Monday, June 02, 2008

The New Acquisition

There was a time when I could calculate board feet of lumber. If push came to shove I could still figure it out with a little effort. Even so, I’m not sure I can do it with this chunk of wood. Instead, I must calculate by weight. It weighs 85 pounds, and I paid $50 for it, so that comes to .59¢ a pound. Not too bad for old-growth, curly redwood…..I guess.

I’m constantly thinking about the cabinets I’m going to build in the dining room next month. I’ve been buying curly and burl redwood off and on for the past few years in preparation for the project. Last week I was looking at the pile of wood haphazardly stacked at one end of the dining room. It is really tough to figure how much wood is there once it is milled down because I’ve never actually done that before. Regardless, I decided it wasn’t enough.

I had purchased a few pieces off Ebay in years past so I headed back to the computer. A quick search brought up a much better selection than I remember seeing in the past. One of the big sellers on there now has an Ebay store and he lives in the next town! This is great because before I was buying from Oregon and Fresno, which means shipping charges, and wood is heavy. The tourist traps that sell it along the highway around here are absurdly expensive, so there is no way I would buy from them.

He had one big piece – the one I bought – that weighed 85 pounds and the auction was ending in 6 hours and had no bids. Just to test the waters I put a bid on $1 over the opening bid. If I got it, great. If not, I would get some idea of what the going rate was. I think due to the size I was the only bidder. I got it for $49.99. Of course, I was able to pick it up, but if I hadn’t, the shipping on it would have been $75. It is a little over 5-feet long and it just barely fit in to the back on my VW GTI.

The wood is great and the grain will be perfect for the face frames. The best part though, is that I now know of a reliable and affordable local source for curly and burl redwood. My fear was that I would get in to this major project – the cabinets will be 8-feet wide and 8-feet high – and not have enough wood. Now, all I need to stress about is making the cabinets, and trust me, there is enough stress there already.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see how you do this with these random chunks of wood, pretty as they are. Won't there be a lot of piecing, or are these for drawer fronts?


Greg said...

I hope to do burl for the draw fronts. This curly redwood will mostly be used for the rails and stiles of the large cabinet doors, and for the face frames.

If you picture a glass front door, the rails and stiles are at most 4-inches wide and 7/8th-inch thick. And then the face frame surrounding the door is made up of wood about the same size.

The boxes that the face frames and doors are attached to will be made out of larger pieces of lesser grade redwood. Still clear, heart wood, but not curly or burl.

Derek said...

I guess you need a bandsaw and planer now. Sounds like a fun project.

Greg said...

Yep, that's pretty much it. Fortunately I have the planer. The question is, do I invest in the bandsaw or try and use my friends for a weekend. I happen to know he likes rum.....