Last summer a guy I know was going to be tearing an old deck of of his house and replacing it with a new one. He actually asked me if I wanted the old deck wood to use as firewood in my wood stove. I came to learn that it was a Redwood deck he was going to be tearing apart so my interest in the wood spiked. Where I live you cant get Redwood lumber anywhere that I know of and I don’t even know that its being milled and shipped over here anymore.
The deck was a rather large deck and the Redwood filled up my 18ft trailer. Once I got the lumber home I was left scratching my head as to what I was actually going to do with it. I ended up stacking it all in my wood shed and its pretty much sat there since.
The wood was in really rough shape on the outside. The biggest issue was who ever built the deck used galvanized nails to nail all the deck boards down. The Redwood has acids in it that slowly ate away at these nails and rusted them away leaving only small pieces of metal in the nail holes as well as a dark blackish color around each nail hole. The wood is also extremely dirty and some boards had been painted. Because of the shape of this lumber it needed to be cleaned up before going through my jointer/planer. I knew it would be a lot of work so thats probably why the wood has been sitting in my shed for a year.
I have been wanting to use this wood for some outdoor furniture so last week I decided to start cleaning the lumber up. There is no way telling what I am working with until I can get them planed down. I am doing a few different things to clean them up.
I start by first removing any nails that I can see. This is the hardest part because as I said the nails are so rusted that they have been breaking as I am pulling them out. If the nail breaks off in the wood I use a hammer and nail set to knock the broken piece out.
Once the nails are out I go over the board with my ROS and 80 grit paper. I only make a few passes to remove the majority of the surface dirt, paint and moss. After the loose dirt and crap is off I plane it by hand with one of my jack planes that I have set for a heavy cut. I hog material off until the Redwood starts to look like Redwood again. Once both sides and edges are done its ready for the power jointer/planer.
I am about half way through the lumber and its looking good so far. I have a plug cutter so I can cut matching plugs for the nail holes. I am looking forward to making some outdoor furniture.
The last picture is after they have been through the planer.
-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"