Boston-based furniture designer and artisan John Reed Fox knows a great piece of wood when he sees it. It has stunning color and texture. It’s air-dried slowly and peacefully. And boards from the same log flitch are always available to make a perfect grain-matched set. But this is only half the story. John also looks for his choice of “correct” figure and required grain orientation, whether it be plain, rift, or quarter-sawn. Finding boards that meet these criteria requires focused attention.
In this video, get an inside look at how this master furniture maker collaborates with fine-hardwood dealers, Rick and Brian Hearne, to search from among Hearne Hardwood’s 1,000,000 board feet of top-grade hardwoods. The goal for Mr. Fox’s 700 mile buying trip: the perfect set of walnut boards. It’s John’s critical first step in crafting the highest-grade heirloom furniture. Learn the practical steps to how you too can select better wood for your next masterpiece. (5 Minute Woodworking Video)
Planning your next masterpiece? Great! Now all you need are the perfect boards. For the lucky few, fantastic material will just land on their bench, seemingly from thin air, but for most of us, we’ll need to buy lumber and that means a trek to your favorite lumberyard. For me, it’s often a highlight of the process.
Depending on the project, a local home center might offer exactly what you need, but for those who are more demanding, you may need to find a specialty hardwood lumber supplier to fill your needs. In this video tutorial, fine-hardwood dealer Rick Hearne explains the methods and tricks to buying great wood. Rick explains how lumber is graded, how to size up potential boards, evaluate knots & figure, and how to leave a lumber bin ready for the next buyer. Even experienced hands might enjoy Rick’s no-nonsense tips for navigating the yard. (4.5 Minute Woodworking Video)
Rick Hearne is President of Hearne Hardwoods in Oxford, Pennsylvania