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At Black Squirrel Woodworking,
we take pride in our craftsmanship. All of our products are handcrafted
from the highest quality solid hardwoods, unless otherwise noted. Fixtures are
solid brass, pewter, or stainless steel as described on our individual product
pages. Our wood creations have been finished with 3 coats of Minwax
water-based polycrylic clear protective finish to enhance and maintain the
natural beauty of the wood. Then they are hand rubbed and polished with a
quality wood paste wax that adds a smooth finish and provides additional
protection to your investment. Staining the wood alters the natural
color of the wood and subdues the beauty of its grain. Primary wood is
not stained and we do not fill voids or alter the natural wonders that trees
reveal to us. Occasionally our products contain wood pieces that are
made from a different type of wood than the primary product. Each wood
species has inherent characteristics that limit its usage depending on the
circumstances. Staining these pieces to match the primary product may
need to be done. Staining secondary wood allows us to use the best
material for applications that require additional durability or strength while
maintaining consistency of design and overall presentation. Variances
from the primary wood will be noted in the description for the specific
product. We are confident that you will take pride in your purchase.
/!\ WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD
Products that contain marbles are
Not for children under 3 years.
The American toy marble industry began in Akron Ohio
in the 1800's. Martin F. Christensen applied for a US Patent on the
first glass marble-machine in December 19, 1902. There were numerous
advances in marble making between 1902 and 1930, too many to tell you about
here. Since 1930, most glass marbles are made by automatic gob-feeders.
If we have peaked your interest in marbles, check out The American Toy Marble
Museum on the web at
http://www.akronmarbles.com. It is extensive.
The wonderful iridescent marbles
included with our game sets are contemporary marbles made by The Marble King
Company of Paden, West Virginia who have been making marbles since 1949.
Currently, Marble King produces over one million marbles a day. On the web at
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As we began our search for a wood
supplier, we checked local lumber yards, suppliers who could order and ship in
wood, and yes, the internet. After extensive browsing, we came across a
site that gave names of wood suppliers within our area. What a find!
Well, low and behold there was someone in the next town north of us, Mantua. Stadtlander's
Hardwood Lumber is set behind Stadtlander's Woodcarving Gallery. Driving
up, we noticed cut trees stacked in all stages of timber milling and found out that
Jim Stadtlander cuts all of his lumber from trees that grow on his own
property. We were thrilled because we had wanted to keep our workshop
materials "Made in the USA" and as local as possible. Jim then showed us
around his gallery and we were lost in a world of creative artistic talent.
(You can check out a sampling of Jim's work on his website at
WoodcarvedArt.com.) We knew we had found our primary wood supplier. At the
present time, much of the wood that we use for our products is homegrown and
milled from our own Black Squirrel country in Ohio (Jim recognized the significance of our workshop name
immediately and chuckled).
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina): The
Black Cherry is found primarily along the Eastern United States and is often
referred to as "New England Mahogany". It is also known as "cherry",
"wild cherry", and "wild black cherry". The wonderful grain pattern may
sometimes be enhanced by spots or streaks caused by the tree gum which adds
interest to the finished piece. The heartwood ranges from light to
dark-reddish brown. Cherry was used in Early American furniture and
cabinetry as well as for tonics, liquors, and a treatment for bronchitis.
Maple (Acer saccharum): Best known of
the approximate 115 species of maple trees indigenous to North America is the
sugar maple that is native to south-east Canada and north-east United States.
It is also referred to as "hard maple", "rock maple", and "white maple".
The sugar maple is your source for maple syrup and those wonderful
"helicopters" seen falling every year. (The "helicopters" are also good
for making play rhinoceros horns or Pinocchio noses!) A light colored
wood, the grain is subdued, yet distinct. Its hardness makes it durable
and it is often used for dance floors.
Red Oak (Quercus rubra): Red oaks
range across much of the Eastern United States. There are a variety of
species with similar characteristics. Due to slower growth, the Northern
Oak is a harder, finer wood than those grown farther south which tend to be
redder and courser. Northern Red Oak is the largest of the species
attaining heights of 150' and 4' in diameter. The heartwood is brown
with either a red or pink caste to it. Of note, the Oak naturally
contains tannic acid (used for centuries to tan animal hides) and when
mixed with iron in our drinking water creates a blue dye. Antiques often
have dark spots around nails or screws due to this chemical reaction. We
use stainless steel or brass hardware which eliminates this phenomenon.
Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron
tulipifera): The Yellow Poplar ranges the Eastern United States from
Connecticut to Florida and as far west as Missouri. It can grow to
heights of 160' with an 8' diameter. The Yellow Poplar is also referred
to as Tulip Poplar, due to the shape of its yellow flower, or just Poplar.
The Poplar's sapwood is white with intermittent streaks of blue or green,
while the heartwood is usually beige or tan. Poplar is one of the easier
woods to work with and paints or stains well. We occasionally use
Poplar for secondary wood pieces due to its straight grain and split
resistance. We will stain the Poplar to match our primary wood if
Black American Walnut (Juglans nigra):
This tree grows in natural woodlands across the central eastern and
mid-western United States. It can grow up to 150' high by 20' round
and stand for over 250 years. The wonderful grain pattern and physical
properties of American Walnut were quickly recognized by early colonists who
utilized it for furniture and gun-stocks because of its strength and
stability. The rich color of this wood has ensured its continued use
throughout the years in fine cabinet work. Walnut has earned the
well-deserved nickname "the aristocrat of American woods".