Friday, November 7, 2008

For Tree Huggers Only

After our unfortunate argument yesterday, Willow is refusing to help with the project. Instead she sits on the couch and pretends I am not working to fix the window trim pieces that she screwed up yesterday. In all fairness, it's possible that she was not responsible, and I even offered this as a token of compromise on my part, but apparently we still have some issues to work through.

The pieces ended up pretty nice. Here are two of them. The dark marks on the piece to the right are burn marks from the saw (these are on the back of the piece and won't show). I used a razor blade to trim them up, cutting one fiber at a time.

Trees grow one ring at a time, fatter and fatter each year, and only the outer rings are really alive, with cells that move water and nutrients up and down. The inner part of the tree--the wood--is fibrous cellulose that is hard and dead (at a cellular level) yet still part of the living tree. Our outer layer of skin is similar (it's dead but still provides an important function). The difference is that we shed our dead skin cells while trees use their old cells to create architectural masterpieces. They are the biggest and oldest living things on earth. If you are completely bored by this subject you probably won't completely love The Tree by Colin Tudge.

So the wood that you see in Home Depot is in its natural state, tempting you to touch it, and wanting to perform some useful service. Cheryl won't go with me to the wood section.

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