Picking Out the WoodPosted: February 23, 2012
I once met a master carpenter who built furniture only from wood that he found on walks through the forest. He told me that he never built a chair to build a chair or built a table to build a table and so on, instead he gathered wood on his forest wanderings and decided what the pieces were best for. I admire this philosophy but frankly have no time to live by it. So I went to my local mega-lumber yard and picked me out some good old timber.
For my rustic table I decided to go with a hard and heavy wood. I wanted something that also had a fine grain and not too many knots, like pine, so my first choice was to go with classic Oak. Oak is beautiful and I highly recommend it for building any furniture that is meant to last the test of time, but it has grown expensive as of late. So instead of Oak, I went to the closest/cheaper alternative, Ash. Ash is a hard and heavy wood, its grain is not quite as fine as Oak but the burl structure in the wood tends to be a bit more wild in appearance and, to me, looks quite interesting. The prices were 84Euro/m^2 for Oak and 44Euro/m^2 for Ash. Striving to be rational, I chose the Ash over the Oak. Ash is hard, Ash is rustic, Ash is cheap.