So I drove over to my local lumber supplier yesterday to take a look at some wormy soft maple they have on-special this month, as well as to see if they had any unadvertised specials or cutoffs, etc.
I didn’t end up picking up any of the wormy soft maple, but may do so sometime in the next couple of weeks.
I did pick up some 1/2” walnut pieces they had marked 50% off, as well as 29LF of riftsawn/quartersawn white oak trim “mill over-runs” at $0.29/Lf that I will probably end up using on the bookcase and mantel project I will finally be tackling soon. I simply could not pass that up and would’ve taken more if they’d have had anymore. They had some straight sawn oak too, but that didn’t interest me.
When I go to this supplier, I always make it a habit to look through their small piece/cutoff bin (whatever you want to call it). They just raised the price to $0.50/BF for this stuff… it had been $0.25/BF. I found 2-pieces of some 4/4 quartersawn red oak that were each about 12”x12”. Both pieces had some nice flecking on part of each board, so I thought I could probably afford $1 for these 2-boards.
I went to checkout and everything ended up being a touch over $30, with $20 of that being for the walnut.
There was a gentleman checking out at the same time that certainly didn’t appear to be a contractor, like most of the other guys in there at the time. He was dressed in a button down shirt and slacks. He had a piece of paper with some figures on it and was very meticulously looking through the stack of sugar pine. I thought to myself that he must be a woodworker.
As I went out to the Jeep to load my haul for the day, the guy was parked right next to me and was busy loading a decent take of sugar pine into his SUV. I took my lumber off the cart and stacked it against and on top of the Jeep. He was almost done loading so I stopped what I was doing and struck up a conversation with him.
I asked him upfront if he was a woodworker, to which he replied, yes, for about 30-years now. I gave him my name and he said his name was Barry. I told him I had recently taken up woodworking. He asked what I was going to make with the wood I had purchasedvand I said, nothing in particular, I just couldn’t pass up the wood.
He told me he was working on a crib and probably changing table/dresser for his daughter who will be having his first grandchild soon. He said she had seen the Pottery Barn rendition and really liked it and that he was able to find the exact plans online.
I asked him if he was familiar with LumberJocks and he said no. I encouraged him to check it out and told him it was an excellent website, with all levels of individuals on it, with lots of projects, ideas, etc. He grabbed a piece of paper and wrote it down.
We didn’t chat much longer as I had to get home and get ready to go to work. And it always seems that when I go to the lumber supply store, I spend more time than I should. With that being said, I lifted the rear access door to the Jeep and began loading the wood in as fast as I could. I got the walnut down, then laid the oak trim on top of that since it was longer. Satisfied it was secure, I shut the door until it contacted the longer piece of oak trim hanging out, jumped in the Jeep, fastened my seatbelt and headed for home.
Now this particular lumber supply store is only about 10-minutes from my house. However, it’s located in an industrial area with some pretty severe railroad crossings, in addition to the highway flyover bridge with all it’s expansion joints, etc. so you have to be careful not to upset your load of wood on the way home.
Being in a hurry to get home and get to work on time, I did go slowly over the railroad tracks, but once on the highway, opened the throttle up to 65mph, and kept up with the rest of the fast lane traffic.
I pulled up to the house to begin unloading everything and when I got out, low and behold, there sat the 2-pieces of 4/4-oak right where I had left them, on top of the rear of the Jeep, propped against the rear roof rack rail.
They hadn’t moved an inch!
Call it gravity, call it downforce from 65mph road speeds, or call it what I call it: glad to not have thrown my $1-find into the middle of the highway, due to my carelessness and being in a hurry.
Or, just call it funny (since it didn’t hurt anbody or anything)!
-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."