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J W's Woodworking Column

I started this column because of my desire to share my woodworking experiences and to teach and help people become better woodworkers. I have more than 20 years of experience working with wood and have worked more than 500 different species of wood. I normally keep more than 125 species in stock. Johnny J W Morlan
December 30 2005

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Welcome
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Wood Photos Are Of Actual
Pieces From My Wood Collection
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All pieces are coated with a clear marine grade polyurethane spar varnish that is impervious to most liquids including body oils and some mild acids. It also has ultraviolet inhibitors in it to repel the suns UV rays.
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I started this column because of my desire to share my woodworking experiences and to teach and help people become better woodworkers. I have more than 20 years of experience working with wood and have worked more than 500 different species of wood. I normally keep more than 125 species in stock.
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I have studied hundreds of woodworking magazine articles and more than 230 books on woodworking by as many as 190 authors. In addition I have studied numerous books and magazine articles on art, business, marketing, advertising and webmastering. I consult with both individuals and companies {World Tree Technologies, Impact Group New York, & B. K. Brown Designs} on the best wood, procedures and finishing techniques to use in the production of their wooden projects or products and how to advertise their products.
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Ancient Kauri Wood
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Photo Credit Johnny W. Morlan Copyright 2006
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Oldest Workable Wood On Earth
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Botanical name is Agathis australis. Its average specific gravity is approximately 0.45. It is in the classification of softwood. It grows in New Zealand. Other names are Kauri Pine, Kaurikopal, Menghilan, Dakua Makadre and New Zealand Kauri. ;

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The oldest workable wood/lumber on earth is Ancient Kauri {Agathis australis}. The trees from ancient forests on North Island, New Zealand have been buried under peat moss during the last ice age. They are well preserved and are now being dug up from the tundra. They have been radio carbon dated to approximately 30,000 - 50,000 years old. Of coarse, 50,000 years is the ultimate limit of radio carbon dating so it is quite possible that these trees could be older! ;

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It is estimated that the trees were growing approximately 12 - 20 centuries before they were buried by the ice. Some of the trees had a circumference of approximately 40 foot and heights of almost 200 foot. The Ancient Kauri trees are native to New Zealand and are not found anywhere else in the world. ;

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Ancient Kauri wood is environmentally safe. There are no cutting of living trees and the land that the trees were on is redone to its original contours and state. ;

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The logs are underneath the surface of farm fields and ranch lands. When a site is identified, permission is obtained and expert heavy equipment operators are brought in to carefully expose and lift the logs which are gigantic and are at 100% moisture content out of what was a prehistoric bog. Then they are moved to a location to begin the milling process. The milling itself, has demanded some innovative equipment designs and in some instances just plain old lumberman's ingenuity. ;

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The kiln drying process is very slow and great care and patience is required as it looses heavy amounts of moisture to reach the moisture content of 12%. ;

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Kauri trees still grow in New Zealand, Australia, New Guinea, Fiji Islands, Indochina, Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Indonesia and New Caledonia. Law protects the Kauri trees that grow in New Zealand. The above Kauri trees are not the quality that Ancient Kauri trees are. Some have been dug up that are 3000 - 5000 years old. ;

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Canoes were handcrafted by the older generations of Maori people. Each was made from a single tree and some were up to 80 foot long. ;

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The gum from the Kauri use to be used as an ingredient in high quality paints and varnishes. ;

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Woodworking Properties & Characteristics
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Ancient Kauri Wood
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Color: Light to medium golden brown sometimes with a very slight reddish or yellowish tinge or cast. Its color will darken with age.
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The Following Are My Opinions Based Upon Working The Wood.
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Ancient Kauri lumber is classified a softwood. It has about the same hardness as say Southern Yellow Pine. Because the growth rings are much closer together {tighter} than present day Kauri has, it is a little harder and easier to work. ;

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The lumber has minute movement in service, {very stable}. ;

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It planes, drills, hand carves and cuts well with either high speed tool steel or carbide tipped cutting tools and it also does not tool burn easily. It does have the tendency to fuzz. It does not have much of a dulling affect even when using high speed tool steel cutting tools. Cutting tools should be kept quite sharp as the wood has a tendency to chip out, tear and splinter. ;

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As with most softwood routing across the grain is difficult. Extremely sharp bits should be used and multiple shallow passes made cutting away only small amounts of wood per each pass, 1/32" or so per pass. ;

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Turns well on a lathe. Due to the softness of the wood it is best when turning miniature pieces to use the highest possible lathe speed. Sharp tools should be used at all times when working with the wood. Care should be taken to use slight pressure and remove a minute amount of wood at a time due to its softness. ;

