Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Woodworkers Guild Takes Shape 63 Enthusiasts Gather in Camden

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Woodworkers Guild Takes Shape 63 Enthusiasts Gather in Camden

Article excerpt

Byline: Pat Neleski, Times-Union staff writer

KINGSLAND -- Like a man unveiling a treasure, Darrell Wright throws back a dusty cloth on a cardboard box and pulls out chunks of wood.

"Look at that," says Glenda Haskell, kneeling on the floor in back room of Wright's store, Knock on Wood.

"So this is where they are," says Frank Stagl, admiring the pieces in the box.

Wright holds up a hand-sized chunk called amboina, from an Indonesian padauk tree. Amboina is the rarest burl of wood in the world. A burl is like a tumor found near the trunk of a tree, Wright explains.

To find one is rare. To get it off the tree is even more difficult sometimes. The wood, the size of a bathroom tile, three inches thick, sells for $75. By morning, Wright had sold it.

Nearby are pieces of the world's heaviest wood, the world's rarest wood. In the showroom out front are planks as costly as $300 each. Purple heart, satine, black cabbs and olive burl share space with curly maple and soon, teak and mahogany.

Wright knows them all, and so do his visitors. Together, the three are trying to bring woodworkers and rare woods together. They are helping form the Woodworkers Guild of Camden County in Kingsland. At the group's first meeting last week, 63 woodworkers crowded the store's showroom. The group named Stagl its president and Wright its founder.

"Every woodworker is good at something," Stagl said. "The guild will encourage people to learn from one another." Wright came to love rare woods four years ago, when he began carving ink pens from pieces of rosewood and orange wood. Haskell, a retired Navy weather forecaster, then was working in a big lumber store. As Haskell explained about a common allergen from wood shavings, Wright got interested in woodworking.

Wright has learned about 300 different woods and now makes swaps with rare wood dealers all over the world. …

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