Every Piece Tells a Tale

At 623 Woodworks we are not mass producing woodturnings. Each and every piece is meticulously selected (check out how we select great wood) , hand-crafted and has a story to tell. By sharing a few of these stories we hope to help you appreciate these beautiful pieces in a more complete way.

9” Elm bowl

This wood was brought to us on Thanksgiving day by Alex, a friend that used to live in Mars Hill, ME. He owns a chainsaw mill and is always looking for large trees, (4ft in diameter or more!), to saw into slabs for furniture. Elm trees in this area all died several years ago from Dutch Elm disease. The elm eventually fell to the ground except for some of the largest. Some stood for years, the bark fell off and they turned gray. You can still see one here and there.

Alex found this particular tree in Bridgewater, ME still standing and solid. He spoke with the farmer that owned the property and the farmer agreed to let Alex cut the tree and take it. Alex cut the tree down and then sawed about 30 inches off of the butt-end to get to the better wood that he wanted to saw. The culled piece is what he brought to us.

The tree was about 200 yrs old! It had beautiful grain and color. By turning this wood into elm bowls and pepper mills, 623 Woodworks gave this old, sick tree a second chance at life. Purchase your 9" Elm Bowl today!

Maple Urns/Basket Weave Illusion

We found this tree lying in a yard in Houlton, ME. Initially suspecting that it was an ash tree, we almost didn’t call about it. Thankfully, we did call! As it turns out, the tree was Norway Maple, an imported species that is now banned in Maine. It seems that the town water company had taken the tree down because of its size. After trading a pepper mill for the tree, we were on our way. It was a very large tree and it took a large pickup load and 16’ trailer to get it back to the shop.

Not being sure what to expect, we put it on the lathe and were pleasantly surprised with how well it turned. This Norway Maple also worked extremely well for  doing basket weave illusion pieces. It turned beads for basket weave and took the india ink extremely well. As one final surprise, we discovered that it had beautiful grain patterns in the areas one would expect, crotches and knots. Some of these more figured pieces of wood have been used for turning our hollowforms and urns. This gorgeous tree would have become firewood and nobody would have been the wiser had 623 Woodworks not snatched it up! Purchase your Hollowform today!

Shaker box tops/bottoms

Our current shaker box tops and bottoms began their story as a large pine tree in the yard of an attorney residing in Houlton, ME. When the tree was taken down,  the logs were delivered to a local sawmill.  We were able to purchase a couple of the 3” thick slabs. We chose the slabs from the center of the tree, enabling us to get the right grain orientation needed for the tops and bottoms of shaker boxes. We cut the long slabs into shorter lengths and then re-saw them to the proper thickness. Purchase your Shaker Box today!

As you can see, 623 Woodworks products have all lived long and interesting lives before they began their journey with us. When you place an order you are not simply purchasing a bowl, or a pepper mill, or an urn. You are turning the page and becoming the next chapter in their story.


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