Category Archives: Woodworking Thoughts

Old-growth, Belize-river-salvaged Honduras Mahogany

Working an edge, with Leg Vise and Grammercy holdfast in right leg.
Working an edge, with Leg Vise and Grammercy holdfast in right leg.

Several years ago I acquired two planks from Greener Lumber, LLC. Honduras Mahogany (Swetenia  macrophylia). Rich Petty of Greener Lumber salvages H. Mahogany from rivers in Belize along with a few other species. These logs were cut down between 150-180 years ago, then floated down the river to ocean-going ships bound for England to supply highly prized material for high-end furniture. Many of those logs sank either on their journey or while in holding spots near the coast. Being plentiful at the time, this was just a cost of doing business. Today, with the scarcity of genuine H. Mahogany it is compelling to salvage those sunken logs.

Computer desk from plank in 2012.
Computer desk from plank in 2012.

Rich has several videos of the history, salvage operation and gallery of creations using this precious material at: www.greenerlumber.com/?page_id=13. One video in particular has photos of projects I have made along with other talented woodworkers and artists. See link with Tom’s work.

These particular boards (from the same log) feature very interesting figure, but the highlight is the bend. This bend must have resulted from an event early in the tree’s life because the grain flows nicely following the bend. This is opposed to a later-in-life event which would show more fractures in the grain flow.

Four years ago I built a computer desk using on of those planks. The second plank has remained in raw form awaiting the perfect project. Being such a unique piece I was somewhat reluctant to cut into it.

Belize treasures delivered this afternoon. What will the boy do to honor this H. Mahogany?
Belize treasures delivered this afternoon. What will the boy do to honor this H. Mahogany?

In a future post I will give a bit of my own history with Greener Lumber’s material as well as a bit more about Greener Lumber’s work. Rich Petty is the hero of that story. Actually, he has to share the stage with the lumber itself.

I recently contacted Rich to see if he had a short piece of material a bit wider than shown in his online store gallery for a potential build. He wrote back with an offer too good to refuse. Godfather Rich offered the three remaining planks from that bent log. A very excited, “YES!” was my reply. They arrived today. One of the planks had almost split in two at the bend so we cut it into some nice segments. The other two twelve-foot planks were cut in half for easier and less costly shipping and handling.

What you see in the gallery below are of the material received. I am super excited to add them to my inspirational inventory along with the existing plank. Thanks for sharing in my excitement.

 

 

 

Messing around the shop

Turmoil on Mahogany and Walnut
Turmoil on Mahogany and Walnut

While recovering from shoulder surgery I’ve been messing around the shop. Early this year Benchcrafted shared a post, “Why You Should Be Using Tru-Oil,” http://benchcrafted.blogspot.com/2015/01/why-you-should-be-using-tru-oil.html. I decided to give it a try on some sample boards of Walnut and Mahogany.

Tru-Oil on Walnut
Tru-Oil on Walnut

It was an enjoyable process. These images do not really tell much of a story. A nice thin finish which features the wood. Not sure how I feel about it regarding touch, compared to my usual rubbed oil-varnish mixture. Sample boards have value. In this case it allows me to decide, “yes, it is worth trying.” But it is not enough to pass judgement beyond that. [These sample boards are before final buffing to knock back the sheen a bit.]

Next step will be to try it on v2.0 of my Wharton Esherick style music stand. That will give me a better real-life side-by-side.

Upcoming Guild Project

Display Stand 2013
Display Stand 2013

The Wood Whisperer Guild (subscription-based) produces three or four projects a year which include extensive plans and step-by-step videos released weekly over a couple of months. Host and producer, Marc Spagnuolo, has a style of presentation which I find a most enjoyable way to deepen my understanding of tools, techniques and process.

The Roubo Workbench is the only Guild Build that I’ve created, but I have been a member since day one. In most projects Marc offers suggestions for other approaches and options for personalizing the design.

This fall, Marc will be creating a Krenov-inspired display stand based on one I made in 2013. It will be interesting to see how he interprets this form.
To read more about this Guild Build go to:
http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/announcements/build-the-krenov-inspired-display-stand/

Below are some photos of my 2013 build.

 

 

A New Logo Is Born

My talented friend, woodworker and blogger, Marilyn Guthrie, made a brave post showing a proposed new logo and asking for comments. Having dabbled in typography and the design world for many years, I added my two cents. She received numerous other constructive criticisms, suggestions and encouragements.

After seeing her round two version, I decided to return to her initial attempt and make some refinements. She liked it and it is now the official logo.

http://sheworkswood.com/2014/08/21/and-the-winner-is/

You may wish to subscribe to her blog if you enjoy examples of hand tools in operation, presented in an inspiring manner. I am a sucker for good photography and people indulging in their creative passions. I am a fan.

She Works Wood
She Works Wood