Video: Tips on Buying Great Hardwood Lumber

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Blog entry by Keith Cruickshank posted 09-24-2008 04:56 AM 9980 reads 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished editing my most recent video—this one featuring Boston-based furniture maker John Fox. I was fortunate to be able to capture this unique, inside look at his wood selection process. (5 Minute Video)

Video Link Here:

John Reed Fox: How a Master Artisan Selects Wood

In this video, I was able to film master furniture maker John Fox collaborate with fine-hardwood dealers, Rick and Brian Hearne, as he searches from among Hearne Hardwood’s 1,000,000 board feet of top-grade hardwoods. The goal for Mr. Fox’s 700 mile buying trip: the perfect set of walnut boards. It’s John’s critical first step in crafting the highest-grade heirloom furniture. I hope you enjoy. Keith

My other videos from this road-trip that might interest you:

How to evaluate and select wood at a lumberyard
The definition of plain, rift, and quarter sawn boards
The art of air drying beautiful and stable lumber
Hardwood dealer Rick Hearne never tires of hidden beauty in rare logs

-- Keith Cruickshank, - on-demand woodworking videos

12 comments so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4300 days

#1 posted 09-24-2008 01:20 PM


A great video, I just bookmarked your site.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Keith Cruickshank's profile

Keith Cruickshank

41 posts in 3645 days

#2 posted 09-24-2008 01:50 PM

Hi Dick: Thanks for watching. The videos take tons of time to produce so when you enjoy them, that means a lot. BTW, I noticed that you like rustic furniture. I’m profiling a wood artist in an upcoming series of videos on a guy who has been making willow furniture for over 25 years. So I hope you catch that.

-- Keith Cruickshank, - on-demand woodworking videos

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3628 days

#3 posted 09-24-2008 04:07 PM

Another nice video. Always appreciated, thanks.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View ryno101's profile


388 posts in 3665 days

#4 posted 09-24-2008 06:27 PM

Excellent… thanks!

Watch where you’re driving there!!! In the first segment, I was cringing, waiting for the inevitable camera jolt as you ran into the massive pile of walnut I was picturing off screen to the right…

Kidding, of course. Thanks, I always appreciate your videos, I’m a fan.

-- Ryno

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4078 days

#5 posted 09-25-2008 12:18 AM

Wow. What an interesting video. It was like I was watching something on tv. Great production Keith.

-- BLOG -

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4078 days

#6 posted 09-25-2008 12:27 AM

Keith . . . I’m having trouble watching the video on evaluating and selecting wood. I upgraded my flash player, but no go. Is there anything wrong on your end?

-- BLOG -

View Keith Cruickshank's profile

Keith Cruickshank

41 posts in 3645 days

#7 posted 09-25-2008 12:47 AM

Zuki: I tweeked something. Please try it now. If others are having trouble, I’ll be able to assist more quickly if you contact me via this web form:—You can contact me directly at that page, plus there are also tips on troubleshooting and things to check on your computer too.

-- Keith Cruickshank, - on-demand woodworking videos

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4401 days

#8 posted 09-25-2008 02:22 AM

Thanks for the videos. Great. I keep asking Lee jesberger to meet me and lets take a tour of Rick’s place. Lee is across the river from Philadelphia. and I live in Lower/Slower Delaware.

I had trouble with cutting of the burl log. I used Foxfire and it worked, but the upgrade to Flash didn’t solve my problem on IE.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Keith Cruickshank's profile

Keith Cruickshank

41 posts in 3645 days

#9 posted 09-25-2008 02:34 AM

Karson: If you get the chance, do take a trip over there to the Hearne yard. You’ll be in for a real treat if they are cutting a special log that day. Rick and the gang love it when visitors show interest in what they are doing. I’ve never been to a lumber yard where there is so much passion for wood. Rick is really wood-crazy – and I mean that in the nicest way. I had a blast during my visit (which was several days of filming).

-- Keith Cruickshank, - on-demand woodworking videos

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3713 days

#10 posted 09-25-2008 10:22 PM

Great videos, thank you for creating them and then distributing them for free. I am sure I will learn a lot from them.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4078 days

#11 posted 09-25-2008 10:30 PM

Its working now. I will take a peek at it later this evening. Tks

-- BLOG -

View WoodMosaics's profile


111 posts in 3533 days

#12 posted 09-26-2008 07:36 PM

Very nice.

-- It’s not so much what we know that causes the trouble, it’s what we know that’s not so.

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