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About Eric.

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    : St. Louis
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  1. I agree with Coop...humidity is a bigger factor in drying times than temperature...but cooler air will slow it down some. Just make sure your previous coat is totally dry before you move on to a subsequent coat and you'll be fine. Give it a full 24 hours or more to be on the safe side. I've used ARS in the 50s before. No issues other than impatience on my part.
  2. Yep, that's heartwood. No issues other than aesthetics...treat it as you would any other maple. It won't get any lighter but it shouldn't darken considerably either. If anything, the sapwood should catch up to the heartwood just a bit eventually. It will never be as dark, but the sapwood will darken some.
  3. Yeah I'm aware of the reasons why, I just don't think it's usually justified. I would argue that if you can't afford a little pile of nice lumber to build a piece of heirloom furniture, you can't afford the 80 or 100 hours of labor that goes into it either. At that point you should be spending that time looking for a better job. IMO. "Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
  4. Well if ya ever wanna sell it, let me know.
  5. I'm with Chet. The sooner you start thinking of Mother Nature as the artist and yourself as simply the curator, the better your pieces will look. Your job is not to create beauty in the wood, it is to preserve the inherent beauty which already exists. After that your job only becomes protecting the wood from use and abuse, and you then begin walking that tightrope between durability and natural appearance, which are inversely related. The more durable a finish, generally, the uglier that finish has the potential to be. The more natural the appearance, the less protection it will offer. Which is why so many people use and recommend wipe-on poly finishes. Not only are they easy to use and master and do not require spray systems, they offer a decent amount of protection while still maintaining a fairly natural appearance (at least when done well and a satin sheen is used). But to follow up on Chet's comment, if you make the wise decision right off the bat to never stain wood, you eliminate the biggest challenges that finishing poses. Besides, what's the point of using a species of wood if you dislike it so much you plan to fundamentally change the way it looks?
  6. I have some coffeebean for you, Paul. Need your address. Post it here or PM me.
  7. The point is, you want to match your shop conditions as closely as possible to the conditions where the piece will live the rest of its life. Obviously if you're shipping pieces across the country this will be impossible, and frankly, unless you're in a basement or an otherwise perfectly sealed and conditioned shop the way your house is, you'll only be able to get close. Fortunately, close is good enough. Use properly dried lumber and follow proper acclimation and milling procedures, build your furniture with movement in mind, and you'll be fine. Once you understand how and why wood moves, your fight with movement turns into more of a dance.
  8. What is the humidity range in your house?
  9. That's a sweet little axe, T. How long is the handle?
  10. The Silky saws are great. I carry a 210 for backpacking and I also have a Bigboy for certain aspects of bushcraft (it's huge). They're very nice saws but some people claim they have trouble with bending the blades because they're on the thin side. I don't know if these people are just clumsy or don't realize they cut on the pull or what...because I've never had any issues. A budget saw that everyone raves about is the Bahco Laplander: When Amazon has them in stock they're around $20. The splitting axe is awesome. I've split oak with it and it does the job well.
  11. By coffee tree are you referring to what is commonly called Kentucky Coffeebean? I'm afraid that's basically the only one I can help with unless I go cut down my neighbor's pin oak or Norway spruce.
  12. I have the Gransfors Scandinavian Forest Axe (assuming that's the one @Juskimo has) and the large splitting axe. I also have a Wetterlings large hunter's axe...Wetterlings as a company and product line is similar to Gransfors, ever so slightly cheaper but basically the same quality. Of the two forest axes I own, I think the Wetterlings would be a better choice for backpacking simply because of the weight factor. I only take axes when I'm doing a short hike or no hike at all. On backpacking trips I just take a knife that can be used with a baton, and a Silky saw. Very light and I never really expect to have huge rip-roaring fires on a backpack trip. I bring the axes when we're gonna have more camp time than hiking time. I believe Gransfors has a model similar to the Wetterlings I own. If you do longer hikes I'd look at smaller axes...possibly even a hatchet or tomahawk. For long camp time or super cold conditions the bigger axes are great.
  13. Also known as Queen Mary the 1st for the number of finger decapitations it's responsible for. I made that up...but do be careful.
  14. I've been messing around with bushcraft a bit lately, and I bought a few of these axes. Not exactly woodworking per se, but I thought some of you might appreciate it. Very nice tools.
  15. They all darken. The HM and sapele turn more of a burgundy-brown while the AM stays more of a pure brown without dye. But all three will darken. The HM has the deepest and richest color of the three.