greene’s brothers here is a short blog wrote previously.
One of these pieces has ended up in the local historical society of Minnesota. The curator of the historical society lives close to me and has followed my work over the years. She suggested and asked if I would consider donating one of the pieces.
I did thinking so they would use the piece for a bench to sit on, perhaps in the entry way of the building.
To my surprise, it is displayed in the museum.
As far as my buddy’s wife, she is still living with her mother.
I made it right with my buddy after I found out what he had in that pile.
He now has a new workshop, and is enjoying his woodworking as his favorite hobby to this day.
The full blog entry detailing this project is here if interested.