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Glues very well with carpenters yellow glue or polyurethane glue. ;

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Sands well with all types of sandpaper (no gum up). If sanded down in steps to 2000 grit sandpaper or finer it will produce a finish that gives the illusion of being 3 dimensional. ;

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Stains well but the wood should be preconditioned before staining due to the softness of the wood to eliminate blotching. ;

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Polishing will produce a remarkable luster. ;

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Due to the softness of the wood, deep thread wood screws should be used for fastening multiple pieces of this wood together or other parts to it. It nails well and no pre-boring is needed. ;

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It is closed pored, usually straight. Sometimes some lumber will have wavy grain, may have a flame or mottled figure and may even have areas that give the illusion of changing colors.. ;

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This wood is moderately durable in an outdoor environment. ;

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Ancient Kauri can be bought from veneer 1/20th of an inch thick, 9" wide and 10 foot long to slabs as large as 14 inches thick 48" wide and 12 foot long. Logs, stumps, natural edge and free form wild edge pieces are also available. ;

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The lumber cost is $25.00 - $60.00 per board foot depending upon the grain {figure pattern}, thickness and width. The veneer starts at $3.00 per square foot ;

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One place you may purchase Ancient Kauri wood online is, Ancientwood, LTD. Each piece of Ancient Kauri wood/lumber purchased, comes with a Certificate Of Authenticity. ;

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Tip
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When making a box, no matter how many sides always cut the sides from one piece of lumber and in consecutive order. This allows the figure and grain patterns of the wood to be continuous, wrapping around the perimeter of the box. ;

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Quote Or Proverb
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No mistakes, no experience; no experience, no wisdom. Stanley Goldstein

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Pink Ivory Wood
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Photo Credit Johnny W. Morlan Copyright 2005
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Botanical name is Berchemia or Rhamnus zeyheri. Its average specific gravity is approximately 0.81. It is in the classification of hardwood. It grows in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. Other names are Red Ivorywood, Umgoloti Wood and Pau Preto Wood.
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Legend has it that it is the royal wood of the South African tribe, Zulu. When the son of a chief is capable of cutting the tree down and can create a spear with the wood, he is considered a man. No other member of the tribe is allowed to cut a tree or have any of the trees wood in their possession. If they break this sacred rule, the punishment is death.
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Pink Ivory turns and carves fairly easily. It has a very fine texture, if sanded down in steps to 2000 grit sandpaper or finer it will shine without applying a finish or wax to it. The color can be light pink to a medium red with a pinkish tinge and sometimes a fairly bright red with a pinkish tinge. It costs $100.00 - $150.00 per board foot. Sometimes it is sold by the pound. Here is a supplier that usually has it, Righteous Woods.
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Tip

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Store lumber vertically from longest pieces in back to shortest in front, instead of horizontally on shelves or racks. It makes lumber a whole lot easier to see, look at {thumb through}, from getting marred and scratched, and it saves a lot of time.
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Quote Or Proverb

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The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. Elbert Hubbard
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Bethlehem Jerusalem Holy Land Olivewood
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Photo Credit Johnny W. Morlan Copyright 2005
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Botanical name is Olea europaea. Its average specific gravity is approximately 0.70. It is in the classification of hardwood. Today Olive tress can be found in northern Africa, the Middle East and southern Europe especially in Italy. There are also small orchards in California, Florida and Arizona. Other names are Olivo Wood, Olivier Wood and Olbaum Wood. ;

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Olive Trees have been around for many centuries. Olive is in the Ash {Fraxinus spp} family. They can live for 1500 years or more and usually do not obtain a height of more than 25 feet or diameters in excess of 12 inches. The Holy Bible states that King Solomon's temple had Olivewood decorative art objects in it. ;

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Very large percentages are cultivated for oil and the olives. It is rarely sold or available in lumber and if one is lucky enough to find lumber, it will be small pieces and very expensive. ;

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The most famous and sought after Olivewood is the wood from the trees in and around the Bethlehem Jerusalem Holy Land area. Because the trees are only trimmed once or twice a year, it is extremely difficult to obtain the wood and then only in small pieces. No trees are ever harmed, damaged or destroyed by the trimming. ;

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Bethlehem Olivewood lumber is hard, heavy and strong. The lumber has great movement in service. It routs, shapes and planes well with carbide tipped cutting tools. Carves well and turns well on a lathe. ;

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Drilling and cutting is rather difficult. Most cutting tools seem to dull at an above average rate. Cutting tools should be kept quite sharp. It also does not tool burn easily ;

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If one does not own or have access to a moisture meter, especially with the blocks used for turning, I highly recommend stabilizing {treating} it using PEG 1000 {polyethylene glycol} before making any project from it. ;

