Reclaimed wood??

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Forum topic by jacob34 posted 07-03-2012 10:45 PM 1701 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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465 posts in 2436 days

07-03-2012 10:45 PM

So I have seen on here and other websites projects using reclaimed wood. My wife also looking at several pieces decided she wanted something made from reclaimed wood, not being able to tell me what she wants (that is a whole other post on another site). I have since came in to possession of some reclaimed quatersawn oak, 1” x5 1/2” x 48” and am not sure what to do with it.

Does the age of the wood affect the way the wood cuts, are there any major differences versus oak that is at the same condition just younger? Is there anything I need to know while working with the older wood?

I think I may make a suggestion box for her with it, probably not..

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

10 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17713 posts in 3178 days

#1 posted 07-03-2012 11:16 PM

The first thing i would do is if you have any expensive blades … hide them. Ive destroyed more blades than i would like to admit. Ive done about 3 or 4 projects with reclaimed wood and i wouldnt say its ever acted any different on me. Oaks tough to cut and even harder when ya hit nails.
If its got any dirt on it grab the belt sander and some 80 grit and get it off .. thats another blade/knife destroyer. If youve got a metal detector, this is the time to use it, if not be careful and work around nails instead of pulling them and assuming you got it all.

Good luck bro.

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

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7004 posts in 2371 days

#2 posted 07-03-2012 11:29 PM

Reclaimed wood can be worked pretty much the same as what you would pick up at the lumber yard as long as you get rid of all the hidden dangers. Like Chris says, the most important thing is to watch out for nails and clean it up with a belt sander (belts are WAY cheaper than planer/jointer blades!). For a good, inexpensive metal detector, run over to Horror Freight and get one of these little hand held ones for cheap. If you are not in a hurry, wait until a ‘super coupon’ comes out for them and pick it up for just $9.99.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3652 days

#3 posted 07-03-2012 11:30 PM

I agree that you always have to be careful with reclaimed wood since anything can be buried in it including nails, signs, bullets, barbwire, etc. I love working with reclaimed wood though because it has a beautiful patina and it really makes nice pieces. I made a steamer trunk (in my gallery) from reclaimed american chestnut and it turned out beautiful. If you have a good saw, you wont notice any issues with cutting it, but be sure you scan it for metal and clean it off with a good steel brush to avoid damaging blades.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2361 days

#4 posted 07-04-2012 10:41 PM

chrisstef ’s advice is right on the mark. I have hit things in reclaimed wood even after thinking I had checked it out well enough. Trash a high quality blade and suddenly the wood is very expensive wood . . .

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2865 days

#5 posted 07-05-2012 12:06 PM

I have in the past often used reclaimed wood, esp. skids, and you can never seem to get every little bit of metat out of then. A suggestion though, use less expensive blades to do your cutting. I have used non carbide tipped blades and if you hit something just take a file to the blade to resharpen. If you are interested in a story about cutting a 7/16” scocket in half with a good carbide tipped blade ask me.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2953 days

#6 posted 07-05-2012 12:27 PM

Geeze Mike, or should I say sparky ?
That must have been very exciting to say the least.
No injuries to yourself I hope ?

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2865 days

#7 posted 07-05-2012 08:36 PM

Oh, the 7/16” scocket? Oh it was exciting! Cut the thing right in half, two pieces. Didn’t do my carbide tipped blade much good but not many people can say they have done this on a table saw. And no injuries just a god awfull noise.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3158 days

#8 posted 07-05-2012 10:39 PM

The only thing I have to add is with old wood it is generally quite dry, which can be a change if you are used to working with fairly green wood. The dust is lighter and flies more. It’s not a big deal but just something to keep in mind if your shop shares space with say, a car.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View a1Jim's profile


117270 posts in 3749 days

#9 posted 07-05-2012 11:14 PM

If your going to do many projects with reclaimed wood I would buy a metal detector ,the small ones are around $20.00
As far as what to make with the wood as soon as I heard 1/4 sawn white oak ,I thought art’s and crafts projects come in all sizes as you know from small clocks to large chest depending on how much material you have.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jacob34's profile


465 posts in 2436 days

#10 posted 07-06-2012 01:33 AM

7/16 socket hmm that had to be an interesting situation, I must admit I never thought I would haft to keep that one in the back of my head.

My space is shared with a large rabbit my wife owns so yes dust is an issue.

I have 5 boards 1”x5 1/2×48.

thank you for all the comments, I thought when I posted this that the wood being more at for tear out or maybe sucking glue up and needing more than younger wood would come up. I did not expect a metal detector to be a must have.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

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