Thursday, March 29, 2007

Leave it to Dave

The photo above shows a couple of wood carriers that I made based on a design by Dave Sawyer. I found the design in the FWW book on bending wood and coveted them long before I met Dave. These wood carriers have already hauled about 16 cord of wood on its way to heating my house. They are a wonderful example of the potential of wood to exceed other materials in workability and strength. Although they weigh only ounces, they can hold more wood than I can lift. Dave speaks of using ash but I made mine out of hickory.
As a cabinetmaker, I learned to cut boards into a variety of shapes and to make the beauty of the grain dance. But wood is more than just pretty. So now I look to bridges builders, bowmakers and instrument makers to understand the utility of wood. When selecting a tree, I am looking for the most boring straight grain available, choosing strength over appearance. I often joke that what I do is caveman woodworking, (usually when the sledge hammers come out) but it is this kind of approach that gets the most from the wood. I suggest that anyone interested in green woodworking make a couple of these, it may just change your idea of what woodworking is, or can be.

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