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Thread: The Sad Basswood Saga

  1. #1

    The Sad Basswood Saga

    I suppose this thread could be construed as a whine, but overall its not meant to. Its really just a sad story of the internet, a landowner and a Basswood tree.

    It all started a year and a half ago when a guy on another forum said he "wanted a massive amount of basswood for a huge carving." Well as luck would have it, I have some Basswood growing on my property that I have been cutting around for years. Basswood prices are very low so its not worth cutting commercially so I figured I would save it for something special. Well a massive carving was something special...so I contacted the guy and said I would give it to him if he promised to "pass it up" someday.



    He readily agreed. So I went out in the woods and harvested this pretty good sized tree. It was so muddy that my little tractor could not get into the woods,but I had my Grandfather's dozer at the house and I knew that would not have any problem in the mud. So I cut it down, pulled it out, bucked it into logs. It was way to muddy to cut on the sawmill, so I debarked the logs and then sawed it out in the dimensions the guy needed.





    Then it sat...and sat...and sat...and now...well wood is a living, breathing kind of thing, so its slowly has deteriorated. Every time I contacted the guy he promised he would be right up...but he never did. The wood slowly cracked and split, warped and twisted, and now is pretty much a pile of scrap wood. Its kind of a shame because I would not have harvested it if I had known its fate would have ended so poorly.



    There is no sense crying over spilled milk I suppose, but I did learn my lesson and won't be so quick to cut down any trees for anyone out of sheer kindness. I really feel bad about the whole thing, I really hate wasting wood. There is more out in the woods, just not as tall and big as this tree. As I said I planned on saving it for something special and to see it go to comeplete waste is kind of sad.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    It is sad that there are folks who will agree to anything free when in their heart they place no value on it other than the fact that it is . . . free. This theme has found its way into many books and movies; "if they don't pay for it they won't think they got their money's worth". Sorry for your lost efforts and tree.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
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    4,268
    Thats what happens when it's free. Nothing invested, nothing to loose.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,825
    Jeff nailed it. When I owned my store, favors done for customers always came back to bite me.
    Pity about that basswood being wasted. Around here it is much sought after by the wood carvers and commands high prices, comparable to imported exotic woods.

  5. #5
    I suppose you guys are right. I will be fair though and extend the offer to anyone on here. Some good wood can still be gleaned out of these 8 x 8's, 6x 6's and 4x 4's. Its too much to ship being as its about a pick-up truckload, but to anyone that wants it on here, come on up and get it.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Winchester, VA
    Posts
    58
    Travis, I wish I lived closer!! I would be there today if it were possible. I hate to see such waste of beautiful wood. Basswood is pretty valuable around here, too, with the carvers. A gift of that magnitude is incredible. I hope the guy learns a lesson in responsibility! It is a shame that shipping costs are so high...I would pay to have some shipped here otherwise.

    I hope someone can take these pieces and make something. I am sure they are worth the effort!
    I keep cuttin, but it just ain't gettin any longer!!!

  7. #7
    Come on Sandy, there is only 698.6 miles separating us. 11:46 minutes

    Just take I-95 North to Fairfield, Maine. Make a Right onto Rt 139 and then take that to the East Thorndike Road. I'm the last house in Thorndike on the right. No big deal,its only 3 roads you gotta take
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  8. #8
    Offer it up to the local Woodcarving clubs, http://www.chipchats.org/

    http://mainewoodcarvers.org/ E-mail @ iinfo@mainewoodcarvers.org
    I'm sure some of their members would clammer all over themselves for it.
    Last edited by Bill Simpson; 02-22-2008 at 03:18 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Suburban DC (formerly western PA)
    Posts
    176
    Well, that is a sad story. What a waste. I would have picked up some of it at least, free or at a price. Basswood's great for carving, and a large piece? Heaven!

    Seems to be a universal problem, and I think the other members here are right on-- that people don't attach value to free stuff. There are online lists like craigslist.org and freecycle.org where you can give away or barter things, and the complaints are the same. People say they will come by but don't.

    On the other hand, I love free stuff and will go to lengths to get it for my collage and found object art. Free = good.
    "We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time."--Vince Lombardi

  10. #10
    I will have to do something with it this Spring. Right now its under a tarp, but also under 3 feet of snow, so I'll save my back from shoveling and wait until warm temps come. At that point I can do a few things.

    • I can put it on the sawmill and saw the wood into boards and see if the boards will take out some of the twist, warp and checking and use it for something in my shop
    • I can cut some of the major defects out of it and cut it into smaller, shippable pieces and see if people on here want some of it
    • Just give it away to someone else


    Selling it is out of the question, if only for ethics. I was going to give it away from the very beginning so it would not be right (in my mind) to cut it into shippable chunks and sell it on Ebay for instance. I'll give FWWer's first refusal when Spring comes.

    Fair enough?
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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