I just talked with a future client who is taking down some trees on her family’s property in Southwest Missouri and wants to have some tables made from the wood that’s recovered. A long conversation ensued about the process of making timber. She and her family are excited to go about the preparation of the wood themselves: they’ve taken down the tree, scheduled sawyer with a portable mill to come out and cut the log into 8/4 (eight quarter or two inch) thicknesses, and have a spot staked out in their dry and drafty old barn, where the wood will get the airflow it needs to get ready to be furniture. This wood will sit patiently in waiting for two years (a year for every inch of thickness) shedding its live moisture content, before it can be sent to the kiln for a “finish” dry cycle down to 8-10% moisture content. Then we will finally get down to building. While that is a daunting thought for this family (a 2+ year process for a dining table!), they think it will be worth it.

By Edward Stojakovic 
CC BY 2.0 (image modified)

Doesn’t that just fly in the face of every other furniture buying experience? Just go to the big showroom, meet your salesperson (but don’t REALLY meet them), pick out your table, and take it home in a box, then put it together. It should take you about 90 minutes, if you shop like I do, and you can read the instructions. Hopefully the table lasts you more than two years.

I thank my lucky stars for people not in a rush. For clients who come to our shop to begin a friendship with us and a love affair with their table, waiting included. All the time spent is an investment in the future, in the significance that a purposefully created piece of craftsmanship will bring to your house, to your home, and to your family.