Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April showers bring great stuff.

Yes, it's April and I have been wanting to get a new post up for a long time.

This is one of the busiest times of the year for me as a lot of new wood is coming from the mills. Soon it will be too warm to let wood sit stacked without spacers  and then you get mold and discoloring going on . It can happen really fast with maples and birches. So, I am out traveling and then piling all kinds of wood. Much of what I get now will not be dried for a while. I let all my stock air dry first. To me it's an important step. The fellow who does my drying and I both agree, air drying works best to let the wood slowly dry and help take away some of the stresses that come from rapid kiln drying.

A lot of the figured woods I get come from gnarly trees. Birdseye especially. So, slow air drying helps let the wood relax without inducing more stresses. I have found it does work for me. plus I am getting much more thicker material, which takes longer to dry. I don't like using high heat to dry my lumber. Bob [the fellow who does my drying] likes to run about 105 to 107 during a lot of the drying cycle. Lower temps are more gentle to the wood. Yes, I still get twists and cup and warp, but not as much as I was getting. WE try to do all we can during the prepping of the lumber. WE seal all the ends with anchor seal, add weight and banding to the piles. Use lots of dry stickers. There is a lot of handling I do with each piece of wood. I wish I could say i was mechanized liked the big mills are, but its just me for the most part. I haul it, stack it, sticker it, unload it from the kiln, bring it home and unload, sort , pile , sort some more and on it goes. I am not kidding when I say i touch each piece 10 times or more before it leaves my hands.

I get my material from several sources. Right from a few select mills for the most part, but also from a few lumber dealers as well. These are not retail sources. I am not getting a couple boards at a time. It takes some good honest relationships and prompt payments to run this. I am not someone's bank. I don't do charge accounts. I do sell to some larger businesses and its amazing what a bit of tact and honesty will do. I get contacted by a large company for an order of wood. They send me purchase orders. I will call and explain, this is what i do. No billing, no credit cards, no paypal. Tell me what you want. Send me a check and you will be sent the wood. Never had an issue. Only one bad check and I got it taken care of at once. I do the same with a new customer that wants to order. Trust is big for me. My reputation is worth a lot.

Sorry if this is boring, but it works for me. I am a big believer in the golden rule. Treat others as you would want to be treated. There I guess I have said enough on how I do business. Hope that helps folks understand a bit more.

Now for the wood that is coming in. If you don't follow me on facebook and instagram, that is where I will be posting most of my pictures. I will continue to do these posts. But using social media does work well for me. Time eats into a lot of how I post. Those two sources are fast enough for me.

I have found a few thousand feet of very old wood that came out of a river. These logs and boards are incredible. Its very old growth lumber from mostly hard maple and yellow birch that I have bought. These  logs were mostly cut in the 1860 and 70's. The growth rings  show them to be between 200 and 300+ years old. They laid in the river since the 1870's.  Ax cut, very tight growth rings and unusual colors. The river has a lot of iron in the water. They are not like bright white in color when cut. The wood shimmers. At this time I only have 1 log set of yellow birch that is kiln dried. I still have logs to saw. Most of what we have sawn is in 5/4, 6/4 and 8/4 thicknesses. The growth rings are incredibly tight. This is once in a lifetime material. These trees were growing before Columbus came to America. Contact me if you may be interested in some of these log sets. They are not inexpensive. Prices will be starting at 10$ per board foot and go up from there. There is a limited amount of this material.

I also have some great maple with very odd figure. Its all hard maple. Spalted birdseye maple, some very nice hard curly maple and soft curly maple. I am sorting birdseye into medium eye stock and heavy eye stock. Color does not bother me with most of the woods. But I can sort for white amterial if you are willing to pay more. I try and work with instrument folks. No 2 are ever looking for the same thing. One thing I will say. Don't expect me to sell all white heavy eye birdseye for the same as regular price material. The more I sort, them more it costs. I pull stock for guitars. I can't take pictures of every board and every square inch. They are 8 and 10 foot plans. I will not cut piecs out unless you pay for it. Just want to make sure every one understands.

I do have a great stock of curly cherry and am hopeful to be getting more curly walnut. I also have light figured birdseye and curl in hard maple that sells for regular maple prices.  Its in 4/4, 5/4 and 6/4 material.  I also have right now, some nice wide long walnut. 12" wide and up to 14 feet long. It will not last long. Also have live edge stock in 8/4, 10/4 , 12/4 and 16/4  curly maple. Some huge pieces, at least to me.

