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Forum topic by Rockytop posted 09-25-2016 02:00 PM 1190 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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37 posts in 769 days

09-25-2016 02:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak question refurbishing milling joining rustic

Ok, so as I’ve said before, I’m just getting into this. And having fun trying to gather the tools to start & doing small protects. Anyway, I scored a couple sweet deals this week. 1) an old delta/rockwell jointer for $50 in running condition. Only needs cleaning & minor work.
2) I scored a barn for reclaim! Yep! 70 years old. Mostly oak! Now onto my question: I’m wanting to use some of this inside my refurbish home project. Mainly to make variable width flooring. I’m really wanting to keep cost low. Should i consider sending this to a local sawmill to kiln dry it? It’s a small barn but still going to be around 300 boards & i don’t have a great place to store it for air dry( I’m building a shed out of pallets & vinyl siding but it’s going to be a while now) i can store a small amount in my home & some in my storage building( with all my tools) but a lot will be stored in my crawl space under my home

13 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1407 posts in 1875 days

#1 posted 09-25-2016 02:10 PM

I would think after 70 years exposed to the elements, the wood would be dry by now…......Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Rockytop's profile


37 posts in 769 days

#2 posted 09-25-2016 02:23 PM

Me too, but my question is mainly after reading articles on reclaim wood nightmares. That the wood would still be acclimated to current climate, which in East Tn is still hot & humid! Just concerned it’s picked up some moisture from our super humid summer & might delay planing & sawing

View Kelly's profile


2092 posts in 3089 days

#3 posted 09-25-2016 05:48 PM

If you have it kiln dried, and considering that it dried to its climate decades ago, you’d still have to acclimate it to your climate, if it’s different.

Of course, moving it into an climate controlled house is moving it to another climate. As such, figure a way to store it at the humidity it will reside in. Sticker the piles, which shouldn’t be too horribly big, unless you’re another Bill Gates and are planning on flooring all of your Tacoma house.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3059 days

#4 posted 09-25-2016 06:44 PM

Me too, but my question is mainly after reading articles on reclaim wood nightmares. That the wood would still be acclimated to current climate, which in East Tn is still hot & humid! Just concerned it s picked up some moisture from our super humid summer & might delay planing & sawing

- Rockytop

That should not be an issue since you are scoring, reclaiming, and finishing it all in the SAME area. Personally I would tend to be MORE concerned IF the 70year old wood was kiln dried before building and finishing in your area. After all, 70years is a lifetime of drying/acclimating in the same area. After “70years” the wood has already moved/done whatever it is/was going to, so don’t worry too much about it.

Just a couple of pennies in the wind…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Dan's profile


722 posts in 2037 days

#5 posted 09-25-2016 11:10 PM

Should you make sure it is pest free before putting it under your house?

-- Dan

View pontic's profile


634 posts in 753 days

#6 posted 09-25-2016 11:58 PM

De pest it for sure. Spray it. Kiln drying 70yr old wood will stand a good chance of cracking and running the checks all the way thru. Acclimate it after you cut and dress it. Let it sit in your house for 2-3days before you start laying it down.
Use an organophosphate or a metherin type spray and let it soak and dry for at least 2-3days. Kiln drying temps go from 186-220F and no matter what they tell you the heat is not even. Steam kilns are better and the color doesn’t’ change as much. The warping and cracking occurs in steam kilning within the first 6hrs after they take it out of the kiln. You will see a lot of cracks in the middle of the board in steam dried lumber, which is baisicly just autoclaving the boards and then vacuuming out the chamber.
Greay for keeping that rich color in cherry wood and such.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View WDHLT15's profile


1776 posts in 2621 days

#7 posted 09-26-2016 12:54 AM

You need to heat the wood to an internal temp of 133 degrees for a couple of hours to kill any powderpost beetles, their larvae, or eggs. A surface spray will not penetrate the wood enough to kill an infestation except maybe for a product called bora-care. I have never used it, though.

Here is a link to the label if you want to read it.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View oldwood's profile


155 posts in 1389 days

#8 posted 09-26-2016 02:46 AM

70 years sounds like a long time, and it is because I have been here for all of it and a little more, but it is going to move when you bring it into a climate controlled environment. I have built two dining tables from heart pine, one from
a pre civil war cotton mill in SC and one from an 1843 house in Al. I did not kiln dry or acclimate them and they both contracted by almost 1/2” over the width. I think I would kiln dry your wood and then let set in the house as long as possible before installing. Even the composite commercial stuff they advise you to let it set in the space for awhile.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4503 posts in 2454 days

#9 posted 09-26-2016 05:13 AM

Wood is hygroscopic. Doesn’t make any difference how old it is. If you move it to where the humidity is less or more than where it is now it will will move as it takes in moisture or loses moisture.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 1565 days

#10 posted 09-26-2016 07:02 AM

barn wood has a mind of its own, regardless of its age, or where it come from. I’m scroll sawyer, & I live in NW Kansas. I use a lot of barn wood in several of my projects, including feathers, flowers, & signs. I disagree with the kiln drying part, but that’s your decision.

I get barn wood a pick up load at a time. It’s usually anywhere from 50 – 100 years old. What I do is lay it out flat on stickers, stacked, in my storage shed, cover it with heavy plastic, & get 4 or 5 cans of the home fumigators, set them off under the plastic & use 4×4’s to hold the edges of the plastic down, leave it alone for two weeks. I’ve never had any problems with bugs in the wood, or anything else.

Barn wood has a tendency to be brittle, so be careful when you handle it if you want to salvage most it. If it has a surface crack, you can bank on it goin completely through the board, & possibly a fair length of the board. Watch for nails, too! There will be several rusted & broken nails still in the lumber. good luck, & enjoy working with it! You’ll have an awesome looking project in the end!

-- Sawdust703

View pontic's profile


634 posts in 753 days

#11 posted 09-26-2016 10:03 AM

I agree about the powderpost beetles. I use bora-care product works well.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View Rockytop's profile


37 posts in 769 days

#12 posted 09-26-2016 11:42 AM

Guys, i really appreciate all the info! After your comments, i think I’ll not kiln dry it just give it plenty of acclamation time. I will definitely pest rid it! I’ll check out all the methods listed above. You guys rock! It’s going to be a challenge storing it, but I’ll make it happen.

View KelleyCrafts's profile


3180 posts in 884 days

#13 posted 09-27-2016 04:14 PM

I can agree with he people here. Get rid of the bugs then mill it, then cram it in your house for a couple of weeks, then fine tune it. I have some eucalyptus slabs in my dining room now acclimating. The wife would be pissed if she wasn’t getting a gorgeous dining room table out of it.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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