Sunday, November 20, 2016

A captivating evening with Reclaimed Secrets

Any mention of live edge logs and most of our members start salivating!  

We had a log-a-licious November meeting - very nicely attended with over thirty people, who were thoroughly fascinated by Andrew and Nic Moore of Reclaimed Secrets. They bought a very nice selection of slabs and reclaimed lumber, but before they could start on their presentation, we took care of a little business, and then held our monthly "Show and Tell." 

Of course, high on the list of topics was the reminder about our Holiday meeting being held next month - with hope that members will enter this years' Boxmaking contest. Depending on the number of entries, we may have a few different categories this year.  (BTW - the box entries can be dropped off a week ahead of time - call the woodshop to make sure there's someone there to accept your entry... 702) 631-1870.

One of our members bought up lumber yard buying experiences, which was a topic of discussion on a recent podcast - Dusty Life. In that podcast, three California Woodworkers covered the topic of going to the lumber yard and spoke about the different range of prices that buyers are given. They specifically brought up Peterman Lumber in Fontana, but many of our members voiced concerns about having some frustrating experiences at Peterman's here, too. An important thing to remember is that number is a commodity, and thus subject to pricing fluctuations. But we all agreed - the best way to approach a lumberyard is to call ahead for pricing, learn how to calculate the board footage of your own stack of boards at the lumberyard, and definitely  - measure your own stack of lumber, so that you don't get over charged. 

(We may schedule a discussion of this in the future, since so many members expressed their confusion and frustration about this!) 

On to our Show and Tell - Ken shared that he really liked Lupe's Malloof table that she brought to a previous meeting, and ended up building one for a client. This table featured redwood construction, and was finished with Watco Medium Walnut stain/oil and a final coat of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. This was one sweet table!

Beth (once again!) amazed us with another gorgeous handmade chair, inspired from the book - A Catalogue and History of Cottage Chairs in Australia by Peter Cuffley and Kevin Carney. 

Beth explained that while reading this book, she was captivated by this Jimmy Possum chair, which features very complex interlocking joinery, and a Shou Sugi Ban (charred wood) finish. 

As usual - she knocked it out of the park! 

The chair was amazingly light, yet strong, and very comfortable. 

Beth turned most of the parts on the lathe, and drilled all of the angled holes that held everything together. Only the back spindles were hand formed, using a variety of hand tools like draw knives and spokeshaves. 

She used a stepped tenon and wedge to tie the arms into the front legs, 

and the contrast between the Cherry seat and the charred components was BEYOND striking. This was one terrific piece, and Beth continues to flourish in her quest of mastering  chair building. 

She also mentioned this Australian woodworking magazine that she's started reading, here's a link in case you're interested in subscribing. 

And finally - Andrew Moore took the floor to discuss live edge logs that he mills and sell at this shop - Reclaimed Secrets, located at 2912 S. Highland Dr. #6 just a few doors down from Tool Supply. Along with his wife Nic, they offer very unique lumber milling services - anything from selling you the logs, to building a piece of furniture made from the logs you choose. 

The samples he brought in includes this amazing Red Heart Juniper slab, which he suggested might be 500 years old.  

The color was intense, and though it has some rotting and bad spots, he was able to fill it with epoxy and sawdust. 

These alligator Juniper slabs get their name from the amazing likeness the bark has to gator skin - and these trees must have experienced a fire in order for the lumber to be harvested. 

We applied some denatured alcohol to the surface of one of the logs, to see what it might look like once finish is applied.... amazing!

Some of the other pieces he brought included this Bait Barge salvaged timber, with its gorgeous patina from years of soaking in the sea.  

Andrew purchased 100,000 pounds of this lumber that was headed for the dump, and although the risk of hitting nails, hardware and sand in the wood while milling it was high, there are gorgeous colors to be had from working with these timbers. He explained that this wood finishes well with spar varnish, and is particularly effective in steam punk design. 

The beetle kill Ponderosa Pine logs and slabs that he bought really caught the attention of our members -  with good reason! 

These fabulous slabs featured rich blue staining from the beetle infestation, and he explained that this tree was probably close to 100 feet tall, and highly regulated when being forested.  Prior to cutting these trees, all trees in this area must be dead in a one square mile area, thus avoiding further infestation. 

These beetles can cause all sorts of staining pigmentation (reds, blues, black and purples) and the will only occur in the sap wood, not the heart wood. 

Some of the other pieces that Andrew and Nic brought included Arizona dried cactus, and ribs from saguaro cactus. He suggested that since these cactus pieces have voids and openings within the wood, they make amazing firefly lights. 

And finally - after a robust round of questions by everyone, Andrew closed the night by showing his wife's handmade drawer pulls, featuring river rock. These rustic pulls are perfect for complimenting cabinetry built with their lumber.

We hope you'll visit their shop and check out their inventory (over 10,000 board feet) of slabs. Their kiln dried stock is the perfect material for artisans all over the valley, and they'll offer construction and finishing tips, as well as custom milling, should you need it. 

Wrapping up this amazing meeting - Andrew expressed some interest in teaching a class in the Spring on working with live edge lumber, and his years of experience are sure to make this class of real interest to woodworkers hungry to learn this technique. Keep an eye on this schedule to see when his class will open up for registration. 

Thanks to both of them for educating and entertaining us - that was one terrific discussion!

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