Putting the "log" back in Blog

For Everyone Who Attended The Midwest Woodworking Sale Event

Posted on August 18th, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Wood. 5 comments

Taking a quick break on Friday morning for a picture with Frank David, Owner Midwest Woodworking.

Taking a quick break on Friday morning for a picture with Frank David, Owner Midwest Woodworking.

Last night’s dose of Advil has all but worn off by now. My body aches are likely to continue as I begin to move the 450 bd/ft pile of lumber from my car’s garage spot into the storage locker in my basement. However, these are not complaints. They are the lingering reminders of what was considered by most of the 200+ attendees an extremely successful event. Friday was in fact a personal day off from work my company refers to as a “Curiosity Day” a paid day off each employee is given to get out and try something new, different, and perhaps and experience you can bring back to your job and clients.

Although Frank couldn’t be there yesterday, he and his family, along with a number of his employees who have recently been place on furlough sincerely appreciate everyone’s patronage and patience. ¬†And with the exception to the two guys who left the mahogany pile on the first floor in a state of chaos – we’ve got photographic proof fellas – ¬†Frank has always been very clear that he’d much prefer the wood be used by craftsmen and hobbyists like many of us, that having it sold in bulk to one bidder. His father Joe would have had the same sentiment.

At the end of the day, tens of thousands of board feet of lumber made it’s way out the door. If you combine the last few weeks of visits leading up to the sale event, as well as future orders that are in the process of being fulfilled, Frank and his family are financially much better off as a result. Much like Chris Schwarz said in his blog post yesterday, who knows if this opportunity will come up again. I’m assuming not. But if you still want to try to get in to the building over the next few weeks, it will probably be open at various yet inconsistent times. After that, your guess is as good as mine. If you are looking for their hours and availability, I’ll keep people posted on my blog towards the top of my homepage.

Even the three phase 220v, 10 hp motor on this 24" planer struggles to mill flat the dense bubinga.

Even the three phase 220v, 10 hp motor on this 24″ planer struggles to mill flat the dense bubinga.

I wanted to especially thank Frank and his family for believing that this could be a viable option for them. Mary and Daryl have spent weeks cleaning up the shop and preparing things, and the staff stayed well past the 2pm close time on both days. Ian Grunder also generously gave up both of his days to help everyone out as well (not to mention his truck). Finally, thanks to the folks at Popular Woodworking Magazine and Chris Schwarz of Lost Art Press for the additional social media amplification and promotion they provided leading up to the event. The posts I made leading up to this event received over 7,000 unique page views. The social connections and friendships I’ve garnered within the woodworking community played a critical part in this. Nearly everyone who attended the event either knew about the event from my blog or Chris.


A small portion of the day’s pile that came home. The teak board (center) is 16″ wide x 12′ long x 1″ thick. Flawless and smells like horse poo.

For anyone that’s curious, I came home with a mix of massive bubinga slabs, ribbon sapele, sugar pine and teak – all exceptional specimens in their own right. Not to mention a small stick of Brazilian Rosewood for furniture accents. Sure, the bubinga’s density will dull my tools and crush my fingers, but it’s fun to say “Bubinga”.

5 thoughts on “For Everyone Who Attended The Midwest Woodworking Sale Event

  1. Andy, thank you for organizing this event. My association with Midwest is now two weeks, five days, and four visits old (including the last two sale days). Despite such a short duration I will remember this place fondly as I work through the materials in the coming years.

    I was able to catch up with Mr. David during one of my visits, and it was quite apparent that this wood represents a constitutive part of his being. He truly desires for it to be shaped into something lasting by individuals who might feel the same way about it. So I will do my part to do just that (as will many others I’m sure). I have always been careful about utilizing as much material as possible from a board; knowing this wood’s provenance, I will make even more of an effort in this regard.

    I saw an incredible amount of incredible lumber leave those doors after decades of careful storage, though in reality it just dented Mr. David’s sizable collection. So when my supply begins to run low in 3 years, 5 years, whenever – I will regret not having obtained more. In fact the regret is already starting to settle in!

    Knowing that Midwest won’t be open much longer is bittersweet; I am sure it is even more so for those who have been frequenting them for many years. Thanks for your help and assistance the past couple days, along with Mary, Daryl and Ian and Chris. As requested, I will share pictures when inspiration prompts action on that gorgeous (and fowl smelling) teak!

    May all of your Curious days be as enchanting as this one was!

    Brad D.

  2. Thank You Andy for your hard work in getting this sale organized. It was great meeting you.
    Please keep us posted if Mr David decides to open the doors again for additional sales.
    I’m already regretting not spending more time and money getting more wood.

  3. Andy,

    I’d like to add my thanks to you for organizing this and to Mr. David for allowing us in. I also want to thank Ian for all the time he spent with me going through the stack of 8/4 Cherry.

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