Big Wood Slab Sale/Moving Sale

When:

  • September 29-30, 10 am – 4 pm
  • Sunday October 1 by appointment only

Where: 1114 Barberry Place, Port Moody, BC… wood shed around the right side

Wood Slabs for Sale!

I gave up some shop space when I moved, but the real loss was wood storage space. With only limited wood storage, I brought with me the material I needed. The rest – about 1500 board feet – stayed behind. Now it’s time for it to move, too.

I don’t have space to store it, and I’m not going to pay for storage fees, so I’m selling it.

Benefits of Buying from Me Instead of from a Commercial Lumberyard

Of course, you’re supporting me and helping me clear out surplus material, but there are many benefits for you as well.

Fully Air-Dried and Ready to Use

All of the wood has been air-dried for at least five years and is stored in a dry environment, so it is ready to be used. If you’re not familiar with working air-dried wood, I think you’ll find it to be a treat. The drying process has not been rushed, so there is less tension in the wood. This means less risk of warping in the future. Air-dried wood also feels less brittle. It cuts smoother, and this is particularly evident if using hand tools.

Two Live Edges Intact for Unlimited Possibilities!

Since much of my work revolves around the natural characteristics of wood, I have been careful to preserve the live edges. Whether you are making a dining or coffee table, mantel, headboard, or chopsticks, you will have the option to leave the bark intact, remove the outer bark only, or cut off the entire live edge for uniform lumber. The slabs have been moved and stored either on end or flat, but never on edge.

I Saw the Whole Tree, Through and Through!

My inventory consists of sets of slabs that together comprise an entire tree. This is useful because it makes matching grain and colour easy. This means that you can bookmatch two sequential boards for perfect continuity without resawing and losing thickness, or ensure all the drawer fronts look consistent. This also means that you’ll find beautiful flatsawn grain patterns, riftsawn wood for straight-grained legs, and quartersawn wood for a straight-grained look and stability.

Plus, you’ll find some nice wide slabs, perfect for table tops.

Domestic Hardwoods, Sustainably Harvested

This wood is from BC trees. Many of the species are not commercially available or easy to find. I helped mill much of it, and have worked with all of them and can share my experiences.

Please come by to have a look. Cash preferred, but I can also accept credit cards. Sorry – no debit. Delivery can be arranged if required.

Want to know what goes into milling logs? Click here to read about one day of milling.

Butternut – it Carves like Butter with a Hot Knife

The latest addition to my catalog of air-dried slabs for sale is butternut (Juglans cinerea). A relative to the highly sought-after black walnut, butternut shares the same grain patterns but the colour is lighter – similar to the shades of bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum).

Butternut is also lighter in weight and softer than black walnut, making it an ideal wood for working with hand tools and is popular for carvings. Other common uses include furniture and boxes. It is an ideal material to use for a sculpted/carved panel, contrasting with a comparatively simple frame. It is also ideal for chair seats for the same reasons pine is the traditional seat material in a windsor chair.

It works well with both hand and power tools and glues and finishes well. Butternut is a great wood to work with – especially for beginners.

The seat of my workshop stool is made of butternut. The legs are bigleaf maple.

Butternut Stool Seat

I made the structural members and panel of this headboard out of butternut, and finished it with orange shellac.

Construction of the Butternut Headboard

See my catalog of air-dried wood slabs for sale here.

Flattening Big Pieces of Wood

One of the most common questions I am asked is how I flatten the large pieces of wood I often use in my work.  This table top, for example, is approximately 45 inches wide and 96 inches long.

Relationship Study

Relationship Study

Machinery is Not the Answer

Perhaps one of the quickest ways to surface a board is to feed it through a thickness planer which removes material from the top.  The bottom of the board rests on the bed and the cutterhead above removes material until the board is of an even thickness.  However, the thickness planer is ineffective at making material flat unless the bottom is already flat.

Thickness Planer

Thickness Planer

When flat is the objective, the jointer is the answer.  This machine specializes in making one face flat, and one adjacent edge straight, flat and square to the face.  The board is slid across the flat tables and over the cutterhead between them.  Although you can establish four flat surfaces with a jointer, they likely will not be parallel.  The jointer and thickness planer need to work as a team to produce flat material that is even in thickness.

Jointer

Jointer

Another drawback of machinery is capacity.  To thickness the top of Relationship Study, I would have needed machinery with 48″ of capacity.  Most woodworkers have never seen a thickness planer that size, and I’m not even sure that a jointer that size even exists.  Machines also require the material to be brought to them and handling large pieces of wood gets tiresome quickly.

Hand-Held Tools Have No Limits

Unlike the jointer and thickness planer, hand-held surfacing tools have no capacity limits (but to require more skill and stamina).

When I am faced with a lot of material that needs to be removed, especially over a large area, I start with my power planer.  This one is made for large-scale work and is capable of taking a cut wider than many small-shop jointers.  It has a long sole which helps ensure that it leaves a flat surface.

