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I have a project coming up: a medicine cabinet for the “boys’ bathroom” in my 1940s era home. I sketched it up and refined the drawing, all the while thinking: “I should never have given away my stash of vertical grain Douglas fir — it would be perfect for this cabinet!”

Alas, when I moved from my huge woodshop a few years ago, getting rid of my extensive supply of lumber was a big task. At one point, I sent an email to my woodworking buddies and said, “At 10 a.m. Saturday morning, it’s first come first served — cool wood free for the taking!” I got rid of a lot of cool stuff … including Doug fir.

So, a week ago I went to work looking for some quartersawn fir and, in the middle of the search, much to my surprise and relief, one of my buddies who had picked up part of my stash told me to come over and just take what I needed.

Full circle in the underground world of cool-looking wood.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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