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Forum topic by Belg1960 posted 08-26-2011 02:40 AM 1156 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Belg1960

831 posts in 1814 days


08-26-2011 02:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hey guys, I have the opportunity to get some wood from a post and beam ceiling from a building build in 1930’s these things are massive but the tightest growth rings on lumber I have ever seen. They measure about 3”x14” I really want to take some but just dont have large equipment to machine it into manageable boards. Do you guys have any ideas what I could make with lumber this size? Thanks Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!


11 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11464 posts in 1755 days


#1 posted 08-26-2011 02:46 AM

If they are good any dry you can do most of the work on a table saw. Cut both sides leaving about 1/8 to 1/4 left in the middle. Pry it apart with a screwdriver handplane the nub and youre good to go. Take em! Youll figure somethin out.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1799 days


#2 posted 08-26-2011 03:22 AM

I snagged some old beams a while back and am still waiting for the muse to make an appearance. These beams are from around 1890, so I figure there is no rush to figure it out. I’d certainly take my time with these treasures, rather than rushing into it and regretting my decision, since they’re not easily replaced at the lumber yard.

If they’re 3”-thick, I’d think about leaving them in there current form and ganging them together for a rustic tabletop maybe? 14”-wide would also be a good entry table top, or a sofa table top. Maybe do a mixed piece where you’ve got the rustic top with a clean, modern base underneath of some contrasting wood, such as walnut or mahogany?

I’ll be curious to see where your muse leads you on this one. It sounds like you’ll have numerous projects from these beams since you’ll have multiples, which will be nice.

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

View plantek's profile

plantek

302 posts in 1547 days


#3 posted 08-26-2011 02:59 PM

I would consider the table option.

-- If you want it and it's within reason... It's on it's way!

View Moron's profile

Moron

4724 posts in 2642 days


#4 posted 08-26-2011 03:06 PM

like some one said, cut half way through, flip the board over and cut through the other half………you should be good to go

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

16033 posts in 1615 days


#5 posted 08-26-2011 03:14 PM

We have a friend here in our town that is making furniture out of the old beams and flooring that came out of the old Goodyear plant that was torn down here. The plant had been here since the early 1900’s and he just uses regular shop equipment – table saws, band saws, etc.. I have not seen any of his furniture.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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Nomad62

726 posts in 1707 days


#6 posted 08-26-2011 05:11 PM

As nice as it sounds I would recommend leaving it be until you have a specific use for it. You can always cut it to pieces later. You may even end up using or selling for use as beams to build another shop; new beams are spendy. Maybe spray them with a bug spray and/ or water repellant? Nice grab!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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Belg1960

831 posts in 1814 days


#7 posted 08-28-2011 05:27 PM

Guys, thanks so much for the replies. Well it seems like I have come out the other side of the Hurricane with very little damage just one gutter to fix.

I like the idea of a table but but don’t understand the reasoning behind cutting from the top and bottom, my 10” table saw will cut thru all the way. I would do it in two passes and get a cleaner cut, NO?? I would really like to make my son a coffee table but have something more funky and hip than a plain rectangular top with a rigid square leg base. Any pics with some ideas would be much appreciated.
As far as storing some of this wood could you tell me the best way to store it so it does not warp. It is nice and dry, but to I still sticker stack them? Also do I dress them and then store Or leave them in the original condition to store? Thanks Pat

PS any other ideas on things to make with them would be appreciated.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1799 days


#8 posted 08-28-2011 05:33 PM

Try going to Google Images and typing in such phrases as:
-beam coffee table
-wood beam coffee table
-modern coffee table
-modern beam coffee table
-modern beam table
-wood beam furniture
-beam furniture
-beam table
-rustic beam table
-etc.

That’s what I did after we snagged the beams I mentioned above. I’ve gotten a couple of ideas from doing that specifically for this wood, and countless other ideas as well for other pieces that I haven’t made, but have a rough design in my head and on scratch paper.

I am personally a big fan of Google Images. You have to do a bit of sifting/filtering, but it’s worth it, in my opinion.

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

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2754 days


#9 posted 08-28-2011 05:38 PM

Make you a 2 1/4” thick custom front door out of them. Not too hard to find hardware for that thickness.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Scsmith42's profile

Scsmith42

125 posts in 1425 days


#10 posted 08-28-2011 07:06 PM

To me, the real value in those beams is the width; old growth wide planks are difficult to find!

For not a lot of money, you can find someone local with a woodmizer or other band type sawmill and resaw them into an appropriate thickness for your projects. For a table top, you could have them sliced in half, yielding two planks that are 6/4×14”, netting a 5/4 table top from them.

Woodmizer maintains a list of their sawmill owners that you can check to see if anybody is local. You can also check on either Woodweb or The Forestry Forum.

For other projects, you could have them resawn into three 4/4 thick boards, 14” wide, and use them on future furniture projects.

By all means grab as many of them as you can, and store them indoors.

-- Scott, North Carolina, www.quartersawnoak.com

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Belg1960

831 posts in 1814 days


#11 posted 09-04-2011 05:01 PM

I was wondering has anyone ever used one of these http://www.machinemart.co.uk/images/library/product/large/06/060337764.jpg?2 I thinking to try and carve a simulated live edge on my beams, Ive been doing some googling for inspiration and have come up with several ideas that I want to bring together once I talk to my son and see exactly what he wants for storage or open base. I’m going to make him a man’s coffee table for his dorm room.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

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