Chestnut Wood Whapper


These boards were recovered from some old house; the surface was grimy grey. I assumed they were Oak. As my saw exposed the clean surface underneath, with its graceful, oversized grain, I realised that I was holding a relic of the Old America in my hands.

This is Chestnut wood, a forest tree that covered our land in beauty and abundance. A blight decimated these magnificent trees decades ago, and forestry researchers have still found no way to bring them back.

Dimensions are 1- 1/4 inch across at the blade end. They are random lengths from 16 to about 19 inches long. One edge is dark– that’s the weathering i was talking about– and they all have wormholes, which will not affect performance in the least. The natural oil finish enhances¬† the famous Chestnut Red color.

When these are gone there will be no more.

My “Whappers” are an amusing, surprising shape,¬† kind of a double-but-opposing wedge. This gives them a nice balance in the hand and a delightful warm sting. They are narrower than a paddle, wider than a cane, with a nice weight and more gravitas than a paint stirrer.


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