I have decide to turn only reclaimed, American woods.
I’m doing this for several reasons:
1) There are trees that we pass, and largely ignore, everyday. Turning this wood gives me a chance to reintroduce myself and others to to this amazing world. I love the outdoors, and I go hiking, exploring, and “wood hunting” with my son quite often. I want to be able to point to a tree and tell him what it is. But as I’ve started trying to identify the species of wood that I’m turning, I’ve found just how ignorant I am of what trees grow in my neck of the woods. I would guess that most people can readily identify a Maple or Oak by leaf shape in the summer. But I’d guess that most people couldn’t tell you what kind of maple or Oak it is. And never mind the other types of trees! Forget about identifying a tree in the winter! I thought I could just take a piece of bark and find a match on the web. Who knew that different trees have identical bark? And who knew that the look of a tree’s bark may change dramatically as it matures? I have learned so much and hope to share this knowledge.
2) I get to breathe new life into something that would otherwise rot away. I am forever amazed at the beauty locked away in a tree. I thought I’d have to buy exotics to get interesting grain patterns and colors. How wrong I was!
3) The wood is all around me! I started this venture with a rotting tree in my back yard. The wood I’ve been using is free, barring the effort and money I put into milling it with my chain saw. And, as I am a bit of a purist, I enjoy taking a hunk of log from natural state to finished product.
4) It’s a relatively green endeavor. The trees are already down, so I’m not destroying a tree just to get at the wood. And I have found a local mulch company that will take my clean wood scraps and sawdust that I don’t consume. In the winter I can give the wood to friends and neighbors who have wood burning stoves.
5) It seems that in the US, we are producing less and less. I want to create something that I can hold in my hand at the end of the day, and hopefull sell to others as a piece of American art, made in America, by an American, from American materials.
-- Andrew, Orange County, CA - www.TransitionTurning.com