Water in a Metal Shop 2

Water was a problem for me a little while ago… not anymore.

I had designed some benches and was using some fresh cut oak planks for the tops. That is where the problem comes into play.

In our modern society there are stores where we can go and purchase perfectly dried and ready to use pieces of beautiful wood. Almost any type you could want. Exotic dark black woods from South America. Beautiful clear vanilla colored boards from the north east. And the list goes on and on.

Well, there are beautiful native woods right under our noses, we just need to look for them. That is where I was when I purchased the oak slabs. I had to dry them out to stabilize the wood before I use it.

The boards had a mind of their own. Some of them were stacked so they dried perfectly….some not so. I was trying to make nature do things I wanted and not what it wanted. I rearranged the stack, I blew air on it. I did everything I could think of to make them come out flat.

 I called my brother David Zawistowski of (Duetfinewoodwork.com) who is a custom cabinet maker and asked his advice on how to “correct” the curved ones. And he made a very important observation. The wood is going to do what it is going to do. Nature has a direction it moves and no metalworker is going to change it. So I needed to learn how to work with the actions nature wanted for each of its pieces.

Work with the curves David told me. If you want it to be flat, you will have to let it dry and then use the best ones. Then work the curved ones on a joiner and plain the curves away. But I got the impression he was more interested working with the curves. So I was thinking …me too.

All of my boards turned out great. Some of them are flat some are curved and cracking…that could be because I am placing them in the sun to make them curve even more.

Time will tell as we see how it goes… and more importantly, what direction nature wants me to go with these pieces of wood.  Stay tuned, I’ll get photos up as soon as I have something to show.


Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s