All the wood I use is rescued,
a creative way of recycling. In it’s first life, it
lived in a forest. In it’s second life, it assembled
as a pallet or skid as they are sometimes called. In any
event, it became expendable and then discarded. Most often
left behind a building, put into a dumpster or left by a
curb with a “Free Wood” sign. Many of these discarded
pallets are burned to heat a home or business. Most discarded
pallets move on to a landfill.
I selected the business name
as Full Circle Wood because the wood I use has gone full
circle. This wood has amazing natural beauty. People that
order items, will get a piece of the wood as I originally
rescued it. In many instances, I cannot identify the wood
until I actually start planning/cutting and sanding it. It
takes a lot of time to prepare the wood to make things. The
pallets are nailed or sometimes screwed together. Once the
nail is removed, the area holding the nail has started to
rust. This rust can seep for several inches across the wood
I work hard to make the material
professionally presentable. There is some end joining.
Nail holes are concealed with small plugs, cut from the same
material, to help the repair blend in with the piece. Most
plugs are not very noticeable because the grain match is
very good. On an obscure area of the piece, I will leave
a telltale sign, usually a cross section of a nail, as a
reminder of it’s history.
Family and guests would see the things I made and I would
get requests for them, never really having an interest in
making items for sale. I had always felt a hobby should be
Years ago, for a local non-profit fund-raiser auction, I
donated an item I had designed. Having gone to similar fund-raisers
in the past, I wondered how could this item generate more
revenue than a typical gifted item. I thought for a long
time how to increase the value of this handcrafted item.
Many times items auctioned received a token dispensary bid.
I didn’t want that to happen with my work.
I wrote a 3rd party story about the wood used in the piece
I donated. I rescued the wood for this piece from a large
pile of discarded pallets & skids. This story was the
thoughts, dreams and aspirations of a tree. In this instance,
the wood was Cherry and this tree had hoped to be made into
something of everlasting beauty. The wood ended up being
a pallet, broken, discarded, left to rot, then to be found,
identified and made into something beautiful.
As the tray was being passed around, the oohhss and aahhss
were very flattering. When the bidding for this Cherry serving
tray went over $60, my wife & I looked at each other.
I had always taken my hobby as something anybody could do.
Don’t most homeowners have similar skills? I was asked
to make more of these trays and began selling them. Then
I was asked; what else did I make? This led to more designing
and my business was born.
The dressers I made are still in use. The kids play toys
collecting dust. The file cabinets and shelving systems are
used daily at home and at work. It was suggested that I make
items and participate in the local and regional craft fair
circuit. That would require travel and many weekend’s
away, large inventories, large storage area and uncertain
sales. And who really knows what people want. The items I
designed are functional items, not shelf type dust collector
I learned that it is a more enjoyable hobby if the end user
actually desires to have something made for themselves for
their own use or as a gift. I only make items a person truly
wants. That’s why I build to order. Most of my clients
are referrals from existing owners of items I created.
The items I make are somewhat simple in appearance, functional
and shippable, without a lot of fuss and fanfare. The types
of wood I use are quite diverse. All hardwood, no pine!
To make full use of the odd type wood I recover, the names
of the various styles reflect multiple types of wood in the
same piece. It is not unusual for a piece of wood to not
be positively identified. When this occurs, it goes into
a “mystery wood” pile and becomes part of a 5
wood, 7 wood or Mystery wood piece.