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When first worked with tools and sanded, the wood gives off a slight sweet smell. ;

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Sands wells, very little gum up. Glues very well with polyurethane glue. ;

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It costs $50.00 to $90.00 per board foot. ;

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One must be very careful in purchasing Olivewood as some pieces may have high waste {unusable} as much as 66 2/3%. Small pieces this does not pertain to, but the larger the piece the poorer the quality. This is because the trees are small and do not have very much of a trunk. Here is one supplier that sells it in Israel, Bethlehem Olive Wood. ;

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Tip
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When routing woods that tool burn easily when you slow down too much or stop such as cherry, use a variable speed router. To get the burn marks out, set the speed of the router to about 2/3 of the maximum revolution and lower the bit just a hair, then make one more pass. You will get a slightly rougher cut but the burn mark or marks will be gone. ;

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Quote Or Proverb
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Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed. Booker T. Washington ;

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Snakewood
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Photo Credit Johnny W. Morlan Copyright 2005
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Botanical name is Piratinera Guianensis. Its average specific gravity is approximately 1.30. It is in the classification of hardwood and it grows in South America, Guyana and Surinam. Other names are Leopard Wood, Speckled Wood and Letterwood.

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It is extremely hard! In fact some Snakewood can be harder than Lignum Vitae making it the hardest wood in the world. Color is usually light reddish brown to dark reddish brown. It can have remarkable figure with dark brown or black speckles, stripes and spots like a leopards or with strange markings. It has a tendency to dull tools very quickly it is best to use extremely sharp carbide tools when working with this wood. In my experience when sawing Snakewood it is not uncommon for the saw blade to throw sparks. You should clean the wood with Acetone prior to gluing it and use a polyurethane glue. ;

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The price varies depending upon the amount of figure the wood has. Highly figured will cost $150.00 - $350.00 per board foot. Sometimes they sell it by the pound. One board foot will normally weigh approximately 6 pounds. There are a few suppliers who carry Snakewood most of the time, one such supplier is, Eisenbrand Exotic Hardwoods. ;

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Tip
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When marking around templates or patterns, you should use a mechanical pencil that uses 0.5 or 0.7mm lead. This allows for a precise and consistent marking to follow when using a scroll saw or bandsaw for cutting. Also you can twist the lead out say an inch or so to mark in those hard to reach crevices. ;

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Quote Or Proverb
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Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas Alva Edison ;

 
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Thuyawood Burl
It is Pronounced Too-Yuh
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Photo Credit Johnny W. Morlan Copyright 2005
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Botanical name is Tetraclinis artculata. Its average specific gravity is approximately 0.72. It is in the classification of softwood {Conifer}. It grows in Morocco and Algeria. Other names are Citrus Wood, Thyine Wood and Sandarac Wood. ;

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It is a burl, which is an outgrowth on the root of a tree. When worked {sawed, planed, sanded etc.} it gives off a sweet but also a sour smell combined. It is usually light golden brown to light to medium brown sometimes with a slight reddish tinge and has wild grain and numerous knots making a mottled or bird's eye figure. The wood is difficult to work because of its brittle nature. Extreme care is required during the kiln drying process. To eliminate this you can either air dry (requiring an extended amount of time depending upon the thickness of the wood) or I recommend stabilizing {treating} it using PEG 1000 {polyethylene glycol} before making any project from it. This will decrease the waiting time to do a project. ;

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It costs $50.00 to $75.00 per board foot but it is extremely difficult to obtain a source. The source that I have located to obtain this wood is, Exotic Wood Group. ;

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Tip
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To produce exact fitting pieces, use the cut and fit method. To do this take each piece, line it up with the joining piece and mark approximately with a pencil where the cut needs to be, then cut the piece {sometimes takes as many as 3 or 4 cuts} until it fits precisely. ;

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Quote Or Proverb
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Some look at things that are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not? George Bernard Shaw

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 Hello & Welcome! Woodworking Artist Johnny {J W} Morlan’s Newsletter   Johnny has more than 20 years of experience working with wood and has worked more than 500 different species of wood. He normally keeps more than 125 species in stock.

 Hello, Welcome To My Gallery   Hello, Welcome To My Gallery! I Am Very Pleased To Have You As A Guest I Hope You Have A Pleasant Experience.

 J W's Woodworking Column   I started this column because of my desire to share my woodworking experiences and to teach and help people become better woodworkers. I have more than 20 years of experience working with wood and have worked more than 500 different species of wood. I normally keep more than 125 species in stock.

