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Weird Wood Pusher
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I feel like a treasure hunter who found gold!
It cost me the most I have ever paid for a single board, but I feel lucky to have found it.

A native Hawaiian had this in his Grandfather's stash (old stock, old growth Koa).
This is the best I have ever seen and it is still under a thick layer of dust.
I will post more photos when I cut and sand some of this.

 

Eamon Burke

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Dude, don't sell that!

As much as I love beautiful handles, that thing is a talking piece!
 

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Weird Wood Pusher
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Almost 5 foot long and the best curly figure I have ever seen through the whole piece.
 

apicius9

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Oh man, how did you find that. Maybe I have to start going from door to door on the Big Island... I just got a few nice blanks from 80 year old stock, but yours looks fabulous. A true treasure, large boards with such a consistent curl are almost impossible to find. Almost too nice to cut it up, it would make a great knife block :)

Stefan
 

Darkhoek

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Would be really interesting to have sets made for wa handles 1"x1"x6" and sayas (thin lumber 12"x2.5"x3/8")

DarKHoeK
 

Marko Tsourkan

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I feel like a treasure hunter who found gold!
It cost me the most I have ever paid for a single board, but I feel lucky to have found it.

A native Hawaiian had this in his Grandfather's stash (old stock, old growth Koa).
This is the best I have ever seen and it is still under a thick layer of dust.
I will post more photos when I cut and sand some of this.

I buy top notch quality koa kiln dried at $90/BF so if you got it for less, old stock, well seasoned, it's a great find.

M
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Would be really interesting to have sets made for wa handles 1"x1"x6" and sayas (thin lumber 12"x2.5"x3/8")

DarKHoeK
Koa darkens a bit when stabilized, so to have a matching color on a handle and a saya, you have to play with water dyes. I find natural (unstabilized) koa the most appealing in terms of color.

M
 

apicius9

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I buy top notch quality koa kiln dried at $90/BF so if you got it for less, old stock, well seasoned, it's a great find.

M
That's just wrong, I am paying up to $150/BF in Honolulu for premium curl.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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I think $90/BF is high enough for responsively harvested wood. Paying more then that is, shall I call it insane? I am yet to be disappointed by what I got at $90/BF.
 

Darkhoek

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I use spirit based dyes with great results. I have a set of different colors that I mix to match. They are very easy to use to get a an even and good result and they don't raise the wood grain at all, so I can use the dyes after the final #1200 sanding. It dries in an instant and I can finish with a paste wax and a good buff in a few minutes after the dying process. I thinks the product is called "Herdins wood dyes". They also make a really good finishing oil. Just finished two sayas in curly maple and color matched them to a curly Koa and a stabilized Maple burl.

DarKHOeK
 

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That's just wrong, I am paying up to $150/BF in Honolulu for premium curl.
I buy wood the same way I sell it.
Based on the individual piece.
Every piece is different. One might be really good. The other might be really good as well but have unique coloring or extra special figure.
If they all looked the same I would expect to pay the same.

I guess it is a lot like knives.
One person might not be willing to pay more than $200 for a knife and say it is insane to pay more.
While another might be excited about buying a same style but different knife for $500.

Talking to other wood sellers at the shows, they pay an average wholesale of $100 to $150bf (last year's prices) for the really good koa and buy as much as they can get.
Many of the regular sources have dried up. Kind of like ironwood burl. The good stuff has doubled in value over the last 2 years.

In a nutshell, you pay what it takes to get the really really good stuff. Otherwise someone else will.
Some of the wood I pay top dollar, but it all balances out in the end.
 

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I think $90/BF is high enough for responsively harvested wood. Paying more then that is, shall I call it insane? I am yet to be disappointed by what I got at $90/BF.
With the koa there is no reasonably harvested wood anymore.
The new wood that comes on the market comes from trees that the state decides to have removed. They put the standing tree up for bid and the high bidder gets to take the tree. The winning bidder then harvests the individual tree and hopes to make a profit. The majority of state lands that would normally contain new growth koa had been leased out to cattle and sheep ranchers over the past 50 years. The animals would eat most of the younger growth. This practice of leasing the land to the ranchers was just stopped in the last few years. Reforestation of koa has only been started recently so it will be a long time before harvestable trees are mature enough.
 