Please check out my facebook page if you have not done so lately
.https://www.facebook.com/KloesCustomWoodwork/
Also my instagram at bobkloes456 and finally my webpage.
 http://www.bobkloes.com/

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas notes from Wisconsin

Hello Folks! It is 2 days after Christmas. I had one of my grandsons help me unload the kiln and haul it home. It sure makes things easier. He is also learning to drive and I let him drive home with many loads of lumber. That was scary. There are some good stories about his driving but will save that for another blog. Needless to say, it is a good thing I have a bald head or I would lose all of my hair.

This unloading has some wonderful material with great history and stories. First up was one log set of yellow birch that has laid at the bottom of a river for over 150 years. This tree was over 300 years old when it was cut which would put it back in the 1500's, when it started to grow. These boards range from 8" wide to 16" wide and 11' long. The boards have the tightest grain I have ever seen in a hardwood log. Most of this is cut into 5/4 thicknesses. The wood has a much darker tone because the river has a high iron content. I would like to sell this whole log set as one. I can cut it into shorter lengths or leave it long for shipping. There is probably 200 board feet, roughly. Very unique, very historical material. I would be asking $2,500.00 for this whole set.

Next up is some of the nicest, most colorful spalted hard maple. There is varying grades. I have this in both 4/4 and 8/4. It is sound but very light in weight. Lots of checking on the ends. Some has some incredibly heavy birdseye figure. Some has heavy curly figure. Some is just plain spalted maple.
The figured material will run higher than the plain maple. The low grade material will be sold for $2.00 per board foot. By low grade, I mean center cuts of the log. This will include pith and checking in the middle of some boards. The plain spalted maple will be $4.00 board foot. I have not priced the birdseye and curl yet, as I am separating boards from the piles. The story behind all the spalted maple is this. These logs sat in a veneer yard in upper MI for over 7 years. They got covered in dirt and leaves. Why the yard owner did nothing with them I am not sure. A mill I deal with had these logs dropped off several years ago. They were sawed and stickered and then left for several years at the back of the mill yard. A year ago I was asked if I was interested in some old , crappy wood in the back. As I walked back towards the pile I could see the figure in some boards, some 200 ft. away.
Luckily they had thrown some tin over the stack so it wasn't completely out in the weather. There were some super weathered pieces on the very outside of the pile but for the most part it is very heavily spalted.

The rest of the wood from this load is some beautiful white birdseye and curly hard maple. If you are looking for anything in particular let me know. I am working with a new trucking company for pallet loads. I also have used Fed Ex for pallet loads. Very economical shipping to the west coast. Email me for shipping pallet loads of wood.

 yellow birch from the river. More photos are available.
 spalted maple
 another shot in the rough

This is what I saw from over 200 feet away. Heavy birdseye
 8/4 live edge spalted
4/4 spalted birdseye

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October news from the shop

Hello folks.

I have been meaning to get something out sooner, but well, no excuses. Its been a busy fall. Lumber sales have slowed down over the summer, which is kind of normal. But I hope you are planing to be working in the shop soon.

 I have found a new way to ship. Bundles are getting really expensive. Shipping out west just is tough. Fed Ex has come up with a flat rate pallet. Depending on where you live from me, I can ship 1200# of wood for between 130 to 300$ to either a fed ex terminal where you pick it up or to a business with a loading dock and forklift. I can still do Fastenal as well, but not as far west. But if you can use material from 46 to 47" long, these pallets are a great cost saver. I think I can do 250 board ft in most of them.  Maybe a bit more. I have to include the weight of the box and pallet and stay under 1200#. If I plane the wood, that helps cut the weight. Fed ex truck terminals are around most cities. I even have one close to Seymour. Maybe work together with other woodworkers you know to fill a box. I have had several groups do this for pallets over the years. Shipping is always my biggest hurdle in selling online. I hate when shipping bundles when the freight is more then the wood. Any questions, let me know. It may take me a bit to get this down, but it seems to be pretty good.

Now that shipping is covered, I can speak about the wood. I have been selling more wide stock as of late. Also stuff for guitars and other music making pieces.  I sure don't understand much about that world, but I try. Those pieces do get pricey fast due to the demands for all white material.

Bark pocket maple in 4/4 and 8/4 stock is in. Lots to pick from. The 8/4 has some nice wide stuff. Also spalted maple in 4/4 material. I have a ton of spalted air drying right now. I also have a pile of 5/4 heavy curl that is stained but dried. Very cheap if you want the whole pile. I think there is about 250 ft. 

