There have been a bunch of folks who have had a major influence on Tom’s Workbench over the past five years. I wanted to take the time to recognize a few of the folks with which the blog would have never happened.
Today, I send a shout-out to Eric Poirier of Bell Forest Products, who has been keeping me in the know when it comes to wood!
Our business relationship began when I was looking for some help with an article about how to buy wood online. Eric couldn’t go out of his way enough for me, describing the harvesting, ordering and shipping process for something that I found totally intriguing. I mean, buying wood, sight unseen….
A few months later, I got a package addressed to me from Bell Forest Products. My wife eyed me suspiciously as I unwrapped the bundle, and it turned out to be a box of sample woods that Bell offered for sale. It was at that point that I approached Eric to see if he would be interested in coming on board as a sponsor.
That turned out to be the beginning of a great relationship that still goes on today. Eric and the folks at Bell are really great people. About every month, Eric recommends some exotic wood for me to spotlight on the blog. Flame birch. Snakewood. Mayan Walnut. This process has opened my eyes to the world of wood that goes far beyond what’s available at the local home center.
The other thing I have noticed about Eric is that when I find myself in a particular situation, he’s more than eager to do a little searching in the kiln for me. When I built my Nakashima-Inspired bench, I was looking for a piece of wood – two live edges, striking figure.. something to really stand out. “Give me a week or so, I think we have something in the kiln that might catch your interest.”
What he sent was something that epic songs are written about – a piece of live-edge, curly and bird’s-eye maple that just jumped to life once it was sanded and finished.
Thank you, Eric, and the folks over at Bell Forest Products for standing by me – and the rest of the woodworking community – for so long.
BTW – today is post number 991