Like most red-blooded 21st century woodworkers, I have a thing for power tools. Especially high performance portable power tools. Wrapping my hands around the latest, most powerful reciprocating saw, D-handled router, orbital sander, impact driver, etc., makes me almost as happy as if I’d just taken a pavement-scorching ride in a new Ferrari. The precise feel of the tool’s trigger, the jolt up my arm as the motor roars up to speed; it just gets my blood pumping.
My wife and I took a little trip up the California coast recently, and ended up staying in Little River, a don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it minor berg just south of Mendocino. Our intention was to get away from the day-to-day stuff, and just relax, do some light hiking, sightseeing, and take in a few golden sunsets.
I was perusing my shop’s lumber inventory the other day when I started to recollect how long some of those boards had been collecting dust on the racks. You know what I’m talking about, right? You plow through massive piles of wood at the local lumberyard until you find a board that just shouts, “Hey, it took 200 years for me to develop my gorgeous color and unbelievable figure, so take me home with you!”
So you plunk down some serious cash and take that lignin beauty home, only to slide it into a rack where it must sit patiently, waiting for just the right project to come along. Trouble is, the longer you hang on to those glorious planks, the less likely it is that ANY project will ever be good enough to justify using them!