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Forum topic by Eric posted 765 days ago 966 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Eric

185 posts in 1112 days


765 days ago

While out garage saling this morning. I can across a family that’s moving out west. They have stacks of old barn boards setting in the barn. We’re talking 12×12 beams with tenons, 6/4×8 x 12 or maybe even 16. All of these of course rough sawn. I was very interested in purchasing some, but I’m concerned about working this lumber. I’m only a garage shop woodworker. I don’t have any inductrial machines. I have a Jet 6” jointer a DeWalt 12” planer and a Jet 12” bandsaw. Am I going to abuse my tools by finishing out 5-10 of those huge rough sawn planks? I am assuming the lumber is old, old pine.

-- Eric


9 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3348 posts in 2561 days


#1 posted 765 days ago

Once ya get the timbers sawn to a reasonable size you should be able to work with ‘em. No way will you be able to resaw those monsters on your (or my 14”) BS. Planing shouldn’t be a prob if ya use infeed and outfeed support.
Watch out for metal.
Sounds like a great excuse to get a nice #5 jack plane, a #7 jointer, and a #4 smoother.
Think of it as joining a health club. You too can have arms like Popeye.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1115 days


#2 posted 765 days ago

No. I made furniture from barn oak for years with nothing more than a low-end table saw and a lunchbox rigid planer. Once you determine that the wood is nail-free, you can do all kinds of things.
As a secondary item, I would buy as much as possible and have it planked up by a local mill, but I think you will find that most of them will not take on used lumber due to the nail problem. You will regret passing in this…

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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Tennessee

1447 posts in 1115 days


#3 posted 765 days ago

That came out wrong…the mills will pass on planking it due to nails, BUT THAT BEING SAID, you will regret passing on this. You may never get another chance at wood of this quality and age.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15421 posts in 1467 days


#4 posted 765 days ago

Be sure to get a metal detector so that you can find all of the nails and what not.

helluvawreck
https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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

View John's Woodshop's profile

John's Woodshop

347 posts in 2617 days


#5 posted 765 days ago

I would get as many as you can handle, cut them down to usable size, and make stuff!

Nice find!

John

-- John -- Racine, WI -- Woodworking..."It's not just a Hobby, it's an Adventure"

View Eric's profile

Eric

185 posts in 1112 days


#6 posted 765 days ago

I went back. The planks are 2”x9”x15’ (actual dims). They seem really flimsey. I know that with a board that long there is bound to be some flex, but these had quite a bit. Also the end grain edge was checked badly. Of course that can be cut off but there was some serious splitering and cracking along the long edge as well. Sure, there’s going to be a lot of waste to bring these pieces square… but really!!! I passed on the planks and bought a few 2×4x8 (actual dims). I can see these easily being planed and jointed together to make a nice workbench top! I can also handle the 4” width in my bandsaw to re-saw if I choose.

So tell me, do the planks sound typical for barn board? Flimsey with significant checking and deep cracking on the long edge? I can’t see them being resawn and its going to take a lot of jointing and planing to get these planks workable.

-- Eric

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Eric

185 posts in 1112 days


#7 posted 765 days ago

Whoa! This stuff is oak! Not a bad deal for 50 cents for each 2×4x8. As I began pulling nails, some of these suckers are so rusted they snap off at the wood. Any advice on digging out the nails?

-- Eric

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1154 posts in 1460 days


#8 posted 765 days ago

Drive them through the board with a punch?

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View rockindavan's profile

rockindavan

283 posts in 1237 days


#9 posted 765 days ago

I have used a bunch of oak barn beams, and none of the nails would come out..they are just too rusted. The best way I found to get the nails out is use a hole saw about 3/4” or the smallest you can get. Take the center drill bit out, or find one that you can take the drill bit out. Then you can use it as a plug cutter and drill out the nails. It can be hard to start sometimes (has a tendency to wander), but you can drill a hole through some scrap and use it to start the hole. Then just pop the plugs out until the nail is removed. Works better than anything I have tried, although it does leave a hole in the wood.

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