reclaimed lumber project - step by step?

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Forum topic by mart posted 09-06-2008 07:54 PM 1958 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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190 posts in 3863 days

09-06-2008 07:54 PM

I picked up some large cable spools from a local utilities company with the idea of salvaging lumber and doing a step by step article about the recyling or reclaiming process from original use to finished new project. My wife would like a computer hutch/desk with filing cabinet, pocket doors and appropriate shelving for paper, labels and such.

Would there be interest here in a project such as this. I would take the original material from pickup through all the various steps, prepping material, designing the peice, construction and finishing. I have never done a blog before and am not even really sure what is involved in blogging or if that would be the appropriate venue here for this.

16 replies so far

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 4020 days

#1 posted 09-06-2008 08:03 PM

Hey Mart…you bet there would an interest…there are a lot of LJ’s who like to build with reclaimed lumber and materials. I myself like to reclaim barns and everything I can find in them. It is of the utmost iportance right now that we reduce our carbon signature on this planet. Our planet can not take much more abuse. And I like many others try to reclaim and re-use materials in many different ways. I am not much of a blogger either but just share your progress and thoughts along the way and you will surely get the hang of it…and if need be ask for advice, there are alot of creative and skilled individuals here to help you….


-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 3877 days

#2 posted 09-06-2008 08:27 PM

I’m always interested in a blog.

I’m especially interested in seeing how you salvage the luber from the spool. I’ve had spool oppurtunities in the past, and I’ve passed because of the large quantities of staples…


-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4400 days

#3 posted 09-06-2008 08:29 PM


-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4061 days

#4 posted 09-06-2008 08:30 PM

Construction blogs like this generate a lot of interest. It gives an entirely different perspective to the finished project when you are able to follow its development through the various stages. If you are looking for votes my vote is to go for it!! :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3952 days

#5 posted 09-06-2008 08:31 PM

Blog away! It sounds like an interesting set of projects. Don’t let the technology intimidate you, it is far less ferocious then a ill tempered table saw LOL!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4125 days

#6 posted 09-06-2008 10:11 PM

DO IT!!!!! ;-)

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View mart's profile


190 posts in 3863 days

#7 posted 09-06-2008 10:12 PM

The lumber from the spools comes from the staves in the middle. They are usually free of nails and staples. The wood on the ends has way to much metal. The largers spools generally have some fairly thick boards for staves but they have to be face planed and then thickness planed. In Alaska lumber is so high priced that recycling is a way of life. I posted a picture of a dresser I did from some spool staves if you want to check it out. The most recent lumber doesn’t have as much color as the dresser but should still make up into some attractive wood. I anticipate that I will start mid winter on this project. I am trying this winter to take a more scheduled approach to my projects instead of my usual shotgun approach.

View Slacker's profile


178 posts in 3940 days

#8 posted 09-07-2008 02:11 AM

Take and post many pictures… to do that, get an account at and upload the pictures there. When posting your blog, click on the fourth icon on the toolbar right above where you type and you enter the internet address of the picture. Its pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

For a blog you need at least one picture, and can put in as many as three as direct uploads from your computer, but you can also insert pictures in the body of the text like I described above. Post if you need help… the guys and ladies here are awesome and always willing to provide free advice.

I, for one, would like to see what you get from one of those spools. There may be a run on spools in FL…

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

View mart's profile


190 posts in 3863 days

#9 posted 09-07-2008 04:29 AM

I already took a bunch of pictures of the first part of the process, picking up the spools and disassembling them. I ran one over the jointer to face plane one surface so I could check the wood. It isn’t as colorful as the last ones I took apart but still nice pine. I use photobucket and have post pics here from there. I assume one can post to blogs from there. LOML is calling me for dinner. Better get.


View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4566 days

#10 posted 09-07-2008 05:19 AM

There’s a company a few miles from here with, perhaps a hundred or more of those spools in their back lot. I’d love to get my hands on that, but never have ideas of what to do with… Love to see anyones take on reclaiming something. Love to see wood, or anything, get a second life.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View mart's profile


190 posts in 3863 days

#11 posted 09-07-2008 06:03 AM


The phone company where I got these last ones has a huge pile of them. They will be getting rid of them before the end of the year so I plan on another run on their pile. It seems that while pine is one of my least favorites to work with, I sure end up working with it a lot. Oh well, I just cannot pass it up.


View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4545 days

#12 posted 09-07-2008 08:44 AM

Mart, I too would read it with interest. Blog away.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View LeeinEdmonton's profile


254 posts in 3820 days

#13 posted 09-10-2008 05:16 AM

I haven’t bought wood for several years now mainly due to the practice of recycling. The toys posted in “Projects” are all recycled wood as is the child’s combination chair/desk and the arbors.

-- Lee

View Paul Whie's profile

Paul Whie

5 posts in 3777 days

#14 posted 09-19-2008 04:20 AM

I myself am always on the look out for lumber to reclaim. I have a friend in PA that is planning on taking down an old timber frame barn in the spring and told me if I help i can have all I can haul home. It has hand fordged nails holding the sides on. Those are high on the list also.

-- 10 in 9 1/2 out the otherside. watch them finger eating tablesaws

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4229 days

#15 posted 09-19-2008 07:59 AM

Absotivley and positutely! Seeing blogs like that is what we’re all about!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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