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Bowling for Lumber... or "How Many LumberJocks does it take..."

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Blog entry by ryno101 posted 05-22-2009 08:28 PM 1969 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A couple of days ago, I got an email saying “PurpLev posted a new forum topic: Laminated Maple Tops for Free in MA!-10 Bowling Alleys being taken out”. here's the original blog post

Of course, my interest was piqued… I saw that PurpLev was going to have to pass, as he had no way to get a slab of that magnitude into his car, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to either… So, I figured I’d see if we could help each other out.

I got in touch with PurpLev, commandeered the wife’s mini-van, and we were off.

Arriving at our destination (after battling rush-hour Boston traffic), we laid eyes on a sight that would make any LJ drool…

All free for the taking…

We found a couple of sections we liked,

and PurpLev set about cutting the 16 foot lengths into more manageable sections.

It was a bit of a challenge… the depth of cut of Purp’s circ saw was about 1/8 inch too short, which meant flipping and cutting from the back side.

And we hit a few nails…

But finally managed to get two full 16 foot sections into the back of the van.

What a score! Honestly, the most challenging part of the whole endeavor was man-handling the 8 foot section into Purp’s (no-disrespect!) crowded workshop.

Keep your eyes open… we’ll see what ends up coming out of this.

And, riddle me this… How many LumberJocks does it take to drag a 3 foot by 8 foot section of hard maple out of the back of a minivan and into a crowded workshop?

-- Ryno



21 comments so far

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2639 days


#1 posted 05-22-2009 08:55 PM

Good score!

Those don’t look nearly as bad as the ones I used.

Those nails are a real pain! There is one about every 12 inches. On my lanes there was douglas fir for about the first 6 feet.

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

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2299 days


#2 posted 05-22-2009 09:16 PM

saweet!

not really the most educating shots safety wise… should have brought my eye protection (luckily nothing flew in) and ear muffs (I regained my hearing the next day… I think). it was easy to get lost in the excitement of free lumber.

Thanks for stepping in and offering to join forces Ryan- mission accomplished.

Gary – you bench and Karson’s were an inspiration for me for the last year – I have been stoking craigslist for bowling alleys ever since I saw your benches, and finally saw an add last week – only to (ironically) find out there was just no way to actually get it over… bummer…. so Ryan’s help made me “see the light” again. Now to deal with the nails… I’ve actually noticed that there seems to be glue oozing from the bottom of the boards – so taking these boards apart to get the nails out might be out of the question. but if it is – how did you take the laminated pieces apart? crawbar?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2654 posts in 2177 days


#3 posted 05-22-2009 09:47 PM

YES YES YES! Great job of team work! ...oh, and the wood!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2044 days


#4 posted 05-22-2009 10:36 PM

That is what makes this site unique…..no excuses guys, two more benches comming soon….....:P

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2326 days


#5 posted 05-22-2009 11:20 PM

I’m going to guess 4 because by the time you two got them loaded you weren’t much help anymore :-))

Did you guys take the whole pile? Looks like more than one trip for a mini-van!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 2441 days


#6 posted 05-23-2009 01:08 AM

Why do you need to take the alley sections apart at all? I would just plane/sand the top and wrap the edges, then mount it to a base. You might hit a few nails drilling dog holes, but I don’t see that as a big problem except for a dull drill bit. Is there some reason for prying them apart that I’m missing? I remember seeing Gary’s bench project when he did that and I always wondered why. I left 3-10’ sections of alley at my old house because I didn’t want to move them to the new house. I think I can get them back, though.

-- Tony, Ohio

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112070 posts in 2228 days


#7 posted 05-23-2009 01:43 AM

great team work pays off

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2326 days


#8 posted 05-23-2009 01:44 AM

If you are drilling and hit nails it will be a mess unless you use a bit like a ship auger wtihout any flukes beyond the botom of the bit. You need to have a good grip on the drill when a good sharp ship auger eats 16d nails. I’ve done it many times drilling frame construction.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2639 days


#9 posted 05-23-2009 01:50 AM

The reason I wanted to remove the nails, it that adding holes for for bench dogs later was bound to run into a nail. And those are hardened spiral cut nails, impossible to drill through. Besides all the boards were loose with gaps. If I were able to grab it by one edge and pick it up, I would be able to wiggle it like a piece of cloth. Besides it allowed me to make it exactly the dimensions I wanted.

