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woodworking types: old lumber


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I know there are more than a few of you on here.

My grandfather was a woodworker by hobby, and also worked in boatyards (old lakeside marinas selling/servicing Shepherd, Chris-Craft, Century type boats) from the late 40s, though early 60s. I acquired a small stash of lumber from him in the mid 70s, consisting mostly of 5/4 rough oak and mahogany, with a few other odd bits. Sadly, he had cut several longer planks down to about 4' to fit the trunk of his car. :palm:

Some of the boards were odd material, and all were fairly dusty and dirty. Most are reasonably flat, but a few are somewhat warped, or have big knots and/or checking, so have gone largely unused this whole time. I wanted to make some sort of base for a project I've been working on, and was about to slice up some ordinary white pine, when I thought "why not try to get something useable from some of those odd boards I've been moving from here to there over so many years?"

Well, the stuff looks pretty nice under the grime. It looks much like cherry, but seems a lot harder than most cherry I've worked with. Physical properties are much closer to maple than cherry, but it looks more like cherry than anything else. ROCK hard, like working with Corian.

The grungy old planks:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]2993[/ATTACH]

This is well-lit, they look a good bit dirtier, really.

A lot cleaner inside:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]2994[/ATTACH]

Comparison with some other bits on hand:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]2995[/ATTACH]

This is with only one wipe of natural Watco:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]2996[/ATTACH]

(with a slice of unfinished for comparison)

Grain is looking pretty nice so far:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]2997[/ATTACH]

I've only sanded it with 220 grit, and only hit it once with clear Watco. I don't think I could find lumber like this at the local hardwood dealer where I normally find lumber for an amp base.

The sapwood looks for the world like maple, the darker portion when unoiled looks exacltly like cherry. It handles like rock maple, and feels significantly heavier than cherry- which I have turned and sawn on many occasions. My best guess is cherry, but it's the hardest cherry I've ever seen by a wide margin.

Anyway, thought you might like to see an old plank, sliced up and oiled. I'm pretty happy with the look so far. You never know for sure what some old wood will clean up like. Anyone else found any gems in the scrap box?

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Sweet Mark, that stuff looks nice whatever it is. Looks like it's hard enough that we could machine it. ;)

I'm currently waiting to hear back from a client who is trying to sell his house, part of which is an old barn where he kept a bunch of wood that he used to build boats. There are some huge planks there, some 2" to 3"+ rough sawn and 10' to 15' in length. I'd love to get even a little of it to use for various projects and it sounded like he might just want to have someone come haul it all away.

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I'm always available to haul away old lumber, or stashes of tubes! Say the word.

Even old quarter-sawn doug fir is stunning when well finished out. Amazing, and extremely expensive for softwood.

This stuff I have would machine really well. I wish it were 5/4 or 6/4 though.

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Grain is looking pretty nice so far:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]2997[/ATTACH]

That is pretty damn nice. Shit how I wish I had woodworking skills.

I'm currently waiting to hear back from a client who is trying to sell his house, part of which is an old barn where he kept a bunch of wood that he used to build boats. There are some huge planks there, some 2" to 3"+ rough sawn and 10' to 15' in length. I'd love to get even a little of it to use for various projects and it sounded like he might just want to have someone come haul it all away.

Big planks like that would make some gorgeous furniture......

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Big planks like that would make some gorgeous furniture......

Indeed. My dad is a wood hound, he's got a storage shed out behind the house with 500 board feet of various types from Oak, to Cherry, Ash, Maple and a few others I think.

I hope to add a new dimension to the hilarity of my shop today, pics to follow later tonight. :)

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I know there are more than a few of you on here.

I'm just not sure from the pics, but I have seen some Beech that looks similar. I just don't think it's Cherry though.

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I'm just not sure from the pics, but I have seen some Beech that looks similar. I just don't think it's Cherry though.

So glad you checked in, I should send you a block of it. The stuff works way too hard (durometer, not difficulty) to be Cherry, but the hue is there.

As for Beech, I've only seen your typical European Red Beech like used in Ulmia workbenches, but that stuff is probably younger growth, or from some managed forests.

At any rate, it's interesting to me because usually it's pretty obvious what any usual piece of wood is, and in this case, it isn't. Prior to cleaning up, I figured it was some form of maple.

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Yes, they look much like tiny irridescent ribbons. It's more subtle sitting on a table with normal room lighting than it is standing on edge under a pair of 8' shop lights.

I have a friend in a neighboring town who has a Beech bench, and is a very experienced cabinetmaker. I'm going to have to pay him a visit with some pieces I think.

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I don't think it is beech.

These are some pictures of my modified Klausz bench. The top is constructed entirely out of European beech, with several coats of Danish oil, and the underframe is Sapele. Took quite a while to build it - 7 foot long 4" thick beech planks are exceptionally hefty to put through a planer/thicknesser, and then edge joint (with 1/2" plywood splines to locate and strengthen). Every type of joint going - blind, through wedged and fox wedged tenons, half blind and through dovetails, dowel and spline joints. All on a bigger scale than I have ever done them before. Finished just before Christmas 09. A joy to work on.

Total weight including the vice hardware is (calculated) 350lbs.

http://www.tech-enterprise.com/Saws/Benchfinished1.jpg

http://www.tech-enterprise.com/Saws/Benchfinished2.jpg

http://www.tech-enterprise.com/Saws/Benchfinished3.jpg

http://www.tech-enterprise.com/Saws/Underframe.jpg

Craig

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That is a beauty, Craig! Very nice workmanship.

That's a gorgeous bench Craig!

Thanks guys!

The interesting conundrum was that to build a bench, you need a bench. Problem is, the other bench is a metalworking bench, and the only way I could handle the size of timber was to take the metalwork vice off. So everything was constructed by making endless holding jigs to clamp the pieces to the surface of the bench while handplaning, routing, mortice chiselling etc.

Plus the shed is 8 foot x 11 foot, into which is squeezed my machinery (on wheels so I can pull it out when needed). God knows how I managed to build the bench in that space from raw lumber. Needed careful planning for sure.

Next project is to convert the garage into a half way decent sized shop - the shed is just too small ;)

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