Out of the woods I am hearing about lack of good figure and how hard it is to find. One mill I buy from sawed several million feet this year with no figure showing up hardly at all. Birdseye is getting really hard to get in white material and heavy eye. Its a shame in my eyes more makers not using the colored material in their work. The figure is usually way better. I think the color adds to the piece as well. But to each their own said the man as he kissed his cow...
Yes its harder and harder to find exceptional material. But I do have a good amount of wide heavy figured curl and birdseye. Its not cheap, but if you need something for that one special piece, let me know. I also have a good amount of thick stock in curl and am working to get more 8/4 birdseye. I am getting some flame birch sawed as quarter sawn stock. I am waiting to see how it turns out. I do have plenty of 8/4 flame birch and some exceptional wide flame birch I am making my kitchen cabinets out of flame birch right now. Everyone says they are stunning. Charles Neil has been working on his Calista Anne out of flame birch. I know he can't wait to do more out of it.....not! Its hard and heavy as can be a complete bugger to work. But the results are stunning. I have some beautiful 5/4 and 6/4 in it as well. I will be getting some 4/4 curly walnut. It sounds like really nice material. I also have gotten some curly red oak. Nice wide material. Very reasonable as well.

I have a good amount of 5/4 and 6/4 birdseye too. Odd sizes that no one else carries.


I did put birdseye maple flooring in my home this year. Its stunning. I added a picture below. I can have this run for you if you are looking for something really different. No one has birdseye flooring like this. The fellow who installed it remarked that he had done several "birdseye" floors, but none of them had figure like mine. He said the typical "birdseye floor board has 3 or 4 "eyes".  He said most of the floors had less eyes in the whole floor then this had in a few pieces. I like good material. This flooring is. A lot of it is 8 feet long. almost unheard of in the flooring world. If you have questions, let me know. It does take time to get the material and have it run into flooring.

Lots of live edged curly maple in thicker stock sizes. The live edged material seems to be what folks are looking for lately. I do have 12/4 and 16/4 as well as 8/4 and 10/4 in live edge.

I am including a few pictures as well. One is the smaller of the 2 shipping pallets from fed ex. Gives you and idea of size. Some wood shots  of course.

Always glad to answer any building or finishing questions. I am one of the few if any wood sellers who actually make a living building and finishing with the material I sell. I have done a lot of weird things over the years, so if I can give you an answer, I will. Let me know how I can help.

Thanks again!
flat rate pallet
 23" wide 3 piece set of crotch walnut
 10/4 live edge curly maple
 spalted birch
 birdseye flooring

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Wood in July

Well, it hot here in Wisconsin. But its July and it should be. Sorry, I don't believe in that global warming stuff.

But enough of that. Got a kiln load of wood to pile and sort. Got started with some really nice white hard maple that comes from a veneer mill. They hate figure. Thank you Jesus! What I get are pure white boards that have light birdseye and curl. Its usually not heavy enough figure for me, so I sell this for 4.50 board foot. Makes beautiful drawer sides or whatever you want. It runs from 6" wide to over 12" wide. 8 feet long with a little 10 foot stock. If you can use a few hundred feet or more, I can give you a bit of a discount. This costs me more then regular hard maple as it is all FAS and better.

Another thing this time is 8/4 bark pocket hard maple. I only have about 130 bd ft, so there is not much. But is it pretty. And some are 12" wide. Its all 10 feet long.   I have some 4/4 in the same thing, but with deep curl in it. I have maybe 500 ft of the 4/4.

Curly red oak is in stock. Wide and heavy curl for the most part. Again, this comes from the veneer mill. So the stock is all top shelf. A lot of wide  stock and also some 6/4 and 8/4 available. For red oak, it is nice!

Some crazy heavy curl in hard maple is here. It is one the hardest woods to get. But the curl is stunning. I have both 4/4, 5/4,6/4 and 8/4. I have a good supply of the 4/4, but the rest is much smaller amounts. If you want something pretty and breathtaking, the hard curl is it. Most is white one side at least and a lot of the 4/4 is white both sides. I love the heartweood, but some only want white. I do try and make surete curl goes all the way through.

One last thing. I get boards of neat stuff, but only a couple boards. This stuff is usually all hard maple with burl clusters, wierd colors, all sorts of stuff. If you want to make some cool boxes or smaller projects, this works great. It comes and goes, but I rarely get more then 4 or 5 pieces of one tree. I also get boards that have defects. Birdseye and curl mostly. The mineral streaks can cause cracks in hard maple boards. So I pull these and only charge for the sound material. Right now I have some wide boards , but you only pay like 25$ , as I only figure on the good stuff andcharge way less per board foot.
Got sa few photos for you this time. Let me know how I can help. I will help with advice on woodworking or finishing to anyone who buys from me. Its almost 40 years experience working with this wood and building custom pieces. Not many wood sellers can offer that. Check me out on facebook and instagram as well. Lots more pictures. My instagram is bobkloes456.







Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Heavy eye birdseye, curly bark pocket , tight curly maple and curly red oak all in one load

Just got done with 2 days of unloading , separating and piling wood. I have to say, its great exercise when the weather is nice.

Got about 4000 feet out of the kiln this time. I have one small load of curly red oak to get tomorrow. I am tired.

This load was a mix of stuff from both close by and from the great north woods. I love unpiling it and thinking what each board could make. The juices still run strong in making things. I see furniture and small pieces coming from each piece. Yes, I handle each board several times. That is why I know just how nice the figure is and what it can be used for. I am not like a cabinet shop where they make boxes and doors and drawers. I see log sets being made into outstanding pieces for someone's home. Each board in the set with rich heavy figure. This is all part of what I love to do. I don't have employees, just me and I do all the work. Again, no complaints, just allows me to see what is good, great or not so good. I have clients that like certain figures and I need to find and pull or at least sort so I know where it is.

I have a bunch of photos and will put some on here. This load had a little of everything.
Birdseye maple with some really heavy eye, some of the tightest soft curly maple I have ever seen and some beautiful tight curl hard maple that is just breathtaking. Last but not least, a nice selection of curly red oak, in 4/4, 6/4 and a little 8/4. A few hundred feet.  Lots of matching boards in the oak and also wide material. That came from a veneer factory that sorts out any figure. I am not a fan of red oak, but this material is stunning. Big wavy curl. Some on one side, some going across the whole width of the board.

If you would like to contact me to purchase any of this, check out my web site at
www.bobkloes.com or check me out on facebook here.
https://www.facebook.com/KloesCustomWoodwork/
I ship all over the country. There is stock for guitars,furniture,boxes,urns and most anything in many thicknesses up to 4" thick and 24" wide. I can help with questions on finish or construction of furniture. I think that makes me a little different from a lot of wood sellers.




Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 2016 new load of flame birch , birdseye maple, bark pocket and curly maple




Got a nice load from the mill this past week. It was perfect timing. Snow and cold and rain in the early week and then 60's and 70's at the end. Thankfully the mill stickers the wood for me to help start the air drying. Once it gets here, its all restacked and stickered for the best air drying. I use a lot of stickers between layers. I use all kiln dried cedar stickers . They work perfect and don't leave sticker stain. Any boards that are stained comes that way from the mills. Once the weather warms, white woods like maple and birch stain quickly. You have to get them on sticks as soon as possible.
I thank the Lord for keeping me able to handle and move all this lumber. Being 60, its always a good workout to do this. Keeps you moving. I handle each of these boards several times over the course of business. Its like knowing each and every board. By the time I sell the board, I wouldn't doubt I handle each one 6 to 10 times. I am probably not the perfect business model by a long shot. But I know what I have and sell is great stuff.

In this whole load, there were less then 20 boards that are not what I wanted. I work with the mills to find the best figure I can. That is more important then color to me. I know a lot of instrument makers only want pure white or sap. I try  and find it for them, but I would much rather have great figure. I can't sell birdseye with 5 eyes in a board and say its birdseye. I pull all the light figure boards and sell them as plain stock.

Had a great interesting talk with a veneer log seller. Very interesting man. One of the stories he related is how hard it is getting to get white birdseye. Needless to say, I hope some more folks will start trying to use the colored birdseye in their work. It is some wonderful material.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kiln unloading-March 2016

Hello folks.
It has been a pretty crazy few weeks. Lots to do and get done . I got the kiln unloaded this last week and thought you might like seeing what came out.

Mostly 4/4 birdseye, hard curly maple and flame birch and some bark pocket and odd stuff. Some 5/4 as well. Here are some pictures.
This is the bark pocket. Nice small bark inclusions in the boards. Curl and figure as well. All hard maple. 
 This is heavy white birdseye in the rough. The one piece on the right has some "color" in it.
 This is hard curly maple. There was lots of beautiful stuff in this batch. White and wide. And loads of intense curl.
 This is the flame birch. You can see the "barber pole" effect in the side grain. Some of this goes into my kitchen.......sometime.
There was only about 2500 ft this time. Next load will be about 4500 ft. not sure where it will all fit. But I sure love seeing it come out.
Thanks for following along.Email me or call if you need really nice figured wood. I am not always fast, but I keep trying. Look at my web site for contact info.
www.bobkloes.com
Almost forgot the curly red oak. Its some nice wide materiel and runs 4.50 board foot. Has a big crescent moon curl in it.