PurpLev – If you do decide to take them apart, get a cats paw to remove the nails. It will make it a lot easier.
I found that the “glue” was a filler for the gaps and chipped out with an old chisel.

If I had it to do again, I might have bought new wood, but for free you can go wrong.

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

View aj_houston's profile

aj_houston

22 posts in 1944 days


#10 posted 05-23-2009 03:07 AM

Awesome! Looking forward to seeing whatever it is these things turn into.

-- It is better to wear out than to rust out. --Cumberland

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2299 days


#11 posted 05-23-2009 05:23 AM

Topamax we ‘only’ took 2 of those full length 16’ers. I have auger bits. and will probably use those if I choose to go with round bench holes – unless I chose to go square. still undecided.

Tony – I hope I don’t have to take this apart, but I might need to reduce the width – depending on the design I choose to go with (either Frank Klauz or the 21th century bench) I’ll need narrower strips – another reason would be to reduce the weight of those million of metal nails in there… it’s already heavy as hell as is.

Thanks Gary. I’ll keep those things in mind, and will look for a cats paw (someone here posted today also about a Nail-Hunter tool… looks pretty cool)

hopefully this will turn into a work bench, coffee table+end tables set…ahhh… as if the “to-do” list wasn’t long enough.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ryno101's profile

ryno101

379 posts in 2315 days


#12 posted 05-24-2009 03:39 AM

thanks, all…

I’m definitely going to have to cut mine down to make a bench… my shop will only let me go with 24” or 30” (30” wide is definitely pushing it!) by 66” length max, so I’ll definitely end up cutting this down to size. My hope is that the nail pattern is standardized, and that if I pull off a few sections on one side, I can figure out where all the rest of the nails are (or approximately where they are) in the rest.

There’s no way I’m going to try to break this apart. Those boards are solidly together, I couldn’t even slide a razor blade between any of them. I’m most worried about the strips of nails that I can clearly see running across the top at regular intervals. They look like 3d finish nails, and they’re going to make flattening the top tough. I think I’ll end up chiseling away about a half-inch on each side, down to about half-inch (using an old chisel, to be sure!) and hopefully that will give me enough to grab to get those guys out. I figure I’ll inlay a piece of oak or something in there as an “accent piece”. Necessity is the mother of creativity!

There’s definitely a bench in my future!

Sharon, thanks so much for your help on this. I’m glad that we were both able to help each other out on this one. What’s gonna work? Team Work!

-- Ryno

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2299 days


#13 posted 05-25-2009 01:16 AM

Anytime, Anywhere Ryan! it also helps you’re close around.

I’m going to try and stretch mine as much as I can – my current bench is 60” and works well, but having such a big slab now – I’m tempted to use as much of it as possible (while keeping it realist to lift it up to place) – I think I’m going to go with 80”. a workbench is one of those things you can never have a too big of…

for the top/bottom, I’m thinking I’ll use a metal grinding wheel to scuff up the surface around where nails might be to remove material without nicking any blades in chisels/planes – then pry nails out, and then routing the surface flat – finish with a smoothing plane/scraper. then adding another lamination of maple on front for bench holes, and breadboards on the ends. I’ll try to accent it with mahogany or cherry if I can put together enough shorter pieces to make for the length.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2639 days


#14 posted 05-25-2009 01:24 AM

PurpLev – That nail-hunter won’t give you near the leverage you will need to pull those nails.

These are the nails I pulled out of about a 30 foot section.

These are hardened. I wouldn’t try to drill them with any drill. You’re asking for trouble.
That is unless they used a different type of nail. Each of these is about 3” long.
.
.

.
.

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

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2032 days


#15 posted 05-25-2009 02:19 AM

Holy crap that’s a lot of nail-pulling, Gary!

And Purp, I squinted as I passed the set of pics with you sawing with no protection! I’m going to go put on eye protection right now, just until I stop being freaked out :)

Oh, and those sections are great. What a score! I’d try to clean up the surface where the diamond inlays were and just make a table out of a square of it without going through all that nail-pulling work. Maybe a poured-on bar top?

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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