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Handmade items from wood I have milled. I start with logs, they are then milled into boards, stacked and stickered (stacked with spacers for a number of years, to dry), planed and sanded. One of the guesses you make when you cut boards is what thickness to cut them, as you are trying to anticipate what sizes you will want some years from now. Sometimes you are right and sometimes, what you want has changed, and your wrong. More than once I have wished I would have cut boards differently. After they are sanded you can finally see what the boards look like.
It is at this time that you can start to think about what to use the wood for. Sometimes, what the wood should be used for jumps out to you. I try to make the wood look as good as possible as it should be the highlight. The advantage of milling my own wood is that I can use the whole log. I get to see and use wood that you can not get at a wood yard. Wood that is deemed to have defects are usually not available but that is sometimes the most interesting. I am picky and I do not sell items that I am not happy with.