Fred Sanford Woodworking!

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Blog entry by smitty1 posted 04-13-2008 06:36 PM 862 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know, it’s a funny subject title but read on, we all have a little something to relate to this.
Have you ever been driving down the road or in the neighborhood and seen an old chair or table laying out to be picked up by the trash service or someone has just cut down a tree and the logs are laying at the curb to be pick up? Or how about the factory down the street that has a dumpster full of scrap lumber or pallets?
Or the friend that calls you and says he just cut down a tree in his from yard ( roots interfering with the foundation or sewer ) and wants to know if you need some lumber?
Thats where this project got started!
I worked for a local retail outlet that was located on a main thoroughfare and it was being reconstructed for a new overpass. During the process the overpass ramp walls were concrete proformed slabs which were trucked in from an out of town plant. Each slab , 10’ x 5’- 8” thick , was load and stacked on a flat bed trailer using 4” x 4” and 6” x 6” skids. As they unloaded these during the project I noticed they would throw the wood skids in a pile and after a day or two the pile laid there calling my name, pleading for recovery. Since the site foreman traded at my store I asked him what would become of the skids? He replied saying they were supposed to be picked up by the supplier of the wall slabs but he was doubtful they would. When I asked him if he minded if I appropriated some for woodworking he said ‘Take all you can haul away’.
I spent most of a weekend hauling them and a week of being sore from the lifting them but my efforts were not fruitless as I had visions of future uses.
One of the first project I built with them was the clock pictured which was featured in Woodsmith magazine and was a favorite if mine.
After many hours of resawing and planning , more time involved than the construction of the clock, I had a time piece to be an heirloom.
The wood is red oak , finished in Tung Oil and installed with a Hermel Mechanical Day/Date mechanism and now resides in my office.
As I started this writing, I mentioned ‘Something all can relate to’ so how about you ? Have you got the ‘Fred Sanford scavager woodworker in you?

-- Smitty, Alabama,

5 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4059 days

#1 posted 04-13-2008 06:45 PM

Hi Smitty,

I think that most of us have the “Fred Sanford” calling. One of the themes that you will see is the re-purposing of material destined for firewood or the dumpster into a nice project, much like your clock post.

I am not sure I would actually be willing to climb down into a dumpster to salvage a piece of furniture or wood but given time who knows!!

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

View bobdurnell's profile


317 posts in 4134 days

#2 posted 04-13-2008 07:07 PM

Smitty, I’ve Fred Sanford a few times with old motors that would have ended up you know where. The motors are still running fine and I think your right about us.

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 4126 days

#3 posted 04-13-2008 07:18 PM

Fred Sanford? I admit I remember the series. I guess I am also dating myself.

Certainly a good use of wood that likely would have been buried under a pile of dirt. Nice project.


View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4537 days

#4 posted 04-15-2008 04:33 PM

Fred Sanford, & Dick Cain <;o) one in the same.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View pappyjohn's profile


138 posts in 3950 days

#5 posted 04-21-2008 03:43 AM

Hey Smitty, I sure can relate to the Fred Syndrome, I try to acquire all types of things when I get the chance, and theprice is really right. The only PROBLEM is getting all these acquasitions stored somewhere safe and out of the Wifes eyes before she notices them. She’s been watching them remodeling shows, and has Been Downsizing me since. I sincerly try not to go away from home for too long. Hard telling what I’d have left, you all know what I’m talking about.

-- Your Brother in WoodWorking John, Pittsburgh , PA.

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