Being creative in the quest for wood.
SHOP OWNER: Norm Pageau
LOCATION: Ontario, Canada
I am an engineer by trade and I really enjoy getting into my workshop or as my wife calls it, my Cave. I am in my 50's and still learn something new everyday. I am writing to help encourage other amateur woodworkers to try new projects outside their comfort zone and to be creative even in your quest for wood!
I always keep and eye out for old barns. Just ask the owners about the history of the barn, tell them your story, and maybe ask for a few pieces. Keeping your take small and offering to pay will often result in them giving it to you. Another source is to take rides through rural areas. If you spot a small wood mill, stop and talk to the owner - you could be surprised. Recycling centers are a good source for old wood doors. In addition, in my city I watch for renovations. I discovered that a lot of old homes have 1" by 12" white pine soffits. Plane the down and, Wow! One of my best tool investments is a 12-˝" King planer and a metal detector from Lee Valley. I cannot always distinguish the different types of wood, especially from old barns, but it does not matter. Once you find an idea for a project, run with it. I pick my ideas from the Internet or local craft shops and shows.
I made these treasure boxes for my four grandchildren for Christmas from some of my white pine soffit wood. My wife, Janey, filled each one with gifts and sent the boxes across Canada on the bus for Christmas Day! Not only were the kids very excited with what they found in the boxes but they also got the boxes as keepsakes from Grandpa!
This end table is one of several I’ve built. The finish is Minwax Honey Oak Stain with three coats of water based satin, and one coat of high quality paste wax for maintenance.
This is a mitten box I built using old barn board and finished with Minwax Golden Oak stain.
This is a piece of timber for my coffee table. A local wood cutter that usually sells wood to guitar and instrument makers in Toronto had these in his shed for four to five years. I offered him fifty dollars and he sold me five pieces (16" to 26 " wide, 5' to 6' long, and 2" to 2 ˝ " thick) and asked me to show him the project when I was finished. Now we are good friends!
These are what I call Bill Boxes. They are from old white pine barn wood and old door panels and have many interesting cuts that stretched my skills as an amateur!
When I made this stereo cabinet for my wife, I had no idea what kind of wood it was. I threw caution to the wind and made the cabinet with whatever fit. The sides are laminated using carpenter’s glue and # 20 biscuits. The top drawer cantilevers when pulled out to display the CD's inside.. . . Norm Pageau
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