It was a little bit of a drive, but the family all loaded in the van on Saturday and headed off to Raleigh on the promise of actual black walnut. This time I had seen pictures of the machine surfaced wood and knew that not only was it actually black walnut, but beautiful as well. A few hours (and a stop for burgers and fries) later and the wood was stacked and stickered in my garage acclimating to the shop.
The wood came from a gentleman who had spent a lifetime as a carpenter, cabinetmaker and career woodworker and was thinning out some of his considerable stock. When I asked him about his career he referred to it as a “calling” and that seemed just about right. He let me pick through one pile of stock until I had enough wood for the book case, and then on hearing that I was making a desk he invited me into his own workshop to select the top from some really beautiful wood he had saved out for his own work.
I’m sure he thought I was a little crazy (and quite possibly naive) when I explained that I only work in hand tools at the moment, but I think he also understood we each have our own relationship to wood and that we spoke a common language none the less.
I will be trying to finish up a few little things while letting the wood settle into the environment of the shop for a few weeks, but I’m really anxious to get started. This black walnut is really beautiful stuff.