The Wonders of Wood

SEA_1406-EditI smile to myself every time I walk into a newer 70ish home and find woodwork that appears to be real wood but in fact it is fabricated woodwork that often times has a thin layer of wood grain type of plastic. I call it formed saw dust. One of my clients mentioned several days ago that she seeks out old furniture and takes the time to strip the paint off of the pieces simply because she prefers real honest to goodness wood. I have a handful of listings that have the most stunning woodwork that if one were to replace that very woodwork, they would likely pay thousands of dollars in just the materials alone, not to mention the cost of installation and varnishing. I have 100 year old floors in my office that I refinished about four years ago and they look just as good as they did when the last coat of varnish went on them. Wood is very forgiving. My dear Mother several weeks ago made the mistake of placing a very hot pan on her walnut kitchen table. Well, it blistered the varnish but the tabletop wood is still intact. Some of the strains of oak can resist an unbelievable amount of stress. White Oak which is used for wooden kegs and barrels can last for years and years without being affected by water. On the farm, we used to have watering tanks that were made of white oak and they never leaked. I purchased a home many years ago and did some restoration work on it before I sold it. I had two very large mahogany storm windows made to fit two bay windows that were in the living and dining room. Those storm windows are still in on that home and they look great. What is even more unique about wood is that it can be re-used and re-built into something new. A deceased client of mine gave me a bent wood chair that was absolutely gorgeous with one exception—the seat must have been used as a workbench. Since it was such a terribly old chair, I had to look for the same wood of the same age. In my diggings, I found several dusty old planks that were tucked away in the rafters of a storage building and to my delight, they were re-worked to become the new old seat of that chair. These past months, I have found that likely there are some young and visionary people in our community that are now taking a closer look at homes built with old growth lumber because these homes are now selling better than they have for the past five years. A young and very industrious couple with two beautiful young sons just purchased a fixer-upper today and they are terribly excited. I know they will make that home into a showplace. My real love of wood is anything that is hand carved. In another life I have decided that I will be a carver of woods.

Joe Chodur

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