Monday, October 17, 2011
I've been on the search for lumber for my prototype chair, Ash was my original intention. It seems Ash is quite lacking in "the market" which is a bit of a surprise to me typically seeing it abundant. Walnut is low too. Really, there is just a general lull in wood it seems.
What little Ash I found at one commercial supplier was inadequate, even for their typical less than stellar stock. The other commercial supplier had none in 6/4 or 8/4. Small piles of Walnut at these locations riddled with knots and defects for $8-$9 per bd/ft.
Called the small sawyers I've worked with before to answering machines or poor news for my quest.
Today I went to another place I've been in contact with before. My hopes were high.
Turns out we speak a little of a different language.
I've never quite seen the kind of array before. There was Ash and there was Walnut, but it was either in the form of the flattest sawn pieces I've ever seen or perfectly quarter sawn. These must of come from sizable logs!
"There's no market for that kind [rift] of stuff."
This kind of statement gets to me a little. I realize that I am a bit of a small nook of a current market but the beauty of rift type lumber has been utilized by fine craftspeople for well more than a hundred years.
Particularly here, the chaotic flat sawn and heavily bias quarter material is used all over. Even so, I have yet to meet the furniture maker that once they see and understand the flow, grace, and cohesion of well cut material, want to go back to the current "standard".
This doesn't mean that rift is the only way to go. Not only would that be wasteful but there is a time and place for all cuts.
Maybe I'm overly sensitive, or just crazy, I don't know ha.
There just happened to be a small collection of 6/4 rift sawn "sticks" of Oak 3.5"-5" wide. All from the same tree I'm told though I have some doubts. I assume these were cut off in the quartering process. Not normally the kind of thing I'm looking for but for this application it works out quite well. I would normally be cutting these bits from the edges of "flat sawn" lumber.
In this way there is definitely less waste involved especially since in this project I can work in 6/4 lumber. So, my cost was a bit lower than normally anticipated for Oak.
Oak is not the friendliest species to work with but I'm looking forward to digging into some work again.
Looks like I will have to rethink the upholstery choices again heh.