One of the best parts about making saws is the excellent cover it provides for buying and hoarding lumber for future handles. Whether it’s a small piece I find in a firewood pile or a large log on a woodlot, having the opportunity to participate in hunting out and cutting wood is a real bright spot in any day.
One of the chief enablers in this endeavor is Greg Flegal, a woodmonger who runs a part-time bandsaw mill near Kennett Square, PA. If you live anywhere in Chester County, it’s worth a trip to take a look at his operation.
Unlike most commercial yards, the bulk of his lumber is stored in flitches, which is helpful when you want consistent grain and color for a project. With many of his logs coming from yard trees, many offbeat or unusual woods turn up. In the past year, I have bought ginkgo (20″ wide, 14′ long, knot-free, and dead straight), apple, walnut and cherry crotches, and pear.
Best of all, he calls me when an interesting log shows up at his mill. When his number popped up on caller ID earlier this week, I cringed, knowing that my bank account was about to take a hit. This call was about a fruit pear, and a large one at that. The butt log was 16″-18″ in diameter, and about 4′ long. Two of the other logs were a few inches smaller, but still large for a pear.
Like any good dealer, he knows that the surest way to sell to an addict is to let them see and taste the product. When the first log was opened up, I knew I had to have it. Worse yet, Greg knew that, too. Fortunately, he is a swell fellow and did not skin me alive in the deal.
It’s as if he knows I’ll be back…