help identifying these wood beams

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Forum topic by snewOevaD posted 920 days ago 1088 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 1417 days

920 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: reclaimed lumber beams wood identification question help

These were the floor joist of an old church, and are about 120 years old. I’ve pulled a bunch of old square nails out of them. The beams started out at about 3-1/8 inches thick by 13-1/2 inches wide by about 21 or22 feet long. I’m not sure what they are, but I have a few projects in mind. These pictures are after going through the planer.

Oh, by the way, I paid $350 for three of these beams. My math comes out to about $117 per beam, which comes out to about $1.75 per board foot. Good price for what I got? (please correct any math mistakes if you find them).

Thanks for any help or ideas.

6 replies so far

View snewOevaD's profile


26 posts in 1417 days

#1 posted 920 days ago

Sorry, I forgot to give pics… Ugh, one of those days.

View chrisstef's profile


10695 posts in 1639 days

#2 posted 920 days ago

hard to say but depending on the weight of them i would say southern yellow pine. You probably find some very nice tight grain in the middle.

-- "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

View superstretch's profile


1500 posts in 1326 days

#3 posted 919 days ago

Looks like a lot of the barnboard I have.. a very nice sheen when planed.. I was told yellow pine as well (not sure if sourthern or eastern)

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View DS's profile


2131 posts in 1053 days

#4 posted 919 days ago

That sure looks like Alder to me… at least in pics 1 and 2.
Pic 3 is showing a grain pattern that looks more like a Fir or Ponderosa.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 2028 days

#5 posted 919 days ago

It looks like southern yellow pine. If that’s what it is, you got a very good deal.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View WDHLT15's profile


1098 posts in 1108 days

#6 posted 918 days ago

It is not southern yellow pine. The grain is too subdued. Given the resinous knots, it is likely spruce or fir.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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