Friday, December 27, 2013

Inside a chunk of firewood...

...there are beautiful things besides British Thermal Units.

I had a request for some more of the single fly display stands I make, but out of oak, which is typically above my pay grade to purchase at the lumber yard, even though the cost would be somewhat covered (did I tell you I'm a lousy business person?) by the sale of the little stands.  What to do?

(click on the pics for the "big picture")

We heat our family room and kitchen with a woodstove, and have a pretty good supply of seasoned, mixed hardwoods to fuel the fire:

Seemed like there might be some nice pieces of wood lurking within that stack.  I started out thinking it would be fun to use hand planes to get the party started, with a chunk of cherry:

Bad concept, from a "how much time am I willing to spend on this little project?" standpoint.  So out came the hand-held power planer.  Those are three chunks of red oak.

That little tool removes a piece of wood's harsh exterior pretty quickly.

The big planer squares things up and really starts showing a chunk of firewood's inner beauty:

Those three pieces of firewood yielded some lovely lumber:

The table saw divided the top piece into what will become the display stands:

All told, maybe an hour or so's work to find some beautiful hardwood:

Of course, it will take me at least that long to clean up!

Worth it though, and the shop smells great with oak in the air.  There is an old saying that firewood warms you three times:  First, when you cut it.  Second, when you split it, and third, when you burn it.  After building the little displays from my woodpile, I would venture to say that it can warm you a fouth time, that is, when you look at a cherished fly in the little wooden holder, the memories that are evoked warm your soul yet again.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Got your 2014 wall calendar yet??

I'm very pleased and proud to have the Celtic Beauty included in the Miramichi Salmon Association's 2014 wall calendar...the lone American among so many great Canadian tyers.  Purchasing this calendar does two things:  a. dresses up your wall no end and b.  helps the Miramichi Salmon Association, which I am delighted to support, accomplish their goals.  It is fine organization with a great, dedicated staff and a board of directors that are incredibly committed.

My dear friend and great guide and tyer Renate Bullock's RBM (RenateBullockMuddler) is featured as well.  If you've never fished this fly, you're missing a very good thing!

You can purchase the calendar online at:    Please do!!