The Evolution of The PAY IT FOREWARD PROJECT (that started out as the Redwood Burl Project)
(sometimes things just happen - and THIS is one of those things)

A tree trimmer, tree feller, friend offered me some redwood slabs he'd cut maybe 10 years ago. They'd been sitting under an oak tree on his property for years and he was thinking of taking them to the dump if I didn't want them.

Free wood!? I was interested, but not expecting much. Redwood slabs for coffee tables and end tables were sold on the side of the road in every little town in the Santa Cruz Mountains - the mountains between Silly Cone Valley and the Pacific Ocean. They were ubiquitous - and still "green" -cut days or a few months before be put out to sell.

Aware of my weakness for accumulating wood, especially FREE wood, I drive up to Joe's place in my Miata. Can't haul much wood in a Miata - so less chance of leaving with much wood - that I'd have to figure out where to put when I got home.

What he showed me were SIX slabs of trunk/root burl - each four feet or longer - and - 4 to 6" THICK. Even under years and years of gray weathering I could see some really interesting grain patterns. And they were DRY.

"I'll take them - for sure! Let me go get my van."

"Don't bother" Joe says. "I'll drop them by your place in an hour or two."

Pinch me - I must be dreaming. Really nice wood, for free AND delivered? A woodworker's fantasy, especially a wood turner's fantasy.

Here are five of the six slabs.

And here's a shot of the longest slab . . .

- that's a bit over six inches THICK - with some interesting "figure".

Here's some figure in one of the slabs. Kind of nice huh?

So I cut a few pieces, sanded one and gave it a few coats of thinned garnet shellac to pop the grain a bit.

Here's a shot of the underside - that hints of what's inside this piece of wood.

Can you say "HAPPY DANCE!"?

Now I need advice on where to cut a few of these treasures.

on to the next chapter ------->. .

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