I finished 9 pages of scaled, detailed drawings for my tall case (72″ high) cherry dresser yesterday. Today I planed about 100 board feet of my clear, air-dried cherry lumber. Current retail price for American Black Cherry lumber is approx. $7.00 per board foot; up to $10.00 per board foot for extra wide. [one board foot = 12″ by 12″ by 1″ thick] The widest boards are 13 inches wide and all are planed, both sides, to a finished dimension of 7/8ths inch thick. So although I paid $1.00 per board foot for rough cut lumber direct from the West Virginia saw mill years ago, the present value of the boards in these two pictures is well over $1,000. After planing the lumber, I then mapped out what parts of the dresser will come from which boards. While all the casework will be cherry, the drawer sides/backs will be hand dovetailed, solid white oak, and I will custom make the pulls from pure black, African ebony. By the time I’m finished, I expect to have upwards of 120 hours labor in the finished piece, and although I will never sell it, the retail value would be in the $4,000~$6,000 range depending on the market.
I finished this 6″ W x 4.5″ H bowl today. It’s Goncalvo Alves, a heavy and very dense tropical hardwood. I’m happy with the result, although turning it was a lengthy and tedious process. This small bowl weighs 4~5 pounds, at least double what black walnut would weigh. I bought the bowl blank 20 years ago and today I would choose native hardwoods exclusively. Like all my bowls thus far, it’s finished with pure beeswax. (Click on any image to enlarge)
I’m fascinated by the color, shape and texture of things that are literally at my feet and all around me every day. I’m also struck by the fact that the natural world creates, as it were, these tableaux effortlessly and flawlessly and they always surpass in beauty the best art work humans are capable of . . . although some artists do come close. All images © Max Vollmer (Click on any image to enlarge)