May 2021

May in Maine is pure joy. The bulbs have bloomed and the wildflowers are taking over. We’ve had blood root, trillium, violets and also a few fringed polygala, and Solomon’s seal.

Our resident barred owl has been a frequent sighting on my morning walks. It seems to be a grand year for chipmunks, and the owl couldn’t be happier.

My chestnut seedlings are doing well. These are a gift from The American Chestnut Foundation. I believe they are second or third generation back crosses of Chinese and American chestnuts. My hope is to distribute them around the state to prevent any blight organisms from wiping out a whole bunch at once, should that happen.

I had a nice article in the spring magazine of The American Chestnut Foundation about the blanket box I made during the summer of 2020 ( see August 2020 blog). Part two of the article, how the native Maine chestnut lumber came to be will appear in the summer issue.

Things were slow in the shop, since I had so many other chores to attend to. Not only that, but I no longer spend 8 and 10 hour days in the shop anymore. It’s nice to slow down a bit. Still taking orders for small items.

I did mange two Shaker round stands, the epitome of good design. Both are classics and favorites to build. I never tire of making them. They found a home in Massachusetts.

Lastly, I made a small box of apple wood. I was given a few planks many years ago, and the donor specified that I could keep the rest if I built a box. It’s only been a few years…

Apple is a notoriously difficult wood to obtain, to dry, and to work with. The 8/4 planks were severely twisted, almost like airplane propellers. Not only that but there were checks, bark inclusions, and some rot. It took two 9″ x 78″ planks to produce one box. It did turn out well. I must admit that the wood smelled so good, that I decided no to finish the inside. the grain wraps around the box.

C. H. Becksvoort © 2021

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