OK, OK. I know it’s rude to gloat – I get it. B-b-but this is just too good, and of course none of my friends or coworkers in the mundane world “get it”.
I’ve been moving more and more towards hand tools, and I’ve become dissatisfied with my current workbench (too high, to light, etc). So, I decided that “soon” I’ll build myself a nice Roubo. I really didn’t think I’d get to starting on it until spring, but yesterday a CraigsList posting caught my eye:
Rough sawn lumber for sale:
11”w, 5”t, 8’ long – 5 pieces @$30 each.
Did I read that right? 5” thick? I think I see a split benchtop with no laminating! Cool!
I drove out to meet the guy, and got a litte back story – the boards were all cut from the same tree – in 1994, and have been stored beside his house. They were stickered and covered with a tarp and roofing shingles. He had painted the ends. Looking at them, they were almost black – I couldn’t even tell for sure what species they were. Still, at $30 each, how could I lose – besides, it was going to be a workbench, not fine furniture. The guy said he thought the tree was “silver oak”. Never heard of it. No matter, oak is oak.
Some back strain later, I managed to manhandle them into my shop and lay them out. Curiosity got the better of me, so I took out my rough-n-ready #6 plane and took a couple of swipes at one of the faces.
Uh oh. Looks like I might have some worminess – at least that was my first thought. My second thought made me sit down. It’s quarter sawn white oak. Air dried. No checks. A couple of knotts on one end of one board. I looked at the grain on the ends of the other boards – 4 out of the 5 are quartersawn. I’ve been reading the forums and magazines long enough to see several stories like this one, but “I never thought it would happen to me.” Hmmmm – isn’t that the tag line for a different “Forum” DAMHIKT?
So, now I will have to try again for workbench material – I’m sure that I would be lynched, excommunicated, or just get my butt kicked if I were to use this beautiful stuff for my workbench. I see several Arts and Crafts projects in my future.
Thanks for listening (reading) – I’m very excited, and can’t wait to start a project with this stuff.
Here’s a link to a couple of pics – can’t figure out how to embed – I don’t use flicker, but Apple’s me.com/mobileme. If anyone can point me to a “howto”, I’d appreciate it.
-- To do is to be