On the way from Georgia Friday, I stopped off to visit a friend who lives about 15 miles outside Swainsboro. Billy is about 75 and grew up on this 30 acres. They used to raise all their own food, including some cows and chickens. One of his old sheds had a brick chimney which I assumed was a barbecue pit. He told me that was where they would boil the water at hog-killing time. At one rime they raised about 200 hogs. He has a nice wood shop out back in between the 5 acre pond, peach and apple trees and his muscadine grape vines. Billy makes some pretty good wine. He has numerous sheds and outbuildings scattered around mostly filled with a couple tractors, harrows, boats, and a bushhog. Every farmer up here seems to have a bushhog and a riding mower. Billy's workshop is framed out of old timbers taken from derelict homes and such and resawn and like most has an old tin roof. It's heated with a large steel tank he converted into a wood burning stove. Billy wanted to show me his new stash of recently sawn cedar; 3 of the sheds were stacked full. He was especially proud of the big stack of white ash lumber a man gave him recently. It turns out that Billy sawed the ash for the man back in 1993 and it's been stored in this old corn crib all this time. Both Billy's father and grandfather were chairmakers. His dad would make a collection of furniture, load up the family truck, and travel around Georgia for a week selling the things he made. He showed me a chair that his grandfather made that was probably 150 years old, although somewhat primitive looking, was still very sturdy. All of the material in the chair was hand split and scraped and assembled with nails. Billy has made an exact duplicate that looks like a twin and they are in his living room. Billy can probably make anything out of wood, but focuses on ladder back and Adirondack style chairs and rockers. Most all the chairs he makes are cut from cedar and cypress timbers he has harvested. Once the wood seasons, he may then cut the parts out and they will sit another year in his shop to "do what they gonna do" as he puts it. He can then cull the parts that may twist, split or check. His hand made furniture pieces are almost perfect and he's real proud of what he makes. The parts are assembled with high strength glue and exposed brass screws and then finished with numerous coats of sanding sealer and polyurethane. You really have to see them in person to appreciate how beautiful and sturdy they are. When Billy hangs it up the world will lose a real craftsman. This is the white ash. Very straight grained and strong, they make baseball bats from this wood. Cedar. The piece turned on it's side is pecky cedar, looks worm eaten in the grain. It's caused by an injury to the bark allowing an opening for a fungus that actually rots the heartwood. The fungal growth stops once the tree is cut. Sold as a specialty wood. More cedar. The cedar lumber in the middle left is 3" thick and 14" wide.There is as much cedar behind this stack as what you see. The dingy looking material on the left is very old. You can barely make out the heavy beams on the bottom. They are probably 16-18' long with hand hewn dovetails and mortise and tenons cut in them. The pegs have been cut. That material may be 200 years old. This cedar table is massive, the top is about 3" thick. The back and seat are cedar, the legs and frame are hickory. The chair is very heavy. He also made the cabinets you see in the background. Adirondack rocker, made from cedar and cypress. The color striations really stand out against the clear cypress grain. He also makes really cool looking boat and canoe paddles.