The project has grown from one simple table that theoretically could be assembled with just a handsaw, hammer, and nails into a complete dinning room set – table, buffet, chairs, and oh, yes, the china cabinet is now being sketched. Seems like I need some wood.
So I drove across town to eutree. They are a small company that processes and sells “non-forested lumber”. Most of their business is selling wide planked flooring, but they sell a good bit of wood to wood-workers. In the larger Atlanta area there is a good variety of hardwood (mostly oak), and lots of trees that fall in storms or that have been taken out for development. They obtain (some of the tree companies just hand the logs over so they don’t have to chip them) the logs, mill, kiln, and surface the wood. The price is always lower then I have seen anywhere else – if they have have what you want. Plus, you usually deal directly with the owner, Joel. It is in a old frozen food warehouse that is gradually being converted and the building is shared with some welders and metal workers. All the wood is on shelves labeled “frozen lemonade”, “ice cream”. Some of the labels are now crossed out – “frozen corn” lined out with “walnut” scribbled in Sharpie. Finally, you have to go when they are open – by appointment or 2 hours on Saturdays.
So, I had a chat with Joel -
Him – “So… what do you want?”
Me – “Big project, don’t know if it will work, never done anything this big before… good wood…”
Him – “Ok then, cheap… I have a stack of wood over there – $2 a board foot for whatever you find. I need some room”
Me – “Uh, ok?”
The stack was a mix of red and white oak, mostly rift cut. There was a good bit of quarter sawn wood with some nice patterning, but pretty variable in width. There were a few pieces that would have been nice except the mill saw had some wobble and the thickness varies a lot. I took about half the stack. A few times Joel muttered something along the lines of “quarter sawn, nice markings… what was I thinking”. But he said a deal is a deal – and then rounded down all the lengths/widths when we added it all up. Then he tossed a few of the pieces I had said no to onto my stack – mostly pieces that were too heavily figured for me to want for the current project. Oh, and in the mix there was about 3 board feet of oak burl.
Total price – $370.
We loaded it all into my wife’s minivan – of course it would not fit. So I carefully drove across town on back roads with my lumber sticking out the back of the van. Had to stop twice and push it back in when it shifted and started to slide out the back – despite the tie-downs.
There it all is in the garage. The stack looks a lot smaller in the picture. I will pick out about 40BF for a bookshelf and another 20BF for a display stand my wife wants for her gift shop. I should have enough for the buffet and a chair as sort of a proof-of-concept run. Now if only I had some spare time…