I work as a design engineer and every once in a while someone will build a mockup at home and bring it in to illustrate a point they are trying to make about a design. The other day someone came in with a crudely made wooden mockup made up of what looked like poplar stained to look like walnut. Knowing that people use poplar as a walnut look-a-like and thinking to myself that it seemed like a lot of trouble to go through for a mockup that didn’t even have tight fitting or square joints, I approached my co-worker to find out what the deal was.
Me: “Why did you bother staining that poplar to look like walnut for a crude mockup? Seems like a lot of trouble to go through.”
Him: “No trouble at all. I didn’t stain it, I just used walnut.”
It turns out that he has a pizza oven in his back yard and uses scrap walnut, oak, and other hardwoods that he gets for free from a friend who runs a cabinet shop to fuel the oven. Apparently, hardwood works great because it burns hotter and leaves nice hot coals afterwards. The pieces look like they were all jointed and planed and S4S for a project and looked like they were about the right size for a face frame.
After expressing how much it pained me to hear all of that because not only is the wood he burns expensive but I have also been wishing I could get my hands on some to make projects out of he kind of chuckled in amusement and later offered to bring in a few of the larger pieces for me to find something to do with. The pieces he used would have been perfect for some custom frames I need to make.
So today I learned that people use nice wood for lots of things besides building stuff out of.
I also learned that I need to find some better friends.
-- Good Judgement Comes From Experience. Experience Comes From Bad Judgement.