 Woodworking Artist Johnny {J W} Morlan Personal Quotes   * "Just because a woodworker makes an object from a beautiful figured piece of wood does not make them a woodworking artist or the piece a work of art. Nature created the wood, not them! True wood art has intricateness!" Johnny W Morlan

 Facts About Wood & Trees 2   * The tree specie with the largest undivided leaves is the Bigleaf Magnolia {Magnolia macrophylla}. The leaves are 7 to 12 inches wide and 12 to 32 inches long. * In an article written in 2004 and featured in the weekly magazine Nature, it states that theoretically, the tallest possible height that any tree could obtain is 400-425 foot. This is be

 Box Construction & Wood Finish Techniques   Johnny has more than 20 years of experience working with wood and has worked more than 500 different species of wood. He normally keeps more than 125 species in stock. Some of Johnny's creations have been bought by or given as presents to professional people, foreign dignitaries of state, celebrities and even the President and the First Lady of th

 How Woodworking Differs From Other Art Mediums   The art medium of woodworking differs from all other art mediums in numerous ways. In this day and age, the woodworker has to be environmentally conscientious because in today's society the rainforests and the depletion of trees is a major concern.

 Five Star Reviews Magazine's Review/Write Up Of J W Morlan's Unique Wood Gifts   Five Star Reviews Magazine, A National United States Publication That Reviews Travel Destinations, Restaurants, Spas, Products, Services & Events In The Realm Of Business & Entertainment. Their Staff Writers Have Worked For FoodTV, Travel & Leisure, Gourmet Magazine, Vogue, Elle, USA Today & Oprah.

 Information About Custom Made Or Commissioned Orders   Custom Made Boxes, Such As Jewelry, Music, Keepsake, Treasure, Cremation, Recipe File & Cigar Humidor. Custom Made Office Pieces, Such As Desk Sets, Desktop Business Card Holders, Multiple Business Reception Area Desktop Business Card Holders, Pens, Pen Sets, Letter Openers, Single, Double, Triple & Quadruple Level Letter Trays.

 Facts About Wood & Trees 1   There are two types of trees that it is impossible to tell how old they are by counting their growth rings. Trees produce growth rings because of the distinguishable temperature changes that occur over a yearly cycle causing their growth to slow down and speed up.

 Story: What Started Me Wood Collecting?   I had been working in a lumberyard and hardware store for about a year, it was 1983. One day I went out to the lumberyard part to snoop around. I went way back into one of the lumber storage buildings and found a large pile covered with a dirty old canvas. When I removed the canvas, I found a bunch of old, dirty and dusty lumber.

 Payment Options, Shipping & Handling Charges For Orders Outside Of USA   At The Beginning Of Each Pieces Description, Is The Shipping Weight In Pounds. Prices Include Insured Shipping & Handling To USA Addresses.

 Business Information   "Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible." Mac Anderson Johnny has owned and operated his business full time since 1989. Johnny started the business because of the love and passion of worki

 Woodworking Artist Johnny {J W} Morlan Studio Shop   It is no secret that for 23 years Johnny's shop studio was 405 square foot or smaller in size, {new shop studio is 750 square foot}. All of his tools are average priced. Even with the shops the size they were, he still built small wine, humidor and stereo cabinets. Johnny takes great pleasure in showing and teaching hobbyist woodworkers that have a

 Article: Tips For Artists & Craftspeople   Take these for instance, on the Internet, Artmajeur, WWAR, Yessy and Fine-Art. Sure they receive an immense amount of visitors per month, Artmajeur has over 18,900 artists and over 408,000 pieces of art, WWAR has almost 16,000 artists and over 100,000 pieces of art, Yessy has at least 15,000 artists and over 167,000 pieces of art and Fine-Art has 5

 Article: Lumber Grades   Lumber Grades & Ways Lumber Is Priced & Sold, Author Johnny W. Morlan: In this article I will not go into explaining the rules of grading hardwood or softwood lumber as they are very complicated and lengthy. I will list the grades that are sold, the dimensions that are available and the ways retailers price and sell lumber.

 Article: Wood Movement & Projects   How To Insure Wood Movement Doesn't Ruin Your Project, Author Johnny W. Morlan: I place each species of wood into one of four wood movement categories, they are minute, small, average and great.

 Article: Wood Movement & Environment   Your Indoor House Environment & Wood Movement, Author Johnny W Morlan: Wood is either classified hardwood or softwood. Hardwood comes from {flowering} broadleaf trees. Softwood comes from {conifers}cone-bearing trees. There are exceptions to this. For instance Balsa and Basswood are hardwoods even though they are extremely soft.

Artworks Styles : Contemporary - Functional Art
Artworks Topics : Woodworking
Artworks Media : Wood



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