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Wood Sourcing

Some Local Claro Walnut

Some Local Claro Walnut

Northern California has its own species of black walnut, Juglans hindsii, which is commonly called claro walnut. It's noteworthy in its own right, but also because it is frequently used as rootstock for English walnut. Claro walnut grows mainly in northern California,...

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Repurposing Rosewood

Repurposing Rosewood

A pair of repurposed rosewood benches that we made about a year ago have found a new home. At the end of 2019, at the dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic, I got the idea for these benches from some old Amazon rosewood given to me by a Napa friend, who happens to share my...

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A Token of the Live Oak Tree

A Token of the Live Oak Tree

In July 2014 I returned from a backpacking vacation to find a telephone message from an engineer I know who designs vineyards for a living.  He wanted to tell me about this California coast live oak tree, which was in the way of a new vineyard project south of the...

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Oak Woodland Table

Oak Woodland Table

At an Oakland lumber yard several years ago, Evelyn and I ran across a pair of California native valley oak boards that offered vivid evidence that wood is, after all, biodegradable.  They showed the dramatic effect of fungal decay, not a usual sight in a commercial...

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The Live Oak Tree Revisited

The Live Oak Tree Revisited

I wrote about this live oak tree in 2014.  I found out from a local engineer working on a project near Napa that this very striking tree was coming out to make way for a new vineyard, and he thought I might be able to use the wood.  The base of the tree seemed like...

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Plugging a Bolt Hole

Plugging a Bolt Hole

I'm looking at a bolt hole in a piece of old growth redwood. This wood was recycled out of an old bridge somewhere in Northern California and was expensive when I bought it several years ago. The bolt hole is 3/4" across, with the surrounding area heavily blackened...

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Nature

Nature

I frequently make tables out of slabs of wood. When slabs are cut from a log, the long edges typically have an irregular curved shape, showing where the edge of the log was. Those irregular edges are something special, since they remind you of the living tree that the...

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What is Craft, Anyway?

What is Craft, Anyway?

The activity of making furniture or other useful objects of wood on a small scale, like other activities usually thought of as craft, has a strong feeling of tradition associated with it. Ever since John Ruskin, such activities have basked in an aura of pre-capitalist...

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Artist’s Statement

Artist’s Statement

At the request of a reader, here is the Artist's Statement referred to in the last post. I always start with the material. My wood comes from a variety of sources, including commercially milled hardwoods available from a regional dealer, preferably from certified...

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The Live Oak Tree

The Live Oak Tree

On returning from vacation in July I found a phone message from Jim Bushey, a local engineer working on a project near Napa, who wanted to show me a tree.  It was coming out to make way for a new vineyard, and he thought I might be able to use the wood.  The base of...

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The Tabletop

The Tabletop

Evelyn and I were at a local hardwood lumber dealer’s, looking at some two-inch cherry for a dining table I was making.  Contrary to what they told me on the phone, they did not have hundreds of board feet of it, but only a hundred fifty board feet or so – not much...

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