Chris Schwarz's Blog

Podcast: The Afterlife of Trees

Popular Woodworking Magazine has just launched a new podcast that….

Wait, wait. Where are you going? Give me a few moments to explain. Look, we know the woodworking world has enough podcasts. So when Scott Francis decided to create “The Afterlife of Trees,” a lot of the discussion was about what the podcast wouldn’t be about.

It’s not shop talk. It’s not answering the questions of listeners. It’s not about the projects we’re working on or discussion of our favorite tools. All those are great topics for podcasts that already exist. But the world doesn’t need another one of those.

So what is “The Afterlife of Trees” about? It’s about stories.

If you like shows such as “Radio Lab,” “This American Life,” “Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History” or “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” you might like this podcast. We want to tell the stories behind the craft. And if they’re a little odd, then all the better.

In the first episode we tell the story of Eugene Sexton and our efforts to publish an article about his miracle process called ESP-90. This process allowed Sexton to (among other things) dry wood quickly without it checking. In other words: It didn’t matter of the pith of a tree was in the board – it wouldn’t crack.

Many people have dismissed Sexton. But perhaps there is something to ESP-90. We have some wood treated with the process that are puzzling and seem to defy the rules of wood movement. Oh, and we discuss the “green bean of immortality.”

You can download the podcast for free via iTunes.

I’m not sure when the next episode will be. But we’ll let you know here when it’s up.

— Christopher Schwarz

3 thoughts on “Podcast: The Afterlife of Trees

  1. gnuckols

    Very interesting first episode–I wasn’t familiar with Sexton’s claims or history.

    As much as I enjoy the “shop chat” format of other woodworking podcasts, it’s great to see a different format emerge here. Good luck and please keep it going!

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