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Working with reclaimed oak

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Forum topic by Firefighter posted 532 days ago 979 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Firefighter

95 posts in 1400 days


532 days ago

I have the chance to get some reclaimed oak that was taken from an old barn. I want to build a dining table/bench and master bath vanity. I have seen reclaimed furniture with the saw marks intact, but a finish that still feels good. I know it won’t be a glass smooth surface, but what do you do to make the table top suitable for a table top while maintaining as much character as possible? Thanks for any ideas! Also, what is a reasonable price to pay for this material? 1×6, 1×8 and 4×4. I think lengths are random.


12 replies so far

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

6814 posts in 1309 days


#1 posted 532 days ago

I use a hand plane on the stuff

That way, I can control how much is removed, and how much stays behind..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1093 posts in 1102 days


#2 posted 532 days ago

Looks like elm, not oak.

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

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bandit571

6814 posts in 1309 days


#3 posted 532 days ago

This is white Oak slab a friend had sawn from a log on his property. He was going to just belt sand the whole 20” wide, by 10’ long slab. Slab was about 4” thick. I was showing how a plane could help things along.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Firefighter

95 posts in 1400 days


#4 posted 532 days ago

Wouldn’t that pretty quickly remove the saw marks that I want to retain?

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bandit571

6814 posts in 1309 days


#5 posted 532 days ago

Depends. One: on how much you remove with the plane. You can always “Skip-plane” and just knock the marks down a bit. Two: Use a scrub plane. And leave THOSE marks instead.

One can smooth the marks out entirely on the areas where the marks won’t show. I tend to get 80% of the marks off, makes doing any joinery work a little easier.

A blanket Chest made from Reclaimed White Oak, stained a dark walnut by the owner.

And a better look at the top.. Lot of the saw marks from being resawn were planed off. Still some left.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1785 days


#6 posted 532 days ago

Card scrapers also work well for this.

BTW, thats a nice chest, Bandit.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View palaswood's profile

palaswood

693 posts in 377 days


#7 posted 295 days ago

Here’s what I do to retain the “reclaimed wood” look.

Hit it with the orbital sander or finish sander with a high grit, like 220. Dont work up to the 220 using lower grits, just hit it with the 220 until you get it mostly smooth to the touch, while keeping the “character” of the saw marks, dings, etc.

But LIGHTLY, cause ROS’s can take off a lot of material. Just run it over each spot for a few seconds.

Then hand sand 320 and go to 400, hitting all the nooks and crannies to eliminate any splintering. The surface will not be completely flat, there will be high and low spots, but thats part of the charm. And then just finish directly, i’m partial to Watco Danish Oil. Wet sanding with diluted danish oil using 400, and let set for 30 mins, then wipe off and repeat, and repeat, until the pores are filled, and then 600 or higher to achieve that glass like finish.

But if you want a more rustic finish, just sand to 320 and even to just 220, but hand sand after using the power sander. And dont wet sand, just let the oil soak in for about 30 mins, then wipe off. Or were you thinking of using a poly or lacquer?

-- Joseph, Lake Forest, CA, http://instagram.com/palas_woodcraft#

View Don W's profile

Don W

14836 posts in 1194 days


#8 posted 295 days ago

Exactly what do you mean by “Suitable for a tabletop”?

I know this isn’t oak, but I used a similar process to palaswood suggested on it. Oak would have been similar.

Click for details

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5347 posts in 2211 days


#9 posted 295 days ago

It doesn’t look very oak like to me either still if your sure? Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Firefighter's profile

Firefighter

95 posts in 1400 days


#10 posted 295 days ago

I was thinking of a poly finish, but only because that is what I usually use. My end goal is to have a table top smooth enough to wipe down and not have food scraps stuck in the wood. Also, any suggestions on epoxy to fill the nail holes?

View Don W's profile

Don W

14836 posts in 1194 days


#11 posted 295 days ago

Post some pictures. What does it look like?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Firefighter's profile

Firefighter

95 posts in 1400 days


#12 posted 295 days ago

Here is a sample area that I cleaned (brushed dirt out of cracks) and wiped down with mineral spirits. I also sanded that area with 220 by hand. It gave a textured but smooth feeling.

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