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Innovation in Lumber

What do you do with a white oak whiskey barrel? Turn it into drawers for an interesting piece for your kitchen. I went and visited with Tommy Nation that owns Teak World Enterprises, in Lebanon, TN and he was working on this project. Installing custom drawers in a round barrel in literally like putting a square peg in a round hole. He has way more patience than me.

Despite some major rainfall over the last couple weeks, I did have the opportunity to get out on the road and saw. I got to visit Drakesboro, KY and saw some amazing white oak logs for a client. He is planning to use the lumber for some outdoor furniture projects. White oak is an ideal material for crafting outdoor furniture such as tables, chairs, and benches. Its robust nature means it can handle the wear and tear of outdoor use while maintaining its aesthetic appeal.

White oak furniture can be left untreated to weather naturally to a silvery patina or sealed to preserve its warm, golden hue. Since we have had so much rain I did carve out some time to get in my shop and work on a project for a client. They dropped off some antique drawers and we are converting it to a vanity for their cabin. I think its going to turn out great. We are planning to use clear epoxy on the top. Here are a couple shots of the work:

I also had the opportunity to go have lunch with Jackie Rich, he is a pastor, real estate investor and the owner of Macon County Lumber.

He sees the lumber market to continue to stay soft for the remainder of this year due to interest rates being up and new construction slowing. When I visited with Tommy Nation that owns Teak World, I got the same story. Teak World builds the wooden decks for MasterCraft boats, he said because rates have increased they are not selling as many boats which means less work for him. Jackie went on to tell me specifically that Poplar was going to be soft and prices for it have come down.

What I'm reading:

I have dusted off the cover of Linchpin, by Seth Godin. I love this book and I have a lot of respect for Seth and his work. Here are a couple key takeaways from this amazing book.

1. Becoming Indispensable

Seth emphasizes the importance of becoming a linchpin in your organization or field. Linchpins are individuals who invest emotional labor into their work, consistently contributing unique ideas and solutions. They go beyond the basic requirements of their job, taking initiative and demonstrating creativity, resilience, and a commitment to excellence. By doing so, they make themselves indispensable and stand out in a world where mediocrity is the norm.

2. Embrace Your Artistry

The book challenges the traditional view of art, suggesting that everyone has the potential to be an artist in their work. Seth defines art as anything that's creative, passionate, and personal, rather than a mere adherence to rules and procedures. This could mean designing an innovative product, offering exceptional customer service, or even finding new ways to streamline processes. Embracing this mindset involves taking risks, pushing boundaries, and expressing your unique perspective, thereby adding significant value to your role and to others.

3. Overcoming the Resistance

Godin introduces the concept of the "Lizard Brain," which represents the primitive part of our brain responsible for fear and survival instincts. This part of the brain often triggers resistance to change, creativity, and risk-taking due to fear of failure or rejection. To become a linchpin, it’s crucial to recognize and overcome this resistance. This means acknowledging the fear but not letting it dictate your actions. By doing so, you can unlock your potential and consistently deliver remarkable work.


"Linchpin" encourages readers to transcend the ordinary by becoming indispensable, embracing their inner artist, and overcoming the resistance that hinders their potential. Seth Godin's insights are a call to action to rethink how we approach our work and life, pushing us to contribute our unique gifts and make a significant impact in our chosen fields.

Please share, and if you enjoy what you see leave me a comment or if you have a question feel free to ask.


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