Reclaimed Chestnut

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Blog entry by dustbunny posted 04-04-2010 02:45 AM 1610 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I picked up these boards today from a friend. She bought them from a company that salvages the wood from old buildings. This particular chestnut came from a barn and was the flooring. Their website had pictures of the actual building it came from, but it has since been removed. The planks were 12’ x 10” x 2”. I took 5 boards and cut them into 6’ lengths. It is filthy, full of the old style nails, and has some major cracking. I have a hand held metal detector to be sure there is nothing lurking beneath the dirt.



I used my ROS with 60grit to remove the filth-


It cleaned up pretty well, enough so that I didn’t mind ripping it on the table saw, then gave a quick plane on both sides. What showed up was a nice light golden color with some worm holes and tracks, this will add some character.

The picture below shows : left- how I got it, middle- sanded off the dirt, right- planed and ready to use.


Tomorrow I will resaw it and use this piece to make a box.
I don’t have any experience with this wood, if anyone has any tips on how it works please let me know.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

14 comments so far

View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4020 days

#1 posted 04-04-2010 02:51 AM

You’ve got you work cut out for you or should I say sanding for you…

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3334 days

#2 posted 04-04-2010 02:58 AM

i don’t know much about chestnut ,
but if you treat it like an exotic ,
you should be ok ?
at least it should be dry .
nice score .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3474 days

#3 posted 04-04-2010 03:47 AM

I’ve used a little bit of wormy chestnut. It works great, can be a little stringy if you plan to carve it. It’s not to hard. Looks great though when it’s finished. Great score.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 3357 days

#4 posted 04-04-2010 03:59 AM

i just made a cutting baord from some works just like hickory. kinda on the hard side but not bad to work with

-- self proclaimed copycat

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3423 days

#5 posted 04-04-2010 05:53 AM

Great score Lisa! Love to see reclaimed wood projects. Can’t wait to see the box and other stuff from this.

What do you mean box? I didn’t know you could spin yarn with a box?haha

Keep expanding your skills!


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View degoose's profile


7231 posts in 3347 days

#6 posted 04-04-2010 10:42 AM

I have a chestnut tree in the back yard but it is only 6 years old.. so will be a while afore I can mill it..
Nice score tho.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3425 days

#7 posted 04-04-2010 12:58 PM

Great score, Lisa!
Reclaimed wood is just so stable… I have a bunch of 70 yr old mahogany that is just incredible!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View SPalm's profile


5319 posts in 3875 days

#8 posted 04-04-2010 01:51 PM

Hey Lisa, Nice score. I have never worked with it either, but have always heard that it lays between hickory and walnut in workability. I guess because it is a nut tree.

But where is your zero clearance insert (pic #2)? You promised to be safe.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3057 days

#9 posted 04-04-2010 02:32 PM

Nice buy Lisa..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3018 days

#10 posted 04-04-2010 06:12 PM

Over here chestnut is a basic building article. It has been used for supporting beams for floors, doors and windows and furniture since the roman times. I work with it all the time. It should not have woodworm because it has a huge amount of tannic acid incorporated. The worms normally attack the little bit of sapwood that the planks have on the outside they but cannot eat the hardwood inside.Due to the tannic acid content this wood changes color in a dramatic way if exposed to amonia fumes (see my chessboard progect). It is stable once cut and moreover resists to umidity for hundreds of years. It has a beautifull honey color that can be enchanced by a knowing exposure to the abovementioned amonia fumes

-- Dreaming patterns

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3018 days

#11 posted 04-04-2010 06:17 PM

I forgot to say -. It makes you sneeze when you work it But I recon that you know that allready

-- Dreaming patterns

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3288 days

#12 posted 04-04-2010 07:41 PM

Nice one SPalm,
you caught me,
I did a quick switch from my dado blade and insert,
grabbed the closest insert, my bad : (
You guys don’t miss a trick ! : )

Thanks everyone for the comments.
deon- the chessboard is stunning, mine must be wormy chestnut because it definitely has worm holes.
Uh…Larry, you’re growing your own lumber ?!!


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3159 days

#13 posted 04-05-2010 02:03 PM

Nice collection.
Make something pretty.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3279 days

#14 posted 04-05-2010 11:38 PM

Lisa, Can’t wait to see what you make.

Thanks for sharing


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