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Learning to Work with a Species

939 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Cocowboy
I happen to live in the middle of an Amish community. There are lots of stories about that, as one might expect. Still one of the characteristics of many Amish communities is the annual consignment school auction. These auctions are run for the benefit of a specific school or two. There are some oddities in each auction. For example, I picked up a little used thickness planer for a bargain at one such sale. Relative to this particular sub-forum, a couple of things that I have acquired are 200+ board feet of hardwood for a song. Once, it was 250 board feet of 5/4x16 cherry for $1 a board foot. Another time, it was 300 board feet of quarter sawn white oak for 30 cents a board foot.

You might ask, "So how does this relate to wood species?"

Well, I had no specific project in mind when I bought the lumber. I just figured that it was a good price, and that I'd find something to build from it. Of course, I have long since used up both supplies. Although, there is a 12/4 piece of walnut that hasn't found a project ... yet. What I learned in the process is that working cherry does not equate to working white oak. More specifically, learning to work with a specific species is more than a one project process. More pointedly, it takes volumes like this to learn how to reliably and consistently produce good results.

Each species has its own proclivities when it comes to making things from it. Your woodworking skills will improve with those specific challenges.
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