Power Planer

Power Planer

After having done the preliminary flattening with the power planer, I use hand planes to refine the surface, removing any ridges or tearout.  I start with a long plane equipped with a convex blade which allows me to work fairly quickly, then I progress to a shorter plane with a straighter blade for a more even surface.

Hand Plane

Hand Plane

To get the second face parallel, if required, I use a cutting gauge or combination square with a pencil to mark the desired thickness on the edges.  Then I turn over the material and plane down to those lines.  It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s all worth it in the end.  It’s also a great fitness regime.

Pencil, Sliding Double Square, and Cutting Gauge

Pencil, Sliding Double Square, and Cutting Gauge

Hand-held tools, while not always as efficient as machinery, allow me to work with any size and shape of material I choose.  If I were to limit myself to working with material that I could surface with machinery, my work would look very different.

Machinery has its place, but so do hand-held tools.

Maple Trestle Table, Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs; and
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop for a few hours this evening. #flairww -8:08 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used pinch dogs to clamp the two slabs together. #flairww -8:09 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Pinch dogs pull the two pieces together as they are driven into the end grain with a hammer. #flairww -8:10 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because of the curved edges, it is difficult to clamp the two parts together. Pinch dogs work great. #flairww -8:13 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Another strategy is to clamp something against which the clamp can register. #flairww -8:15 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s another variation of that technique. #flairww -8:16 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Tonight will probably be mostly thinking, planning and laying out so tomorrow will be productive. #flairww -8:19 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks The stretcher is longer than I want it to be for this table.#flairww -8:21 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll probably cut it around where the pencil lays. It’s about 2″ past the end of the split. #flairww -8:24 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I align my long straight edge corner to corner and scribe alongside it with a pencil. #flairww -8:28 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my drawing bow to lay out one potential shape of the table’s end. #flairww -8:49 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Another way to clamp non-parallel edges is to make them parallel. Either cut notches or use wedges. #flairww -9:00 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks These are my three ideas for how to trim the ends. I don’t really like #1. Any thoughts? #flairww -9:22 PM Apr 21st, 2012

atully1 @FlairWoodworks I like #3 -9:23 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks for the feedback. Anyone else? #flairww RT @atully1:@FlairWoodworks I like 3 -9:25 PM Apr 21st, 2012

atully1:@FlairWoodworks I think keeping it straight keeps it unique. -9:30 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks It also gives it some balance. #flairww RT @atully1:@FlairWoodworks I think keeping it straight keeps it unique. -9:30 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm… I wish this cavity wasn’t here… #flairww -9:34 PM Apr 21st, 2012

sharpendwood:@FlairWoodworks I like #1. Or maybe something in between 1&2. -9:36 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want to figure out how wide to make the feet. #flairww -9:38 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks 1.5? Higher? Lower? #flairww RT @sharpendwood:@FlairWoodworks I like #1. Or maybe something in between 1&2. -9:39 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks The centreline of the table is about 2″ to the left of the corner-to-corner line of the void at one end… #flairww -9:46 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks … and 1.5″ to the right on the other end. #flairww -9:47 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since the distance is not too great and they are on opposite sides, I feel comfortable positioning the stretcher on centre. #flairww -9:48 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I think the trestle table’s base will comprise of two legs with wide feet at the bottom and a stretcher between them. #flairww -9:52 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Where the feet will be positioned, the table is about 3′ wide. The table is 45″ across at the widest point. #flairww -9:54 PM Apr 21st, 2012

MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks Try to echo the inner edge with the outer? hard to tell from that photo -9:57 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t have enough length to do that. #flairww RT@MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks Try to echo the inner edge with the outer? -9:59 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve laid out the size of 24″, 26″, and 28″ wide feet. 28″ seems too wide here. #flairww -10:15 PM Apr 21st, 2012

sharpendwood @FlairWoodworks I like the shape 1 creates. Maybe just a little more arc to the curve? -10:18 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks @sharpendwood What do you think of curve 1.5? #flairww-10:21 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to begin fairing this edge. To make it easier, I’m only going to do the top 1/4″ or so… #flairww -10:38 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks … then I’ll use my router with a template bit to get the whole thickness of the edge to flow. #flairww -10:38 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Both curves are now faired. I’m going to stop there for the night and move on to other work. #flairww -10:50 PM Apr 21st, 2012

sharpendwood @FlairWoodworks Tough. I still think 1 is the way I’d go. #flairww -10:55 PM Apr 21st, 2012

McPhersonDoug @FlairWoodworks hey Chris. Did you buy those slabs kiln or air dried? How much do you have to think about moisture content? -4:57 AM Apr 22nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @McPhersonDoug I got the wood green and air-dried it myself. If doing joinery, it is important to know if the wood is stabilized.#flairww -7:29 AM Apr 22nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @McPhersonDoug The exact number is less important than knowing whether or not the wood has stabilized. #flairww -7:30 AM Apr 22nd, 2012

Keep reading!  Session 5 is up next!

