We’re now using locally-sourced ash for our paddles and petal tools
There’s a great story from Sunday’s Hendersonville Times-News about Banks Mountain Forest Farm, where we recently bought the ash lumber and had it milled. Writer Beth Beasley did a great job describing the way farm owner Bob Richens uses his draft horses to extract the ash trees with minimal impact on the surrounding forest. Mudtools is mentioned in the story, and I’m quoted, too.
While most ash trees in this area have some level of infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer, which will eventually kill the tree, the trees that Bob is removing still have lots of board feet of usable lumber. After we shape the tool parts from the dried ash wood, we char and sand each before adding a light oil/beeswax finish. As I mention in the article, ash is a super-strong wood that also has lots of give—making it perfect for use in tools. These tools will just get better with age, for a lifetime of use.