Have I stumbled on a treasure?

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Forum topic by j_olsen posted 11-16-2009 10:04 PM 1403 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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155 posts in 3136 days

11-16-2009 10:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource

I just got home and made some sawdust from some rough sawn lumber I was told about.
I was told that this lady had an out building with a lot of rough sawn lumber of varying species – what I was told is that there is cherry, walnut but as I was digging through the piles I found a small piece of 6/4 ash and some basswood at what I’m guessing is between 6/4 and 8/4—now I’m definitely not an expert by any stretch of the imagination about recognizing species so there could be other types mixed in the fray.
I was told that her husband had this stored in a storage building for about 20 years and it has been in this shed for 4 years and she wants to get rid of it as she has no need of it.
Question is have I found something good or to good to be true? I do know that there is way too much for me to handle due to the fact i don’t have a shop or garage to store it in but I’m sure i can find a place for some of it.
The other thing I would like to pass along to those of you in the Dayton Ohio area is that she is open to people coming by and buying what she has—you can contact me though LJ and we can set up something.
She is talking about 2-3 /bdft for the lumber—there is quite a bit of it (guessing 200 -300 bdft with most of it being over 8 ft long
Are there things i should be looking for and the like before I spend money on bad lumber?
There is also some older machines that might be picked up for a good price if you are willing to refurb—what i saw was an older band saw, floor stand drill press, planer (12-13” I’m guessing), an old dewalt RAS and an old lathe
The whole thing was kinda overwhelming because it was all in a jumble and thrown in the shed so any help from everyone would be a great help

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

8 replies so far

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3094 days

#1 posted 11-17-2009 12:02 AM

The lumber needs a closer look. Whether its ash or cherry the real question is: What is its moisture content? Borrow a meter and find out. If its at 20% moisture and needs to kilned then its probably not worth dealing with, unless you feel like building a kiln (which you can do). After determining the moisture level you need to determine the grade. This can be tricky with rough-sawn lumber that’s stacked. You would have to get a good look at a fair selection of the lumber and use a hand plane on some to know what you’re getting. As for the machines, there is no reason that they may not be a great find.

View MedicKen's profile


1612 posts in 3427 days

#2 posted 11-17-2009 12:21 AM

My guess is you found a gold mine. The moisture content should be down if its been sitting for more than 20 yrs. I would take a hand plane and your check book!!

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View yarydoc's profile


417 posts in 3109 days

#3 posted 11-17-2009 12:22 AM

I use some sawmill run lumber and it can be great or so so. Untill I make a cut you never know what you have. I have 1/2 a pickup load of red cedar that was so old that the sapwood had all rotted away and they were going to burn it. Some of the best cedar I have ever seen. I bought some cherry that was just plain when you cut into it.

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

View KingGordon's profile


16 posts in 3108 days

#4 posted 11-17-2009 01:04 AM

Hi Jeff,

I am in the Dayton area and would possibly be interested in going half (or thirds or fourths) on the lot if you’re interested. And I may be interested in the planer and bandsaw, too. I am new to woodworking, though, so I won’t be much help in determining what species the wood is. Thanks for sharing, and if you’re interested let me know.

I’m not yet allowed to send private messages so I thought I’d just reply in the thread.

Thanks and good luck to you whatever you decide.

View j_olsen's profile


155 posts in 3136 days

#5 posted 11-17-2009 01:11 AM

King—the good thing about this stuff is pay for what you want so there’s not a big deal about having to split the cost

PM me as soon as you can and we can trade phone numbers and go from there

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

View KingGordon's profile


16 posts in 3108 days

#6 posted 11-17-2009 01:52 AM

Jeff, thanks. This is my fifth post so I should be able to PM after this. Thanks!

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3632 days

#7 posted 11-17-2009 02:17 AM

The real treasure is in the fact that you probably have alot of matched sets of boards. Look for knots that are in the same places on multiple boards. Plus cherry from the same tree will age all the same making for nice consistant color.
80% of the lumber I use is old wood found in barns. Give her a price for the whole stack and store it. I can promise that wood will not be getting any cheaper in the future.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3109 days

#8 posted 11-17-2009 07:42 PM

Depends on the widths of the boards. $2-$3 for 5-6” rough lumber of dubious grading is on the high end, especially for Ash/Bassword.

However, if they’re in the 10-12” range then it’s more than fair.

Also, odds are she’s talking about length/width as BF, not inlcuding that 8/4 and 6/4 is another factor.

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