Ted, our builder, took us to Jensen's Hardwood today to make a final pick of the maple for our "maple bar". We looked at quite few pieces, but all of them had one "issue" or another. Mr. Jensen has an amazing amount of hardwoods in several buildings. Before I get to the "about face", I thought I would give you a little tour of his place. Monica, I hope you're reading today because I know how much you love wood, too! This is how the wood comes to Mr. Jensen - no trees are intentionally harmed in the making of his goods! They all come from downed trees, damaged trees, salvaged wood, etc. Norm Abram is seen on This Old House programs combing through places like this on the east coast.
Once the trees are sawed into planks, he stacks them in the back of his yard until they are sufficiently dry. Furniture makers flock to places like this! When the customer finds wood to purchase, he rolls the planks to the shop building on these homemade carts with wheels from train cars! Recylcing is the name of the game here!
While Ted and Mr. Jensen were discussing the only possible piece of maple with bark still attached that would work for our project, I started wandering the different rooms of his shop area. I walked way into the back of one room and immediately called out to Mr. Squash....I found something, and it wasn't anything we had in mind! It was still maple, but it was an entire maple burl plank! I had never heard of burl wood coming in such large planks! We started to get really excited about this piece of wood! I ran to tell the guys that I had found something I thought would work! Mr. Jensen knew immediately which piece I had found.
Ted made some measurements and we quickly agreed this was the way to go! Now the plank was over 2 1/2" thick, and we only needed 1 1/2", so Mr. Jensen said he would plane it down for only $15.00! Below are the fellows feeding the plank through the planer. Because so much was being removed, he had to unhook the vacuum which got clogged immediately.
Check out the sawdust coming out of the planer! We filled up and entire double trash barrel with sawdust!
And here is the beauty below. I wasn't able to edit any of these photos, so I hope they look good when you see them. The plank itself is about 12.5 feet long! We are only using 74" of its length and taking a few inches off each side. We will no longer have a rough edge like we originally planned, but the trade-off is the incredible burl texture! I wish you could see it in person!
It will be stained a slightly darker color than the butcher block counters, but all will coordinate well! It was a very good day!
I brought my crocheting with me for Babette, but we've been so busy I haven't had time for it. I spent most of last evening after dinner weeding part of the garden and enjoying the warmth of the evening with Mr. Squash on the patio! More tomorrow from the kitchen!