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)

(13) Comments   


This was a superb video to me!

This, as well as all the other videos, is excellent! There is real depth and experience with individuals, the content of the videos is fresh and interesting. I’m hooked — in fact, I’ve been watching 4-5 every night lately.


Another great video, Keith! Hearne Hardwoods is an impressive company. I was there only once and even though I’m just a hobbyist, one of the guys was nice enough to show me around and help me pick out lumber.

Zen, The Carpenter

Honestly, the depth Mr. Fox goes into when talking about the boards is breath taking. Its as if each board, nay, each section has its own story behind it. I have been a Carpenter Hobbyist for about 15 years now, and it is Videos like these that really get me and I’m sure other people really excited about Carpentry and the Wood Crafting Arts.
Always well done Keith Cruickshank.


Glad I found your site, the content is just what I was looking for. Thanks.



Great job as always. Wow talk about a guy who knows wood, John laid out selecting the right wood perfectly.

Eric R

Your videos are by far the best. No doubt John Fox knows his stuff. Thank you.


I always enjoy your videos!!

It’s funny, but selecting the right wood is as important as selecting the right tool for the job. These guys are true craftsmen when it comes to wood!

Larry Williams

I love this site. Thanks Keith for opening another window to the world of woodworking. I love the craft, and love to see other craftsmen doing what they do best. I particularly like this video on selecting wood. It always facinates me to see what treasures you can find when you slice through a log or plane the first shaving off a board to reveal that inner beauty.

Mr. Fox makes it seem easy to pick the right wood for a project. It can be a daunting task, but this video certainly makes me feel a little bit better.


This site is pretty good, the videos are fantastic and the artisans, even though I don’t know them, seem to be very knowledgable. I’m amazed you do all this for free it just goes to show when someone does have a real passion for woodworking there never is a price tags behind it. I just wish the videos were longer though. Excellent work and look forward in seeing more great videos from you.


It always amazed me watching your videos, the content is very interesting and informative in selecting the right kind of wood. Looking forward to see more.