Earlier this week I got an email out of the blue from a shop neighbor who said that she walks by my shop daily and looks in the window to see what’s new. She also mentioned that she was dismantling her father’s old library shelves that were made of Wormy American Chestnut …and would I like to have them?
Now, in case you’re unfamiliar with American Chestnut, it was one of our nation’s premier furniture woods up until sometime after 1904. That’s when an asian chestnut blight was introduced to North America and within 40 years, the American Chestnut population was wiped out. Wormy Chestnut is caused by wood boring insects that infested dead and moribund trees.
So, as you may have gathered, they don’t make ’em any more and American Chestnut is only found now as reclaimed lumber, usually as Wormy Chestnut.
So far, my neighbor has given me over 65 board feet of free Wormy Chestnut. Most of it is an honest 1″ thick and some of the boards are 11″ wide. She says she’s still downsizing and may have more to donate.
I told her that I not only appreciate the gift but also the provenance and sentiment that goes with the remnants of her father’s library. She said that she was glad that I would be able to make something nice with it. I’m thinking some Limbert Taberets would be nice, perhaps also some boxes.
You never know when something nice will drop into your lap.