The Great Walnut Aquisition
I browse the Bloomington craigslist’s Materials section, from time to time. A few weeks ago, I saw a post adverstising “Lumber,” and that’s about it. The ad was very vague, and said that they had a large amount of lumber, mostly walnut, some maple, and they needed it gone. The price was steep, $400, and I was very skeptical. But I called anyway, and went over to take a look the following day. Driving over, I was all set to haggle and complain and look unimpressed. “There’s no way that’s worth $400,” I would say.
I arrived to find an absolutely ancient man, (to the tune of 97,) who, after a very awkward initial exchange in which he asked who I was and what it was I wanted, instructed me to meet him by the garage door. When he opened it up, I realized that, no, there was no way it was worth 400. Closer to 2000 would be more like it.
The garage was packed, and I mean to the hilt, with natural edge walnut lumber slabs and hundreds upon hundreds of board feet of 4/4 (1 inch thick) walnut boards. Seems he had a walnut tree on his property that came down in a storm 12 years ago (when he was but 85) and being a life-long woodworker, could not in good conscience let it go to waste, so he had it milled down, but it just ended up sitting there drying for 12 years. In addition to all the walnut, there was a huge ton of maple of various widths, thicknesses, and lengths, and other assorted hardwoods.
His friend helped me load it into a pickup truck and we drove back to my place, twice. It took two pickup loads to get the entire load to my house, and then 3 days to sort and organize it. I sorted out all the 1/4 inch stuff and sold that on craigslist to a couple who were paneling their cabin.