I’ve been gathering, collecting, scrounging and buying some nice wood over the last couple of years - a woodworker moving who’s been hording “some really unusual boards for 35 years and I never got to this stuff”, a cabinet shop closing “I bought 500 bf of this stuff and just rediscovered it during the auction inventory”, a real deal at a lumber yard “we got a bunch of this - they use it for decking, and so it’s really cheap and hard as hell - takes a nice finish too.” So I’ve got 20 to 400 bf of spalted amber, spalted maple, black locust, mahogany (old growth stuff from Panama), birch, ash, medular rayed sycamore, some old, really oddly figured, southern yellow pine, red gum, ipe, oak, tiger redwood, elm and god knows what else stashed away.
Here’s my dilema. This stuff is so nice and it took a lot of luck to be fortunate enough to acquire it, let alone at the prices I got it for. Some of it is at least 50 years old so finding more is not likely. And for those reasons, I’m having a really hard time using any of it for a project. It’s just to intimidating - too rare, too expensive to replace, too beautiful to do it justice with my limited skills and experience. I can see a piece using some of it and I know I could probably do a fair to good jub of building the piece - but - I put it off. Maybe in a year or two when I’ve got - more experience and skills - a few more solid wood furniture projects under my belt - that new tool - the workbench done - a space for finishing set up : :
When I was making jewelry I experienced something similar. Crack this emerald while setting it and I’m SOL! If this diamond doesn’t seat right I’m in deep doo-doo. If I blow this solder joint or if I slip and chip this stone ... But after a while precious stones were just parts that needed to be put in a piece - no big deal. The price and the beauty of the stones went away while I was working on a piece. Gold was just a really nice material to work with, its value was in what it did and how it looked in the finished piece, not in dollars.
So my question is “When does the wood become just a material and the intimidation factor go away?” Shop space is always at a premium and the wood collection keeps filling space.