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Thread: Whats the deal with reclaimed wood?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    10,184

    Whats the deal with reclaimed wood?

    Im trying to get an appt to go thursday to go look at 500 bf of reclaimed wood.
    Old barns it was stated.
    Oak, cherry, walnut and one or two other species.
    Its not expensive, hoping to score it between 1.50-1.75 a bf, but what are the big pitfalls with this stuff?(besides being old, and if I see ovbious rot or cracks to make it unuseable)
    Is it bought for decorating only? Can I build something solid from it?
    Im a bit uncertain because Id regret if I bring it back and its infested with something Id infect a bunch of other lumber Im storing.
    Anything very obvious I should look for?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
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    955
    I my area it is common to see powder post beetle infestations. You can tell this by the fine sawdust around 1mm sized holes. It's good for burning. Reclaimed wood often is hard on planer blades because of the dirt imbedded from many years. Some people like the rustic look and others like the feel good of using reclaimed stuff. That being said you can sometimes find wood that has a fine grain structure and wide boards found in old growth timbers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    I have heard of people power-washing the wood first before planning. It seems like a lot of trouble for what?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    10,184
    I got my response. The wood has been stacked in his shop.
    He told me no nails, but yes, cracks and splits, but he gets a nice amount out of it and it planes beautifully.So I have to figure it out. If Im only going to get 60-70 percent maximum out of the wood, it might make more sense to just find raw wood without all the cracks, cause I might not even get 50% out of it.
    Old might be beautiful, but if the total use of the bf is greatly diminished, it wont make "cents" for me financially.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
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    1,941
    Allen, around here it sells for around$0.50 per linear foot. This mostly becouse the beams have about 50/50 chance of the middle being powder.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central NY State
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    3,374
    I like to reuse wood as much as I can. But I also once did $80 damage to a $100 TS blade by hitting one sheetrock screw I hadn't seen. I understand the fellow said no metal is in the wood, but how sure is he? Using old wood can be a real pleasure, or a real disaster. If you're buying it [as opposed to free] it had better be very cheap - and the prices you gave don't fit my definition of very cheap. I'd proceed with caution. Just my 1/100 of a gallon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    I live in Denton, Texas and ranched at Schulenburg, Texas.
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    116
    I have used "used" wood of various kinds (including plywood). What has been said is all good sense, I always use an old saw blade because you will inherit at least one nail. Bottoms and backs of my shop cabinets are all used, beams are another point. They'll require resawing and that is often difficult. I usually save the beams to take to a friend with a small sawmill, he saws many ulility poles so nails are not a huge concern. I priced some reclaimed long leaf pine out of an old cotton compress and warehouse; and I passed it by as to expensive. On one of Norm"s NYW, he used river pine and a local (Sanger, TX) mill has some for $5 bft; to give reference mesquite is $3.75 and up. In Durant OK a mill had a nice stack of ash that was stored in doors (air dried) for $2 bft; but I passed it by when he told me he has had past trouble with power post bettles. Years ago when I was making cedar fruniture, I sprayed the posts and lumber with a good insecticide that EPA won't let us use any longer.

    Actually those of use in Texas are fortunate in the availabity of lumber. Many local hardwoods are available as well pine and cypress. There are a number of mills sawing mequite now. The wasn't true ten or more years ago.

    Ray Gerdes in beautiful TEXAS

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    I dont have enough experience or ts blades to experiment or waste.
    woodworking has enough difficulties and frustrations for me without having to add any.
    Ill skip on this offer. thanx for the info.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oliver Springs, TN
    Posts
    1,726
    Allen, I have a little experience with recycled lumber. About a year ago me and a couple friends took down an old barn. It was around 75 years old. It was mostly oak on the outside with some pine flooring in the loft. The barn was free we just had to take it down and clean up, so it really wasn't free. I have used some of the wood. I bought a metal detector and on the first or second board saved trashing my jointer blades. I had gone over the boards several times looking for metal. There was a piece buried that I couldn't see.
    If I could get it really cheap I probably would buy some. I did have a lot more waste from the barn wood than from what I get at the supplier. Here's a couple pictures of a hall table I made with some of the wood.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1814.jpg   IMG_1815.jpg   IMG_1816.jpg   IMG_1817.jpg  

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