I’ve been of several minds over the title of this post because it covers a number of different reasons for a recent success. The success was finding some beautifully ray fleck figured white oak for my next set of Limbert tabourets.
Ray flecks are slices through the radial, medullary rays of the log. These rays look like the spokes on a wheel when viewed from the end of the log. Only logs that are quarter sawn will slice through these rays.
Any other orientation of the log to the saw, and the rays become invisible. In any quarter sawn log, only about 25% of the boards will have any visible ray flecks at all. This is all a product of the art and skill of the sawyer (as a woodworker I have no part in this), and so one idea for the title was to write an homage to the sawyer.
Thus, in any batch of quarter sawn white oak, there is a chance that some of the boards will have ray fleck figure. So, if you have an indulgent reseller, or a good relationship with a sawyer, they might let you pick through their stock and select all the best pieces. That thought prompted the idea that I should acknowledge my supplier, Edensaw Hardwoods, and their very patient forklift operators.
But ultimately, unstacking, selecting and re stacking bundles of lumber is frustrating and physically hard work. It’s really only possible with the help of a dedicated assistant who is truly supportive and believes in your vision of success. So here’s to the persistence (and patience) of my best assistant ever (thank you Kris).