Harold White Lumber Company

Earlier this year my territory changed for my job and I acquired the Lowe’s in Morehead, KY as one of my accounts. Whenever I would drive down to that Lowe’s, I would always drive by the Harold White Lumber Co. I was always impressed by the amount of logs the mill had on its lot, but I saw no showroom or retail office, so I always kept driving. That was until a few weeks ago, when I decided to pull in and see what the place was all about. I figured the worse thing that could happen is they would tell me they only sell to wholesale accounts and kick me out.

20170822_130137

I stopped at the mill work office and asked if they sold to retail customers. They said they did, but I would have to drive over to the lumber office so, I got back into my car and headed down the driveway to another office. There I met the office manager who asked what type of wood I was looking for. I said “nothing at the moment, just wondered if you sell to retail customers”. She gave me their price list and asked the plant manager to show me around the mill. He took me where they keep the short stacks of lumber with loads of cherry, oak, wormy maple and poplar. He told me that the 4/4 poplar was only $.80 board foot. I usually pay $2.20 for 4/4 poplar at my current lumber yard in Cincinnati. I would have bought some that day, but I didn’t bring any cash with me plus, I was just looking for info at the time and had no intention of buying anything anyway.

20170822_130154

The mill is huge with thousands of logs on their land. I looked at their price list and they carry all the major domestic species, but they also have basswood, sycamore, sassafras, hemlock, and coffee tree. I was told by the office manager that they don’t always have the rare species in stock, but if you call ahead, they may be able to mill some up. You can even buy a whole log if you want to mill the wood yourself.

20170822_130149

So today, I went back and I told the same office manager I was interested in the four-foot shorts. She had an employee follow me back to the area they keep them so they could load it in my car. The last time I was here, this whole area was stacked with bundles of lumber. The guy told me that the shorts don’t last long. They even have a big dumpster where people can dumpster dive for one to two foot long boards.

20170822_124739

I came home with 20 board feet of 4/4 FAS White Oak for $30.00 for a whiskey barrel coffee table my cousin wants me to make for her. The wood should be enough to make the base and top of the table as I already bought a halved whiskey barrel last weekend. The next time I go back, I’m going to stock up on poplar, maple, cherry, and walnut. It’s nice to have place where I can buy hardwood lumber dirt cheap.

20170822_130101

Advertisements

Another Dresser Turned Wine Cabinet

Last year my wife and I bought an old dresser at an antique show in Columbus, Ohio. We had a spot in our dining room we wanted to make into a bar area and the dresser was small enough that it would fit nicely in that spot.cabinet

I had to remove the drawers to make room for the wine bottle storage I was going to build so, I cut off the rail and drawer runners that were between the two drawers.

img_20170106_164811_784

The dresser was old and someone in the past tried to repair the case by driving nails through the side of the case into the end grain of the tenon. I took the tenon out and drove the nails back out through the side.

img_20170106_173116_056

After the nails were gone, I glued the case back together to make everything sturdy and square.

20170106_174530

The cabinet was going to be painted so, I bought some birch plywood and cut up pieces to make a box that would slide inside the case. I also trimmed the edges of the plywood with oak to match the rest of the case.

img_20170107_181424_519

The old dresser had a bit of detail to the rails that I wanted to match on the box I was building.

20170107_165751

I took my No 8 hollow molding plane and planed a shallow recess down the middle and rounded over the sides with my block plane.

img_20170108_125824_574_1

I had to carefully build the box to fit inside the case. It needed to be loose to slide in, but not too big that it wouldn’t fit. I made the box an 1/8″ smaller than the length and height of the opening of the case so that it would fit. I used simple rabbet joinery to join the sides together and a dado down the middle for the divider.

20170108_142721

The moment of truth. After building the box I prayed that it would slide in the case. Thankfully it did.

20170108_152110

My wife painted the case with black milk paint. She also sanded and stained the top and drawers with a gel stain. I then applied two coats of Waterlox varnish on the top and drawers.

img_20170112_160845_049

I wanted the left side to hold wine bottles so, I built diagonal grid out of solid oak and used dadoes for joinery so that the other side of the grid would slide through. This too had to be fitted carefully so that it wasn’t too tight to slide in. After everything fitted well, I took it out, stained and applied Waterlox varnish to the grid.

20170112_172051

Here’s the final cabinet sitting in the same spot. We removed one shelf as we felt the wine glasses hung a little too low. The cabinet came out well and was dirt cheap to build.

img_20170117_193246_265

 

Updated Tool Cabinet

I built this cabinet nearly fifteen years ago and every few years I end up updating the tools that go inside it. It’s been about three years since I updated it, so I decided it was time for a change.

