This is a huge topic and I have several links in the text. Each leads you to more details about a particular topic on wood or the characteristics of wood (or a related subject), so make sure and check them out.
I guess it comes as no surprise that I love wood. It starts with my love of trees.
I need to get out into the woods, to feel the leaves crunching underfoot and to smell the air. While I'm out and about I notice trees, ones that have odd shapes or beautiful leaves.
I look for trees with burls (one of the odder wood characteristics) and try to imagine what it would look like inside. It's the same thing I feel when I take a rough board and mill it to see what is hiding under the saw marks.
I look for figured wood to appear in all it's different guises.
I'm careful where I get my wood and I try to give back to the environment when I can. Still, it's an issue I grapple with.
With this in mind, I get particular pleasure out of using wood I cut myself. I live in an overgrown area and I periodically have to trim back or cut down trees to keep our house from disappearing behind the greenery. We have several species that are great for box making.
Yes, I confess, I have a wood addiction.
Now, I'd like to put in a good word for "blemished wood."
This is wood with some sort of imperfection that makes a particular board less desirable (at least to the masses).
Often, it's because the board has sapwood of a different color.
The door panels are cherry with mineral streaks running through them.
On the drawer front, on the lower left, you can see where a branch divided the heartwood and sapwood of the walnut (the solid light band is maple I laminated for further contrast).
Lumber yards often toss this sort of thing into the mark-down bin, or even the burn pile.
So, next time you're out in the woods take a look around and enjoy the fresh air, then trot over to your local lumber yard and see if they have any good discards. You never know what you'll find.
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