Purging the Lumber Rack
Woodworkers naturally have the hoarding instinct and this must be kept in check with strict discipline. The lumber rack has been gathering leftover material and unique pieces of wood for years with little culling to insure the quality of the collection.
I cleared three small shelves first and gave a good stack of wood away to a local LumberJock member. He got a Porter Cable dovetail jig for Christmas and this will keep him busy with making boxes. I had the wood bundled and ready to go for a quick pickup, but while he was loading it up I was unloading more shelves saying, “Get it out of here!”
The dust that has collected over the years is extremely fine. I have been using the shop vac on each board as I pull it out to collect the dust before it gets disturbed. This is horrible stuff to breathe in and I probably should have just worn a mask, but this method did not generate any dust nor did it elicit nary a cough.
I was really getting into the cleaning action.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
It is amazing how many pieces of wood evoked clear memories of projects past. Some had a specific angle cut, measurement, or drawing on them and I could recall what I was thinking and doing the moment I made the those marks or that cut.
I also found some treasures that had been forgotten. Like the stash of white oak that my brother had shared with me. Some of it has spalted figure. There is not enough even spalting for a large project but perhaps a small Krenov influenced cabinet.
I have some reclaimed doug fir that had a previous life as a cross arm on an electric pole.
I took consideration of the zebra wood that I picked up in Ohio. I got a smokin’ deal compared to what I pay here in Billings. As I recall it was only $8bf compared to the local price of $18bf at the time.
After taking an inventory of the lumber I started putting the keepers back on the shelves. The goal is to not have anything on the floor except material for projects that I am currently working on – not 4 months ago.
Another goal is to use more discipline in what I allow myself to store. I have a difficult time letting wood go because I know the potential uses for each piece, but as a business, material is constantly flowing through the shop. I have come to realize that for the most part, most of it is fairly unremarkable and can be purchased when needed. It costs me money to allow overflowing material to slow down my operation.
Nothing is going to waste here, it can either be passed on to another woodworker for their enjoyment, or we can file it in the wood stove to collect the heat value from it.
Share the Love~Share the Excess Wood
-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com