Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shopping for hardwoods and finding Birdeye Maple

A couple of days ago I went shopping for some hardwoods to use in my woodworking shop. There’s not a pressing need for it immediately, but I do have a couple of projects in mind and thought I’d get the hardwoods in need well in advance of the projects starting so the wood has time to acclimate to our home’s environment.

My shopping list included two species of hardwoods: birdseye maple and cherry. I got motivated to go on a run for wood after learning that Allen from Milwaukee Woodworks had a new supply of birdseye maple in stock. While it’s not exactly around the corner for me, it’s worth the trip because Allen offers a great selection of popular hardwoods and great prices.

So what is “birdseye” maple? As the photo to the right shows, its maple wood with tiny “figure” that resembles small eyes... birds’ eyes. As you can see, it’s quite striking, although I’ll be the first to admit that a little bit of birdseye maple can go a long way. No worries for me, as I’m planning on using it in a relatively small project (keeping this project secrete from my wife keeps me from sharing too many specifics about this project right now).

It’s nice to kill the winter doldrums and offset my home improvement projects by bringing a stack of new hardwood into the basement. I’ve walked by the stack several times since getting it home, and each time I peer down and get excited about converting those simple boards into a thing of beauty.

You can see one of my recent woodworking projects in my post Woodworking beats home improvement - my new cherry nightstands.