The only thing good about the end to a beautiful Pennsylvania summer is the beginning of an even more beautiful Pennsylvania fall. Cool air blows away the summery haze producing a brilliant blue sky, the leaves begin changing colors, and the notes of high school bands practicing their routine down the block wafts in the breeze.
And our wood calls us back into the shop (or laboratory, as it may be.)
It's also a great time to get out on the road and learn a few things.
For instance, on September 29th and 30th, Hearne Hardwoods of Oxford, PA is holding its annual Open House, and it's a great place to meet like-minded folks, swap outrageous stories, and find that perfect piece of wood for your fall project.
In the last few months, I've been entering data on the Dennis Brett collection into the Penn State Xylarium database. We're now nearing 5,000 specimens, and I still have about that many to go.
But a couple of weeks ago, an opportunity to get a little more organized presented itself. It began simply enough...I received an email saying that someone in the building was looking to get rid of some old filing cabinets. Now, I've been stumbling around piles of old boxes of wood specimens for a couple of years now, when I moved all of Dennis' samples into stacks around my desk in the lab to make room for the visitors I was expecting during the World of Wood event we hosted back in summer of 2015. These piles of boxes were chest high and were rather daunting. The possibility of bringing in some file cabinets and putting them "away" while I organized the collection sounded like a good one.
But the file cabinets were very, very old, and all different sizes and colors. L…