As you can see in the photo below, at one time I loved MicroPlane rasps. I stuck everyone I owned onto the left door. While they are nice rasps to use, I decided to delegate them to a nearby drawer instead. The Stanley short box handsaw had to go as well. I never used it, so it was pointless to have it take up so much valuable space.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This is how the cabinet looks today. Over the years I’ve been learning a lot more about hand saws, so my collection of usable hand saws that I have restored has grown. I knew I wanted to incorporate them into the cabinet somehow which is one of the main reasons I decided to redesign the tool cabinet.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Hanging on the top of the left door, I have a E C Atkins rip saw that I made a new handle for it out of cherry, and a short Superior panel crosscut saw. In the middle is my original Lie-Nielsen dovetail saw I bought twenty years ago. Below it is another dovetail saw and two Disston back saws, one filed to saw rip and the other filed for crosscut.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I stuck my hammer on the right side by my Stanley No 8 jointer plane. By the hammer, I hung a couple of bevels and a Nobex square. Underneath the screwdrivers on the right door is where I hung more measuring tools. Since I’ve updated this cabinet numerous times over the years, if you look closely, you can see where the oak veneer has been torn off the plywood substrate. To conceal the damage, I stained the entire inside of the cabinet with Nutmeg Gel Stain. Thank God I didn’t make this thing out of African Mahogany as I have no qualms about damaging oak plywood.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The left side of the cabinet is where I stock a lot of my spokeshaves and Stanley No 66 Beader. I’d like to build a little rack for all my blades for my beader, but that will be another project for another day.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The middle of the cabinet was left untouched as there’s really no room to do any changes. Maybe the next time I update my tool cabinet, I’ll make room for all my Festool accessories. haha

 

Reclaimed Lumber in the Cincy/Dayton Area

If you’re in the need for some reclaimed lumber and live n the Cincinnati, Dayton area, there is a new place inside the Antiques Village Antique Mall in Centerville, OH that may have what you’re looking for. The booth is called Dayton Reclamation and Restoration Architectural Salvage and is in the back right of the antique mall.

 photo 20151028_124636.jpg

The booth is somewhat new as it’s only been open for a few months however, they do have a lot of reclaimed wood and architectural salvage like old doors and windows to choose from.

 photo 20151028_124241.jpg

 photo 20151028_124225.jpg

They also have a couple of racks of dimensional reclaimed wood in the front. The pricing is not bad with some 2″ x 6″ x 48″ pieces only being $4.00 a board. I didn’t buy anything because I have too much on my plate right now and don’t have a need for reclaimed lumber, but it’s nice to know where I can get it when I need it.

 photo 20151028_124214.jpg

This picture stinks, but it shows some of the longer pieces they have in stock. I didn’t notice any chestnut in the rack so I’m sure the majority of the wood is either oak or poplar. I’m sure the longer they’re in business, they’ll add to their inventory.

 photo 20151028_124203.jpg

Making Walnut Stain

I have a big walnut tree in my backyard that drops hundreds of walnuts on the ground every fall. For some reason the walnuts were excessive this year as I have never seen so many on the ground. It must have been a good year to be a walnut tree.

I usually just trip on them while I cut the grass but I decided it might be fun to try to make my own walnut stain from the nuts.

I looked around for the walnuts that had opened up while the squirrels were giving me dirty looks and took about a dozen of them to my shop. I then wrapped them in an onion bag and tightened them up so the walnuts wouldn’t fall out. Wrapping them in cheese cloth would work just as well.

I grabbed a big pot I bought a few months ago and a hot plate burner to cook the walnuts. There was no way I was going to use a pot from my wife’s kitchen as I didn’t want to get punched in the face. I filled the pot with water with a couple of gallons of water, placed the nuts in it and turned on the hot plate until the water was at a boil.

After the water came to a boil, I turned the hot plate off and let the walnuts sit in the pot overnight. In the morning, I dipped a stick in the water to see how dark the stain was. It wasn’t as dark as I would have liked so I turned the burner on again. After I got the water to a boil, I turned the hot plate to low and let the walnuts simmer in the water for a few more hours.

This was the most frustrating part of the process. I kept testing the stain on some scrap oak to see how dark it was. Every hour I checked, the stain was real light and looked like tea. I started to think it wouldn’t work. So I decided that I probably had too much water in the pot and poured some of it in the sink. After removing about half the water and cooking the walnuts for a few more hours, this is what I was left with.

Satisfied with the color, I poured the stain into a mason jar using a funnel and paint strainer to collect all the gunk that had accumulated in the water from the walnuts.

This is how the stain looks on white oak. It dries a little lighter than this and raises the grain a bit but considering I made it from nuts in backyard is pretty cool.

I marked the date on top of the can so I know how fresh it is. Ideally you would want to store the stain in the refrigerator so it doesn’t go bad, but I doubt I’ll do that. I’ll  keep it around and test it every week to see how long it lasts. Unfortunately, I have nothing to stain right now. Maybe I’ll make a bookcase out of oak in the next few weeks so I can at least use it before it goes bad.