One of our talented local furniture artists, Tim Willink, sent me his musings today. Thought you might enjoy.
I was in my shop the other day working on a project, and I picked up a board and moved it to another dusty corner to make room. I immediately recognized the 5 inch wide, orange-colored cedar picket because it came from my parent’s neighbor’s old fence in Çorrales, New Mexico. Then it hit me…This was one of the last boards from that old fence! A satisfied smile worked its way over my face, and I stopped to think and take in the moment.
Now that I am older, I try to take the time to enjoy life’s little “victories” since so few present themselves so clearly in my life as a woodworker. The reason for the moment is that I realized that I recycled a 5 ft tall cedar fence that bordered approximately half an acre. My dad actually saved the fence for me and helped me de-nail it, and I can’t remember how many panels there were, nor exactly how many pickets, but I do remember thinking at the time that, “there’s no way I’m going to use all of that wood”.
As I put the board down I started thinking about all of the pieces I’ve made from that fence, and I recalled that this was the summer when I really started making tall, narrow hutches. I believe I made about five or six of these cabinets, around 50 frames or so, and other pieces that I can’t remember now.
I often do this with a finished piece, telling my customers that, “the wood from that bench came from an old deck in Boulder”, or, “that bookcase is made from a remodeling job in Denver”, but I’ve never been able to quantify just how much lumber I’ve actually re-used until this “wood geek” moment in my shop.
I’ve included a photo of two of the hutches I made that summer. I think they are versatile, simple and attractive, and perhaps even better, they are made from an old fence from Corrales…