Prospecting for Wood #2: Needle in a Haystack

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Blog entry by Paul posted 05-25-2007 01:33 AM 712 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Sweating for Wood Part 2 of Prospecting for Wood series Part 3: Where have you discovered gold? »

Click the thumbnails for larger pics .

Here’s the pile I explore occasionally- it extends back at least 20 yards. Lots of protruding nails and shakey footing. I try to keep my feet on the ground though and pass on anything I don’t believe I can get to, or uncover, safely. You can see how easy it would be to fall or have something fall on me. My tetnus shot is current!:

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No great finds to report. Just some pallet oak, two 4×4 oak timbers and a pine board to use for a shelf sometime;

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Had a little more time before having to get ready to go to a Noon meeting, so I decided to see what I could mill out of an oak 4x4.

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Cut the beam in half to make it easier to joint one side and resawed into three pieces:

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Jointed a flat side again and plane the boards to 3/4" - sawed and jointed to S4S:

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Did it all again with the second half of the beam and came out with six sticks. Not No.1 select but some decent pieces - some with quartersawn rays.

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I'll get to the rest some other time. About 2.5 hours from the time I started loading the van with my tools until I shut off the shop vac after cleaning up. When I posted the first section of the blog, I thought I was going to have all of today off.

-- Paul, Texas

6 comments so far

View Karson's profile


34946 posts in 3303 days

#1 posted 05-25-2007 04:27 AM

Not all finds are great, but it is in the plus side of the ledger.

Good hunt.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3217 days

#2 posted 05-25-2007 05:51 AM

Thank God for noon meetings

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3063 days

#3 posted 05-25-2007 11:42 AM

definitely worth the effort, I’d say.
(Glad to hear that you “pass” on stuff too dangerous to get to)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Paul's profile


654 posts in 2995 days

#4 posted 05-25-2007 03:58 PM

I thought I had seen some good lengths of oak and 5/4 poplar on a previous visit, but decided they were too hard to get with a handsaw and prybar. I would come back when I made the cordless saw purchase. Yet, those places were deeply covered this time. Lots of rain recently, too, and I forgot the insect repellant.

Visions of ash, poplar and unknown surprises were dancing in my head but no such luck this time. With such a big pile, it’s also amazing how long you can stare at it before you actually see the diamonds in the rough. (Kinda like a Where’s Waldo? picture!) The day I pulled a good stack of ash out of the pile, I had about given up when I realized that just one or two pieces of several crates were ash. Crates and pallets can be made out of two or three different woods, but with similar weathered colors they blend together in the jumble.

-- Paul, Texas

View Karson's profile


34946 posts in 3303 days

#5 posted 05-25-2007 05:13 PM


Are you using a metal cutting blade to seperate the planks from the frame members. I’ve done that in taking down walls in my house.

Don’t cut the wood, cut the nails within the joints.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 3214 days

#6 posted 05-26-2007 04:01 AM

Looks like you did real good. Those boards you found make a lot of shavings for the compost pile. LOL.

-- Jesus is Lord!

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