Back Story

Sometime in the middle of 2010 I got an email from Jeff, who wanted to create a very special Xmas present for his dad, who is a woodworker. He wanted to create a poster, showing as many different woods as he could reasonably get on it, and he asked if he could use some of the images from my wood ID site for that purpose. I thought that this was such a WONDERFUL thing for a guy to do for his dad that I not only gave him permission to use them, I zipped up several hundred of the best ones and sent them to him. I mentioned all this to my own kids and a few other folks, because I was really taken by how great a thing I thought it was for a guy to do for his dad.

After many months had gone by, I got another email from him saying that he had in fact made the poster and that his dad had just loved it. I had pretty much forgotten it by then, but recalled it immediately when reminded of it and I was very glad to hear, and not at all surprised, that his dad had loved it.

His dad liked it so much in fact that he suggested that Jeff produce the posters to sell so that other woodworkers could share in the pleasure of having one. I thought this was a wonderful idea so Jeff and I began emailing back and forth and getting to know each other a bit and discussing how we might work that out, what changes we might want to make and so forth, sorting out a myriad of details, and now it's done.

I am really pleased with the design, which, by the way, is entirely Jeff's. The layout, sizing and lettering all seem to me to be very well done and I think his choice of "Stumped?" for the title is just brilliant, and that's quite a concession from a guy who generally thinks that puns are ONLY clever if I thought of them myself.

This whole process gave me a push to do something I had been meaning to do for years and that was to go through and improve on the thumbnails for my wood ID site. As my site had evolved, I would take pics of every new wood I acquired, but as I later got more samples of the woods, I began to realize for some of them that my original thumbnails were not as representative as they should have been. SO ... I updated over 100 thumbnails, choosing pics that were more representative of the species and/or had a cathedral grain pattern instead of a more bland figure, and the pics on this poster are now among the best that could be had for each of the species represented.

I cropped every image on the poster from one of the pics I had taken personally, and I have color corrected every one of them (when necessary) to get the final image as close as possible to the piece of wood itself (as I have done for all of the 7,000 or so pics I have taken for my wood ID site).

I have spent a great deal of time over the last 10 years taking wood pics myself and lifting others off the internet, plus I have purchased every book currently in print that has lots of pics of wood. I can say with a great deal of certainty and some pride that the wood poster that Jeff and I have produced contains the best overall set of exotic wood pics that I have ever seen assembled in any one place outside of my own web site.

I have often been asked whether or not I had any intent of publishing a book or a CD or anything based on my wood ID site. I've always considered the site itself to be enough but I am just delighted that Jeff came up with this idea and that all of my fellow woodworkers will have a chance to have this poster on their shop wall.

Jeff and I hope to make a few bucks on this and while that's very nice, my real joy in doing this has been the creation of a useful, and accurate, reference for woodworkers. That has been the whole reason for my wood ID site, on which I have spent thousands of hours with no thought of monetary gain. I'm not against money, mind you, but I have studiously avoided commercializing my site because I was not willing to have even the appearance of any conflict of interest regarding my comments about vendors or my choices of woods to represent on the site.

I hope you enjoy the poster as much as I've enjoyed helping Jeff create it, and I want to thank Jeff for having come up with such a great idea, and his dad for having the generosity of spirit to have thought of his fellow woodworkers when he got his own unique one out of the blue from a thoughtful son.

Paul (HobbitHouse) Hinds
web site: Hobbit House Wood ID site
email: woodpics@hobbithouseinc.com