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.


  1. Per chance, are those mine??

  2. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Mike. Hope to see you on the Batten Kill on New Year's Day!

  3. Love the oak Gary! I've got 10 boxes with flies already in them looking for a base. My neighbour has been too busy to make me some from birds-eye maple yet. About another 10 looking for boxes and bases. I will talk to you about purchasing some after I return from my 21 day winter cruise.
    Brian C.

  4. Sounds great, Brian, enjoy your cruise, lucky dog!!

  5. Love your posts Gary each one is always a pleasant surprise

  6. Gary,

    Nice job of finding some special gems amidst some chunks of stuff that would've just gone up in smoke! Sometimes a guy can get richly rewarded if he cares to look a bit.

    Makes me feel good. I love this stuff. And you just can't find that sort of character in a board from the local lumberyard!

    My compliments bub!!!


  7. Jeremy, thank you...always nice to have another visitor from the classic fly rod forum!

  8. I even have been getting a lot of helpful and informative material in your web site.