saving wood furniture and items at garage sales and auctions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Holbs posted 11-17-2012 02:38 AM 1438 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Holbs's profile


1878 posts in 2051 days

11-17-2012 02:38 AM

i am finding alot of mahogany, oak, pine, cherry wood…etc.. cabinets, bed frames/headboards, tables.
some really go for $5-$25. 1/2”, 1”, 2”, etc. i’m unsure what terminology this is called to purchase these items, dis-assemble them for my own personal use.

since they go for alot cheaper than i had imagined (given the price of hardwoods at hardwood store), already planed and jointed, already sanded and finished… do other folk do the same as I ?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

11 replies so far

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3674 days

#1 posted 11-17-2012 02:48 AM

I was under the impression that the vast majority of these are not solid wood. Usually they are veneered on top of a substrate. Only the frame members and the like maybe solid wood. Of course if you can get a table worth 20 bf of solid cherry for $5.00 that would be nice. You would have to deal with removing the screws/nails and finish of it (the finish itself dulls jointer blades pretty fast).

-- Yves

View Holbs's profile


1878 posts in 2051 days

#2 posted 11-17-2012 02:56 AM

yes… that is one thing i look for: laminate. some are…some are not. and it’s true, the front “visual” pieces are more hardwood with the underlying and rear wood is not so.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#3 posted 11-17-2012 03:12 AM

Sounds like urban wood mining, interesting. idea.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3182 days

#4 posted 11-17-2012 03:34 AM

Holbs, it is called being frugal. :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3163 posts in 3131 days

#5 posted 11-17-2012 03:34 AM

I’ve had some luck with picking up real wood furniture. And I’ve had a couple of zonks- in one case I bought an item which was advertised as teak, but of course was veneered. I’ve also gotten oak and ash tables and some walnut solid hardwood that would have otherwise gone into a landfill if I hadn’t happened upon it. You just have to keep your eyes peeled, and have the time to go where the wood MIGHT be. Not all that easy. My finds were made when I was unemployed, in the early ‘90s. May that never happen again.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View me5269's profile


43 posts in 2189 days

#6 posted 11-17-2012 03:44 PM

I look for furniture/wood in the trash all the time while driving around. Have found maple, mahogany, walnut, some I don’t know what it is. lots of pine and oak. Usually looking for material that can be used for scrollsaw work or small projects. Used a couple file cabinets (pine) for storage. Work table was the top of a 9 drawer dresser. Find 2x’s and plywood scraps around building sites (I ask if its scrap and usually the contractor is glad to get rid of it).
Last month I was in NH, found an old 2 pc dining room hutch with most of the finish stripped off. all cherry except for the framing and back
I like a1jim’s comment, urban wood mining

-- Mike

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3147 days

#7 posted 11-18-2012 07:16 PM

I have a whole area of my shop to store and break down used and broken furniture… right next to it is where I store my logs and found wood from around the city. LOL An “Urban wood miner” I am totaly a dumpster diver and second hand shop haunter…. used wood has a amazing qualities..

a) teaches you how to determine veneer over solid and why they used woods in what way for the design and construction.. and sometimes the substrate below the veneer is also great wood (unless it is plywood) and some pieces can travel across the world to deposit what you thought was oak and it ends up being some exotic wood you have never seen before from asia.
b) gives you ample means to discover how to identify finished wood.. which will amaze your friends.
c) the older the furniture, the more stable the wood.
d) you can research and find out history.. like a table I found in the trash which is solid elm and traced the mark to a maker in Penn about 50 years ago… then I dismantled it and used the wood for other things.
e) cutting up pre-worked wood makes awesome shapes and grain patterns for trinkets, sculpture, and intarsia.
f) it is cheap or free $$$$$$$

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3137 days

#8 posted 11-18-2012 07:26 PM

I like the idea … but have to wait untill I move to the mainland
they are toooo frugal on this island :-(
beside I canĀ“t have anything on the bicycle
sadly since a few times this some I have seen some logs I cuold have used
but I had to refuse the free offer from the owners :-(


View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2198 days

#9 posted 11-19-2012 02:30 PM

... that one is a great save !!!

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2319 days

#10 posted 11-19-2012 02:35 PM

On contractor waste – I had a new roof put on, deck and all. They had about 10 sheets of plywood left and just threw them in the dumpster. It was a pain in the butt getting in there to pull it out, but damn it, I paid for it so I was keeping it.

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


708 posts in 3295 days

#11 posted 11-19-2012 05:26 PM

I picked up a broken down old piano once off a Craigslist Free ad. It was way beyond the restoration phase. But it turned out to be a goldmine of various hardwoods! Just had to remove the finish and sand or plane wood down. Still have a lot of it left over.

I know that our friend and fellow Lumberjock Mads uses lots of old furniture pieces in many of his creative submissions.

Urban wood cutting at it’s best!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics