Finding Wood

Sometimes you just never know where you’ll find your next piece of wood. I’m always on the lookout as I drive around my neighborhood and my wife has now gotten used to slowing down as we drive past a pile of wood stacked on the side of the road. She’s even gotten used to a quick stop, the back of the SUV being opened and a few grunts as some wood is dumped in the back.

I recently got some wood that way, some very large pieces of grapefruit. Large is a relative tem for grapefruit since the trees don’t often grow very big, but this tree was about 10” at the base. I’m in the process of turning a couple of hollowforms from this wood. I was told that most citrus woods love to move a lot as they are being turned, making things difficult, but since these were endgrain hollowforms, I didn’t notice this as a problem. What I really liked was that this wood turns a wonderful pale yellow as it dries. My shop is now full of these yellow shavings, a bit brighter than the norm.

Yellow grapefruit shavings

Yellow grapefruit shavings

Here’s the initial turning of one of the hollowforms. The piece is a little over 12” tall and is starting to develop some color. The color will go away after I sand and do the final work on it, but again in the sun and as it dries it will regain the yellow color.

Grapefruit hollowform in process

Grapefruit hollowform in process

A few months ago the city came trough and trimmed some trees along the street, always a plus during hurricane season. However, this time they took the whole top off a cherry tree growing right on my fence line. The surprising thing about this was that the power and telephone lines are on the other side of the street, so I have no idea why they cut this one down. However, they left the entire truck of the tree sticking up from the fence line and put a pick ribbon on it to note it’s removal. I thought I’d wait until I finished up the maple and the grapefruit before I took the tree down, but today I saw the crews out again and felt that today was the day if I didn’t want the city to get the wood. I felled the tree and cut it up and with the help of a neighbor, loaded in my car and hauled it to the shop. It turned out to be a pretty nice load with the largest diameter about 16”. Looks like some cherry is in my future.

A load of cherry

A load of cherry

You never know where your wood is going to come from. It could be the side of the road, on your property or from a Wood Alert, that I got an e-mail about where a friend and just salvaged a load of sweetgum. I guess the more the merrier and at least it saves it from filling up the landfill.

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