“The things you own end up owning you.”
— Tyler Durden, “Fight Club.”
I am not a wood collector. After you finish reading this blog entry, however, you’ll probably call me a liar.
Yesterday I and a couple friends filled a 17’-long U-Haul truck with wood and drove it three hours to my home, where it sits outside my house this morning. The wood came from the basement of a woodworker who is winding down his craft. It is stuff he amassed during the last 20 years.
He approached me a few months ago about buying it, and I resisted. I never like to buy wood unless I have the project ready to build. Why? Oh there are so many reasons.
1. I don’t have the space to store wood. Every scrap of storage space in our house is given over to books – the basement, the guest bedroom, the sunroom, the garden shed.
2. I think you get a better color match if you use wood that all comes from the same tree. It’s easier to get it from the same tree if you buy small quantities right when you need it.
3. When I have had a stock of wood sitting around, I find that I always end up with too much or too little wood for what I need. So I end up buying more (with a poor color match) or having little bits of waste sitting around. And I have no space for that.
I could go on and on. But the question of the day is why did I say “yes” to this guy after saying “no” to similar offers since 1993?
It must have been the 30”-wide clear cherry and the 20”-wide walnut. People do dumb things for wide wood. And so Megan Fitzpatrick, Ty Black and I spent all day yesterday loading up this huge U-Haul truck. Today I will spend all day unloading it. Sorting it. Making a pile of stuff to burn through the winter.
I don’t feel like I own this wood – it owns me and I don’t like that. Already I’ve started looking for specific projects for these pieces. Megan needs walnut for a blanket chest. Ty needs mahogany for a drawing table. We need bookshelves galore.
But right now, I need two ibuprofen and some clean gloves.
— Christopher Schwarz