Adventures in old lumber

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Blog entry by Greg Wurst posted 06-09-2008 02:59 PM 1193 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I see a Craigslist ad from a local guy who has a bunch of 3×5 rough-sawn white oak he’s looking to get rid of. I get ahold of him and head over to take a look. It’s been sitting in a barn on his grandfather’s property for the last 15 years and was pretty-old at that time. He intended to use it to repair a bridge floor that leads onto the property but he’s selling the place since his grandparents died and is leaving the bridge as-is. Various lengths from about 8-16 feet. Most of it is pretty rough with a lot of checking and nails. I found one decent looking 8 foot section and gave him $25 for it. It was actually 3×6 not 3×5.

The thing weighs a ton and I don’t have a good way to work an 8 foot section so I went ahead and cut it in half after running the metal detector over it:

The exposed end was cracked a bit so I was concerned about how the wood looked inside:

Fortunately, when I cut it in two the cut piece looked pretty-decent so I decided to go ahead and see what I could do with it:

The one half had a few nail holes and such in it so I thought I’d see if I could get some planks out of it and maybe some coffee table legs out of the other for a project I’m doing. Unfortunately, the bad half was pretty-bad as far as knots and holes so I had to slice it into 1×2 sections to get any decent pieces:

I used the planer and my table saw to resaw the boards. My bandsaw is in the basement and only has about a 3 1/2” capacity. I have a couple feet of decent wood on a couple pieces I might be able to use in the future:

The better half worked-out slightly better. I was able to get 4 decent legs out of it to use on my coffee table. The pieces aren’t perfect, but the exposed 2 sides of each leg should look pretty-good while the lesser sides are to the inside of the table:

This was my first experience using old wood, and while I wouldn’t call it an unparalleled success I definitely consider it a valuable learning experience.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

8 comments so far

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4116 days

#1 posted 06-09-2008 03:18 PM

Nice find!

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4332 days

#2 posted 06-09-2008 03:43 PM

Awesome save! I’m a big fan of recycled wood, there is so much of it out there just waiting to be repurposed.

Keep us posted on the progress.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3848 days

#3 posted 06-09-2008 04:23 PM

These are some good looking pieces. You made a good find.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View gator9t9's profile


331 posts in 3730 days

#4 posted 06-09-2008 04:36 PM

Reclaimed wood is always an adventure.

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4014 days

#5 posted 06-09-2008 08:21 PM

You never know what you are going to get until you open the box.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3858 days

#6 posted 06-09-2008 08:27 PM

I’d have to say I don’t recommend doing this sort of thing in your garage on a 93 degree day with 100% humidity and no breeze. I was sweating like a poked pig!

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3867 days

#7 posted 06-10-2008 05:22 PM

so how much did he want for the whole lot of the oak?

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3858 days

#8 posted 06-10-2008 05:28 PM

He didn’t list a price in his ad and I wasn’t really interested in the whole lot. He wanted to get rid of it so I’m sure he would have worked a deal. If you happen to be interested here’s the link:

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

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