Since beginning my journey into woodworking I’ve had a plan to build the French Roubo bench. Much ink and grey matter has been expended arguing the merits of one wood species over the other. Each camp has their own reasons and dogma; My basic concerns were limited to price, availability, and weight.
Which brings us to the Emerald Ash Borer.
They are actually quite beautiful for being such a pest
Native to Asia, the Borer hitched a ride to Detroit about 15 years ago and liked the place so much that he went about his Genesiacal duty to be fruitful and multiply. And multiply he did. Borer Larvae dine on the cambium layer of the Ash tree effectively starving the tree of nutrients ultimately leading to its demise. Sad and expensive for the forest products industry, but a windfall to woodworkers and wood burners in 29 states.
The glut of borer-kill Ash standing in the forests of the eastern United States has caused the price of Ash lumber and firewood to drop to extremely low levels. Both heavy and hard, Green Ash is an excellent choice for any project that requires dense well-wearing wood.
I sourced mine from a local sawyer for the very reasonable price of $1.00/board foot sawn to my exact request. This lumber was quite damp and has been stickered in my barn for the past year.
Progress has been slow due to my day job, but I plan to do retroactive updates based on my progress so far.