Podcast: The Afterlife of Trees


Popular Woodworking Magazine has just a launch a new podcast that….

Wait, wait. Where are you going? Give me a few moments to explain. Look, we know the woodworking world has enough podcasts. So when Scott Francis decided to create “The Afterlife of Trees,” a lot of the discussion was about what the podcast wouldn’t be about.

It’s not shop talk. It’s not answering the questions of listeners. It’s not about the projects we’re working on or discussion of our favorite tools. All those are great topics for podcasts that already exist. But the world doesn’t need another one of those.

AoT_logoSo what is “The Afterlife of Trees” about? It’s about stories.

If you like shows such as “Radio Lab,” “This American Life,” “Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History” or “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” you might like this podcast. We want to tell the stories behind the craft. And if they’re a little odd, then all the better.

In the first episode we tell the story of Eugene Sexton and our efforts to publish an article about his miracle process called ESP-90. This process allowed Sexton to (among other things) dry wood quickly without it checking. In other words: It didn’t matter if the pith of a tree was in the board – it wouldn’t crack.

Many people have dismissed Sexton. But perhaps there is something to ESP-90. We have some wood treated with the process that is puzzling and seems to defy the rules of wood movement. Oh, and we discuss the “green bean of immortality.”

You can download the podcast for free via iTunes.

I’m not sure when the next episode will be released. But we’ll let you know here when it’s up.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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21 Responses to Podcast: The Afterlife of Trees

  1. First episode was pretty good. I’m looking forward to the team finding a groove because that’s when the podcasts really get cooking. Good luck.

  2. momist says:

    It eems that it is a requirement of this podcast that you operate with either Windoze or Appledollars. I feel excluded. Yes, this is a wien.

  3. This was great. No kidding. The first woodworking podcast I ever finished. >

  4. Tom Stephens says:

    Any chance of it being available in Soundcloud or some other platform than iTunes?

    • Hey Tom,

      I’m not in charge of the distribution or the technical side of the podcast. But I will send on all these comments to the people who are.


  5. I got it on Overcast (Apple).

  6. I thought Scott Francis was leaving Pop Wood and going to Composites World? Is he still going to host this podcast?

  7. Andrew Brant says:

    I thought this podcast was great! I do like the format a lot. I hope there are many more!

  8. Tom O'Brien says:

    The ESP-90 story has some bits in common with the Ponzi story (q.v.), except there’s apparently no investment (except maybe some soap?).
    Also, there was a timewarp at about 4:52 in which the whole intro was duplicated, Groundhog-Day-wise.

  9. Sean Sabo says:

    Awesome podcast! I spent a good deal of time researching ESP-90 once done listening. After reviewing the archived web page and the supposed benefits of ESP-90 for plants and possible medical applications I may have found a common thread to follow…Calcium Chloride. Just how it could be applied to insta-dry wood…well, let the research begin.

  10. Greg N says:

    Very interesting first episode–I wasn’t familiar with Sexton’s claims or history.

    Although I have more tolerance for the “shop chat” format of many other woodworking podcasts than Mr. James, it’s great to see a different format emerge here. Good luck and please keep it going.

  11. Craig Regan says:

    Hey! how about a story on Ted McGrath of Ted’s Woodworking Plans? Is he a real person? Does he borrow “his” plans from other publications? He makes a lot of promises on his web site (lifetime support from master craftsmen) but it looks like a scam.


    He is a handsome fellow (if the pictures are real)

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