Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Monday I took a journey

I did the craigslist rounds, and got nowhere

it's mind boggling that so may folks who sell lumber don't know what 8/4 means

I realize it's the language of the woodworker
but still
how can you properly illustrate what you are selling if you don't know the lingo

several hours, promises I've heard before, no way I'm going all the way out there with cash

then I got lucky,
not on C L

I got an answering machine first, figured: crap
then I called back on a whim
and I got Jared at Ohio Woodlands
taken by his demeanor, granted this is after a day of C L: "yea, I gots some boards...been sittin' here 25 years er so..."

Jared actually knew about the trees, had an intimate knowledge of each slab and the anticipation of what he would find after the cut
and I do say slab
there is little under 8/4 if any
and what is more, almost all are live edge
so each has caracter you must decipher, though distracted by its natural seduction

three years I've been making pointless calls
waiting on others to come through
and all I had to do was come here
wish I'd taken some pictures now

first I was led into his house, his basement showroom
I was asked if I needed a water or anything
wait... what?
that was really nice, and totally unexpected
thanks, Jared!

we traveled from there to the family property, forest like I remember growing up
a cloud of dust and an endless string of rights along a roller coaster dirt road
and I'm greeted by the biggest damn slab of poplar I've ever laid eyes upon
not just one, but two
and a book-matched set, nonetheless
fourteen feet and a good five feet wide between the two

there's more lumber in here than all the woodworkers in Cleveland could possibly hew in a collective lifetime
each and every slab, he carefully pulled back and held as we examined the next

and then I found what I sought

seven feet of twenty inch wide almost 10/4 perfect black walnut
no voids, no crazy crap to work through, straight grain, tight
Oh the chairs are calling out
and to its right
all the legs I can make
a graceful S curve, live edge, no screwing around here

I had entered wood mecca

glad I brought more than enough cash
I'd set a limit
but had not gotten close

courteous does not even begin to describe Jared, he moved all the boards to show what was behind, carried everything to my truck, and all this through my protests that I could and have always been doing it myself

his knowledge and experience are second to none, he doesn't profess to know woodworking, just lots about trees

I don't know what to say

other thank THANKS!

so anyone in the Cleveland/Akron/Youngstown area, you are seriously in luck
help support local, family run businesses, help promote and nurture sustainable practices
give Jared a call, and arrange for a visit
anyone else; he does deliver
you can find Jared here and here.