Sunday, February 27, 2011

To Pecan or not to Pecan

Oct 6, 2009

Current mood:busy

This is a continuation of my blog post, "Lumber!"  In the back yard rests over a ton of Pecan tree.   The pieces of Pecan are so big it took three of us to load it on the trailer.  Dad wanted it so he could  turn bowls on his lathe with it.  Well, he has enough to turn 200 or so bowls, and plenty of wood left over to trade, or give away to other wood turners.  While helping Dad with the huge pieces, and after seeing what was avalible, I didn't really think there was anything that I would use.  Then Dad turned his first bowl.

Dad showed me the first bowl that came from the Pecan, and I was shocked.  It was spalted.  For those who don't know, spalted wood happens when a tree gets a certain type of fungus in it, and it leaves various patterns in the grain.  The colors can range from gray, brown, black, dark green, and dark red.  No two patterns are the same. 

It's kind of funny.  If you have a tree fall down or cut down, it is easy for the fungus to get in it after the tree dies.  So the longer you leave it there, the more spalting you will have.  However, the longer it sits there, the more rotting you have, and the more bugs that will get into it, and will put holes in the wood.  So it's kind of a tricky balance. 

So here I am in a weird predicament.  I started Project 4, so I have a guitar project that will keep me busy for a while.  I wanted to do an archtop project after that.  My predicament is that I have this great (really expensive) spalted wood that would make a beautiful guitar top, but I don't think I can use it for a few years.
I need to win the lottery so I can put in a 40 hour week building guitars.  I have so much wood that has come my way lately that I need to start using it.  Just a few weeks ago I came across a piece of maple that I bought three and a half years ago.  It was beautiful flame maple, and I forgot that I had it.  That's how much wood I have.  Also, my last two projects have taken me a very long time to finish.  So while trying to complete them, I haven't had a need to go through my lumber.

So I'll see what I can do as far as organizing, creating, and getting my act together regarding my lumber and projects.

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