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Forum topic by EastoftheDitch posted 04-06-2011 05:59 PM 1211 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 2812 days

04-06-2011 05:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood storage bookshelf material wood seasoning

Wow – what a friendly bunch. I’m a 61 y.o. rookie looking to take up woodworking as a hobby I can enjoy as I enter the final chapters. My athletic days are fading, along with my golf game which never was that good. While I enjoy surf fishing, you don’t always experience tangible results for your efforts, but then, it’s a day at the beach which is enough on it’s own.

One thing I have learned over the years is that if you are not too proud to admit what you don’t know, those with experience are usually willing to share. From my venturing through the web site, that certainly seems to be true. I mentioned golf, and after 40 years, I took my first lesson. When I think back of the frustration and futility I could have been spared had I learned right from the beginning that’s a mistake I don’t want to repeat. I don’t have time to learn from my own mistakes, if that can be avoided “with a little help from my friends”. Likewise, as I share projects I’ve created I want to give back what I can. I’m hoping for a mutually beneficial relationship.

I am blessed with the most brilliant person I’ve ever met as life partner for our final days. She does however have some rather peculiar ideas and beliefs. One that we have struggled with is the idea that two cars belong in a two car garage – have you ever heard such a thing. Here in Florida, we don’t have basements so WHERE IS A GUY SUPPOSED TO KEEP HIS STUFF??? After much discussion and negotiation we have arrived at the point where she is more than welcome to keep her car in the garage, and I can leave mine out and do what I want with my half. Last week we snapped a chalk line down the center and my imagination has been going nutz ever since. As I began to accumulate my tools (How did we live before Craigslist) it soon became obvious that one half of a small 2 car garage can fill up awfully fast so I needed to renegotiate the garage agreement. As it now stands, I’m making as much of my equipment as possible movable. She has agreed to let me take her car out, roll my equipment out and use all the space, as long as her car gets tucked back in for the night.
My first project will be some built in bookshelves in her office. I’ve built them before starting with framing lumber, then birch plywood but these are going to be the real deal. I’ve come across a good old boy who has been sawing lumber on his farm for the last 40 years. I went out last weekend and was amazed with what he had already seasoned at least 2-3 years. Heart cherry, poplar, cypress, cedar & black walnut were of particular interest to me. So here is where the questions begin…

My wife wants her bookshelves out of the cedar (she likes the smell). My concern is the strength, although if secured and supported properly I would imagine that could be overcome. I’ll be planing down the 4/4 roughsawn lumber and am considering a solid back with biscuit joints for lateral support with a routed inset on the sides. I also question how long that cedar smell is going to last but thought tung oil might be a better finish than polyurethane. Your comments and suggestions would be most appreciated.

My second question has to do with the lumber. It’s been air dried for several years in a loafing shed stacked and separated with 1/2” slats. I’m going to have a logistical problem when I get it home. Two possibilities would be to keep in in the 8×12 storage shed out back. It’s dry but not climate controlled. What I would really like to do is keep it under the canopy outside. We recently moved into our final home and the previous owners left a 10×20 canopy where they kept their boat out of the weather. It’s shaded almost all day as grass will barely grow on that side of the house. I’ve researched and found a place where I can get new roof and side panels which could enclose all but the front end. There would be plenty of room, and it would be dry, but I don’t know if that would be an acceptable way to store and stack rough sawn lumber for future use. The final possibility and my least favored would be to hang some racks in the ceiling of the garage. That would limit what I could store, the garage door would limit the space and as I said real estate in the garage is limited. I don’t want to learn from my mistakes on this one so your input would be most appreciated.

Well, it looks like the insomnia is fading, and morning will come entirely too soon but this was therapeutic and I look forward to your responses.

TIA – Marc – EastoftheDitch

5 replies so far

View NewfieDan's profile


50 posts in 2851 days

#1 posted 04-06-2011 09:32 PM

Welcome to LJ!!!

If it were me i would not build out of Cedar. It looks good when finished but the finish stops the smell your other half enjoys so much. If she likes the reddish color you can use one of the lighter types and stain it to resemble cedar. If she likes the smell of cedar you always plane a piece and place it in an old stocking. When the smell fades plane some more and put into a “new” pair of stockings. If you tuck in behind one of the books it will be out of sight but you can still enjoy the aroma.

I used to have the same issue with a 2 car garage. I could mover her convertible out but it had to be back for the night. I had ALL of my tools portable. In my new shop I still have it portable. The only tool I don’t have on a base is my full size drill press. It’s way too top heavy for a mobile base. But my bandsaw, scroll saw, tablesaw,workbench (4X8), planer, miter saw, and welder are all on shop made mobile bases. Even my clamp rack is mobile. If you put all your tools onto bases you may find room to tuck your car back in at night too.

As for storage of spare lumber I am unsure since I spent most of my woodworking time land locked in a dry climate. So for me storage has not been an issue. I’m sure others will chime in with there ideas.

View EastoftheDitch's profile


14 posts in 2812 days

#2 posted 04-08-2011 04:36 AM

Thanks for the response – the idea of shavings in a sock should do the job. I’m leaning against the cedar in favor of some heart cherry that is available for $0.65/bf. It’s aged 3 years and cut to 4/4 for me to mill down with the used Rigid planer I got over the weekend. She is excited about cherry, even more than the cedar so the first project should be on the way in the next few weeks. Ive read other places that the outside storage is ok as long as it’s protected from rain which a new canopy cover should do nicely. It’s just a matter of time and money, but what did we do before Craigslist?

View chrisstef's profile


17762 posts in 3208 days

#3 posted 04-08-2011 04:21 PM

0.65 for cherry!!! Holy crap i need to get out of New England lumbers cheaper down south. Welcome to LJ’s and im looking forward to your progress and the shelving unit.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3287 days

#4 posted 04-08-2011 04:45 PM

If possible, see if you can negotiate a new shop building in place of that boat canopy, if not, then enclosing
it, with a concrete floor, or a level gravel floor should work for storing lumber. You did not mention weather
in your area, lots of rain would mean a complete enclosure. A lot of variables here, but insomnia gives you
plenty of time for planning before you jump. Hope you enjoy your new hobby. Never could understand
the urge to hit a little ball into a hole in he ground, now to put a little hole in a bullseye at 400 or 1000 yds
I can relate.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View EastoftheDitch's profile


14 posts in 2812 days

#5 posted 04-09-2011 02:59 PM

Things are developing nicely. I met with my neighbor to make sure he didn’t have a problem with me putting up an additional canopy for my wood and he was planning on replacing the privacy fence between the properties. At 7’ I could attach an angled metal roof to provide protection and stock my material. We will split the cost and it will be a win win for both of us. My sympathies to those with less agreeable neighbors.

Since costs are a consideration, what are your suggestions for flooring in the shed. One suggestion was a layer of crusher run sprinkled with portland occasionally. Seems over time it will tighten up almost like concrete. Gravel wouldbe another option and provide drainage, The wood will be off the ground anyway.

I checked with my source for the heart cherry, and it seems like the stock had been sold that morning. Curiously enough, it showed up on Craigslist within 4 hours, just the price doubled. When I talked with the mil owner, he was not happy but said he would honor our previous price, and future prices to the profiteer would at least quadruple.

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