Mike Davis

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Well Mark...you can just wrap that board up and put it in the mail for me...I will give it a good home :D
 

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Well Mark...you can just wrap that board up and put it in the mail for me...I will give it a good home :D
I was hoping someone would be willing.
But..... you are going to have to give me your truck.
 

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Here is another piece that is on it's way here.

If I told this guy that it was insane to pay over $100bf it would go to Taiwan and I would never hear from him again.
A big part of getting the really good stuff is making friends with the people who have it.
If they like you, they will share their stash.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Here is another piece that is on it's way here.

If I told this guy that it was insane to pay over $100bf it would go to Taiwan and I would never hear from him again.
A big part of getting the really good stuff is making friends with the people who have it.
If they like you, they will share their stash.
Then I must be lucky :) paying prices I am paying. Here is an example of koa I am talking about.

DSC_1418.jpg
 

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Then I must be lucky :) paying prices I am paying. Here is an example of koa I am talking about.

View attachment 1117
Marko,
You are lucky. What you are paying is not the norm. That is nice koa and you did a very nice job finishing it.
Thinks changed quite a bit about 2 years ago in regards to what and how Koa could be harvested.
There are still some suppliers with stock from before that who have stock for sale with their prices based on what they used to pay.
Every once in a while I can buy wood retail for less than the wholesalers charge. Sounds like you found a similar source.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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I usually buy 3-4BF at a time and it lasts me a while. I still have a good chunk left from what I bought last time, which was about over a year ago (I like to season my wood very well), so I might be up for a surprise when I place my next order.

Your piece looks very exceptional. If I were to categorize it, I would give it AAAA rating, while mine would be at AAA.

M
 

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Here is another variation of koa I really like.
This was a quick sanding at 120 grit and a light spray of lacquer for the photos.
Looks a little better when sanded finer.
I usually save it for the shows because I can never get the photos to come close to how it looks in real life.
The color changes when the light hits it from different angles.
First glance it looks red, when you move it around it can be amber, brown or red.
Kind of hard for me to say what is best since I keep changing my mind when I see something new and different.
The one thing that remains consistent is that I really like Koa.



 

Chef Niloc

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On the subject of old and rare wood You ever come across any American chestnut Burl? I have some early American knives that need new shoes and I think chestnut would fit the bill.
 

JohnnyChance

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If they like you, they will share their stash.
We like you! Feel free to share you stash(es)! :D

In regards to your problems photographing high end koa, what setup are you using? Tweaking your gear, lighting or processing of the photo will help tremendously. The Koa in this Michael Rader handle always looked good, but with the right angle and right lighting I was able to capture it at it's most colorful, reflective and figured.

 

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I haven't come across any American Chestnut yet.

I am pretty sure my camera is possessed and likes to make me look dumb when photographing Koa and Walnut.
It is either that or operator error. I am leaning toward the first.

As for the Gidgee.
Looks like the big pieces are ready so I will break those out soon.
 

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We like you! Feel free to share you stash(es)! :D

In regards to your problems photographing high end koa, what setup are you using? Tweaking your gear, lighting or processing of the photo will help tremendously. The Koa in this Michael Rader handle always looked good, but with the right angle and right lighting I was able to capture it at it's most colorful, reflective and figured.
I think it really comes down to taking the time to get the lighting from the correct angle as well as using the camera correctly.
Leaving it on the automatic mode is pretty much hit and miss. The camera I am using is an old Olympus E20N. I should probably dig up the manual and learn to use it correctly.
These are some new stabilized pieces that arrived Friday. I turned the table angle just a bit and it almost looks like different pieces in each photo.
Photos still don't come close to real life.



 

SpikeC

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No matter what you do chatoyance is not something that a static image can capture. The above images look fine to me!
 

Marko Tsourkan

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On the subject of old and rare wood You ever come across any American chestnut Burl? I have some early American knives that need new shoes and I think chestnut would fit the bill.
I often see American chestnut that has been recovered from old barns, but have never seen burl or a piece with a figure that would make it attractive for a handle or a saya.

M
 

Eamon Burke

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surfboard...

...someone use this Koa for what God intended before it's too late...
 
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