Maple Trestle Table, Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring; and
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop! #flairww -10:39 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I swept the shavings from my surfacing session into a pile.#flairww -11:09 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I started laying out possible feet for the trestle table, but I need to first determine the width of the top. #flairww -11:24 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s no fun lifting the slabs onto sawhorses by myself so I cleared the floor. #flairww -11:28 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I laid down strips of wood on which to lay the slabs and allow clearance for my fingers! #flairww -11:29 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I must be crazy to be building such a large table in my shop.#flairww -11:33 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to cut the pieces to join them together so they look something like this. #flairww -11:39 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks As much as I like the continuation of the main bole, it would make seating awkward. #flairww -11:43 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The drawing bow is a great tool. The strap holds the curvature. I just wish I had a longer one. #flairww -11:44 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I hold down the drawing bow with one hand and transfer its shape with a pencil in the other. #flairww -11:47 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I work one short section at a time to avoid flexing the drawing bow with pressure from the pencil. #flairww -11:48 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A pencil line can be hard to see so I draw a squiggly line on the waste side using the drawing bow as a stop. #flairww -11:49 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Standard jigsaw blades aren’t long enough to cut these 2-1/2″-thick slabs so I bought longer blades. #flairww -11:56 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The black blade is about 1/4″ too short. I have to use the loooong blade which is 6-3/4″ long overall. #flairww -11:59 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I elevated the slab using I-beams (H-beams if you’re French) to provide clearance for the blade. #flairww -12:05 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I got the idea of I-beams from my buddy Serge. He’s said to be the most prolific tipster! Serge’s blog#flairww -12:07 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m not sue why, but I’m a little nervous about this cut. Here goes! #flairww -12:10 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I decided to redraw the cut line with a black marker before making the cut. I feel a little less nervous now. #flairww -12:16 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One cut down… #flairww -12:24 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I pretty much ignored my layout lines and just cut a smooth curve. #flairww -12:27 PM Apr 19th, 2012

(I recorded this video to show what a cut in 2-1/4″ thick Western maple is like.  I used a Festool Trion PS 300 EQ Jigsaw which draws 6 amps with a Trion S145/4FSG blade set for a maximum orbital stroke for a quick cut.  Duration – 0:55)

FlairWoodworks This is the bade after one cut. The teeth at the very top are a little blue from heat build up. #flairww -12:30 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The saw seemed to cut more slowly with it set for a full orbital stroke than none at all. #flairww -12:32 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My curve was pretty even except for this bump. #flairww -12:35 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It was at the bump that my cut was the most out of square. I’m not sure what happened there. #flairww -12:37 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I broke a blade. I have no idea why I broke. The cut seemed to be going fine. Any ideas? #flairww -12:55 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks your lucky you have a festool jigsaw, if you had a normal one that “out of square” would have looked like a 30 degree bevel! -12:50 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster My old jigsaw didn’t even have enough power to cut 2″ maple. #flairww -12:57 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ha ha ha!! I take back my comment about the saw cutting more slowly on full orbital than none… I read the scale backwards. #flairww-12:59 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks heat weakened metal? -1:05 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t think so. It didn’t bend, it broke. It’s still as straight as an arrow. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks heat weakened metal? -1:06 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks why does it look so black right above the break -1:08 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I believe that is from the carbide guides. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks why does it look so black right above the break -1:09 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks ohhhh… then I’m clueless -1:11 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks so does this mean your S.O.L until you get a new one? -1:12 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I bought a pack of 5 for $30. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks so does this mean your S.O.L until you get a new one? -1:16 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks Im that Guy that would only buy 1 and then be running back out after it broke #lame -1:20 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I got interrupted by a half-hour phone call. Back at work now.#flairww -1:40 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is coming along nicely! #flairww -1:48 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m working on designing and building a jig to cut the joints. The plywood pieces will serve as the guides. #flairww -2:03 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Pretty nice-looking for a quick and dirty jig. #flairww -2:15 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m set up to joint the first mating surface of this slab.#flairww -2:35 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is a better angle at which to work. #flairww -2:37 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oops. I forgot that I had planned to use the jig and a template bit in a router to joint the mating surfaces. #flairww -2:49 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My biggest template bit isn’t long enough to make the cut in one pass. #flairww -2:56 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is as far as I can work with the router. I’ll finish by hand. #flairww -3:02 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I could remove the plywood to gain more depth, but it is my reference surface and the angle of the router might change without it. #flairww -3:03 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I forgot to close the drawer before routing. I also “forgot” to use a Festool router with dust collection. #flairww -3:05 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using a chisel to pare away the waste. The routed area provides solid registration. #flairww -3:09 PM Apr 19th, 2012

HighRockWW @FlairWoodworks I can laugh only because I have done the same thing before… -3:12 PM Apr 19th, 2012 RT FlairWoodworks I forgot to close the drawer before routing.

FlairWoodworks One surface done. #flairww -3:15 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The second surface is now jointed as well. #flairww -3:26 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Lunch time! #flairww -3:27 PM Apr 19th, 2012

Keep reading!  Session 4 is the next instalment.