A gift from Uncle Earle
In late 2009, while packing up Aunt Verona’s (Diane’s sister) farmhouse in rural New Brunswick, I stumbled across 150 bd feet (mostly 4/4 and some 6/4 boards) of stickered Black Cherry in the damp cellar. It turns out that uncle Earle (Verona’s late husband) had been storing this wood for a purpose unknown to anyone. Cherry doesn’t grow in abundance in this part of the world so I am not sure where he got this wood. He was however in the lumber trade business and operated a portable sawmill years ago according to various family members.
Once I inspected the wood, there was about 120 bd feet of usable cherry by my calculations. The remaining 30 feet was molded badly, presumably due to years of storage in the damp cellar.
After settling on a purchase price with the family, the wood was re-located to my house and stored in my basement for the next 6 months next to a dehumidifier. This coincided with the kitchen reno discussions Diane and I were in the midst of. I figured there would be enough cherry to at least get a good start on the raised panel doors and drawer fronts.
I was able to get the 4/4 wood down to approximately 8% MC by spring 2010. From what I read, this is a stable enough MC level to start milling parts for doors, cabinet end-panels and drawer fronts like these ones:
Comments were made that Uncle Earle would’ve been happy to know that someone in the family was putting this wood to good use creating a nice sentimental feeling as I worked with this wood.
Another 120 bd feet of kiln dried cherry would be purchased from a local lumberyard in the summer of 2010 – hopefully enough to finish the whole kitchen. I’ll be sure not to mix the air dried cherry with the kiln dried cherry!
-- Jon in Canada. Favorite coffee mug reads: "I never repeat gossip...so listen carefully"