Water in a Metal Shop

June 2010

 Water can cause such delays, even in a metal shop.

 I started working on a new design recently.  I had wanted to make a piece of furniture which incorporated the elements of my metalworking and the natural feel of real wood.

 The idea developed in the studio that day was a bench with a natural wood seat and a support structure made of metal designed to look like wood.  As with most of my work nature has a strong influence in the design.  This bench was to be no different. 

 I had recently visited the saw mill of an older man here in the area and noted that he was cutting white oak slabs from a large tree trunk.  The pieces were 12 inches wide and two inches thick.  I don’t know what it is about wood but large slabs of wood have always been beautiful to me.  And this wood was no exception.  The section I purchased was a center cut and would probably classify as “quarter sawn”.  Such a cut results in the most beautiful cross grain figuring to the wood.  

 It was raining that day, and as he started up his fork lift he simply said “you are going to need a bigger truck”.  And indeed he was right.  The two pieces were 16 feet long and weighed what seemed to be a ton each.  They were saturated with the water from a freshly cut live tree.  The rain just made it more obvious.

 When I returned to my studio I cut the long pieces into shorter one of 4 and 5 feet.  They were then stacked to dry.  This is the worst part.  I have this idea that needs to come out, and the wood which I will use to make will not be ready for months.

 So for now I am just waiting and watching the wood change as the water dries out of it.  I have the metal portion figured out but I am waiting for the wood to catch up.  I put the stacked wood in the back of the storage room of my studio so I would not have to look at it each day and prolong the misery.

 Sometime later, I will describe the details of how I made the tree branch legs to support the bench, but for now just pray… for dry wood.

waiting for wood to dry


  1. Excellent stuff man, would love to learn more.


    • I will keep you posted as I move forward. thanks for the support!


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