I followed a classified to a small pile of free pine and fir last night. I made the 12mi. round trip to find nothing, then found I’d had the alleyway next to the one it was supposed to be in. It was midnight, but I thought “What the heck?” and did the 12mi. round trip again, and there it was, all the wood stacked against the wall here:
I got 2 ~5’ and 2 ~7.75’ 2×6 Douglas fir boards, with some brackets and screw holes, though not many, and I can use the brackets, too, on a current project :) I also got 3 2×3x~7.5’ pine boards, a very clear straight-sawn 1×6x8’ of pine (company listed as being in New Zealand, though not sure if the board isn’t just something US local) that actually seems to match the pallet wood I cleaned up recently in a test. They both have some darker brown streaks disappearing into the wood. Finally, there were 6 cool 5.5’ long 1×6 rough/natural pine. I haven’t seen its like before at any stores, like Home Depot. I suppose it could be hidden in some fence-wood area I never visit.
I know it’s just cheap stuff I could easily afford from a home center, but I still felt good driving home with a hatchback packed full of useful, free, clean lumber. It also felt good to keep it out of a landfill. It deserves better. I’m an at least slightly better fate :)
Then today I went out for some breakfast, and noticed a smashed up pallet leaning against a wall surrounding the restaurant’s dumpster. It looked forgotten. There was a guy sweeping up out there, so I got out and asked if I could have it, and he said “Sure!” He’s probably glad not to have to sweep around it anymore. It’s pretty nasty, which I find to be awesome, because when I pull the usable regions out of it, make sure they have no nails, and run them through the jointer, planer, and table saw, it’ll be even more fun than usual to see beautiful new wood magically appear. I’m predicting this will be the case. I’ve seen it happen before.
A few more pics of its nastiness at Flickr
Anyway, despite cheap and/or disgusting, the little bits of freeness made me happy today.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator