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What to do with reclaimed beams?

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Forum topic by Jonathan posted 05-20-2011 03:29 AM 1618 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1740 days


05-20-2011 03:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: rustic douglas fir reclaimed timber old wood old timber reclaimed wood beam beams wood beams

So a fellow LJ, Todd Clare and I hauled away some salvaged beams from one of the older buildings in downtown Denver (LoDo, actually) that is being completely renovated right now. We think the wood is Douglas Fir, or something similar, but we’re not sure? The Saddlery Building itself used to be a warehouse and was built back in 1909, so the wood we are reclaiming has been down for over 100-years now.

The beams range in length and overall thickness. We tried to select the beams that were in better shape, as far as skipping over the ones that had severe splits in them. There was only one that I really wanted to get that we were unable to grab. It was about 9-feet long and 14-inches by 14-inches. Just too heavy for the two of us to pick up.

Here’s a picture of me with the Jeep loaded-up. The beam we were trying to get is at the bottom right corner of the pile in front of me, next to the tractor scoop.

Here’s a closer shot of me with the Jeep loaded. This was the last job the Jeep ever did as my wife and I sold it back to the insurance company the day after we hauled these timbers. The insurance company totaled it out because it had been hit twice in a 36-hour period some months back.

Here’s Todd with our haul. We debated grabbing the beam on the upper left side of the pile with the beam hangers, but weren’t sure what we’d do with it, so we ended up leaving it.

Here’s a second, smaller load I made later, in our replacement vehicle, a used Ford Escape.

Some of the beams have nails and screws in them, while others appear to be free of metal.

We are trying to figure out what to do with all of it. I would personally like to keep the old timber/beam/rustic look for some of it, to show the character. With that being said, I realize a lot of it will probably end up being milled down.

What would you do with these various timbers? Todd and I are going to split the wood between us. I’m open to your suggestions on what to do with both the smaller pieces, as well as the longer, larger pieces.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."


11 replies so far

View jack1's profile

jack1

1939 posts in 2717 days


#1 posted 05-20-2011 03:40 AM

WOW! I’ve salvaged beams but not this size. Get a good metal detector… Some of the wood is to die for and some should just die. ;0) Wish I was there!!!!

I think you could be making great table tops, free standing cabinets, desk tops and I could go on. Nice find.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1687 days


#2 posted 05-20-2011 03:42 AM

If you have some with few checks or cracks they can be re-sawn for flooring in a rustic application. Fireplace mantels, BIG @$$ work bench ! In parts of the country they are GOLD. Estimate $25 lineal ft plus !
GO BACK FOR MORE.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1740 days


#3 posted 05-20-2011 03:54 AM

Unfortunately, this was a couple of weeks ago now, so I believe it is all gone now.

Most of it was hauled up to a private residence in the mountains. You should’ve seen some of the stuff that they wanted to keep that was being loaded via forklift onto the flatbed that was headed for the hills.

I work down the alley from where all the wood was and had been eyeing it for at least the past 6-months. They were storing all of in the garage and I would see it about once a week. Little did I know how much of it there was as I could only see a small amount of it.

I was glad to get what we could and thanks to Todd for helping out as I only would’ve been able to get the smaller pieces, like the pieces in the second load pictured.

I am really happy that we were able to get some of it, all for free.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1740 days


#4 posted 05-20-2011 03:55 AM

I forgot to mention that we snagged this in the middle of our work day as well, so we didn’t have a lot of time to spare. We got what we could at the time.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1383 days


#5 posted 05-20-2011 04:30 AM

I have a lot of beams.. My house, 2 barns, shop, and garage (until it collapsed) are all P+B construction. I reclaimed a lot of it when the garage collapsed and plan on resawing when I can. The really really big ones in the big barn look like DF, but a couple are oak. One of the beams stretches the full 80’ length and is 16”x16”. I could imagine hoisting that, let alone milling it with adzes and other hand tools. Those early 1800 pioneers were something else.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Jack_T's profile

Jack_T

621 posts in 1721 days


#6 posted 05-20-2011 05:11 AM

I assume that you had the permission of the owners to take the reclaimed beams. That being the case that looks like a great haul. The wood coloration and the grain are going to be spectacular. Just in case you forgot to ask permission, you may want to ask Martin to take your post down, since you identify the exact location from where you took the wood and this is a public site with no expectation of privacy.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1740 days


#7 posted 05-20-2011 06:03 AM

@Jack_T,

We had permission to pull what we wanted from the “smaller pieces” so that is what we got. In the above pictures, we were pulling from the reject pile.

We were told they were leaving the miscellaneous pieces out overnight and fully expected them to be gone by morning.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Bill Davis's profile

Bill Davis

226 posts in 2613 days


#8 posted 05-20-2011 07:16 AM

But I thought you were looking for black ones.

P.S. Wood is out of the heat treatment chamber stamped and certified and ready to load on container Tuesday.

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

861 posts in 1357 days


#9 posted 05-20-2011 03:00 PM

Jonathan
Here is a related for you

http://lumberjocks.com/bubinga/blog/23335

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1740 days


#10 posted 05-20-2011 03:14 PM

@Bill Davis,
That’s funny… good one!

@bubinga,
Thank you, I’ll take a look at your linked blog.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

861 posts in 1357 days


#11 posted 05-20-2011 04:08 PM

#$%%$#@ Missing Word , VIDEO

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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