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Forum topic by AnthonyC posted 04-09-2013 02:19 AM 1969 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AnthonyC

49 posts in 1628 days


04-09-2013 02:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: barnwood table reclaimed

Hi all,
I have a beautiful pile of reclaimed barn wood from my in-laws. Some boards are in great shape, some not so much. A good gray patina, worm holes, and original saw mill marks.

Haven’t counted the board feet yet, but I think I have enough 5/4 to make a 4×6 kitchen table top (probably trestle, but not sure yet). Some 8/4, probably enough for a base, and one beam (16/4), but it has enough checking I’m considering not using it.

Anyway, the planning problem now is the milling and finish: keep the saw marks and patina (and have limited joinery options, a non-perfectly flat table top) or mill it like regular boards down to 1”, lose the patina and saw marks (still plenty of worm holes, dings and such), but have a more usable top.

Just asking for advice, experience, or examples. Unlike my other projects, I only get one shot to get this one right :)

Thanks in advance,
Anthony

-- Amateur woodworker, professional mess-maker.


10 replies so far

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2011 posts in 998 days


#1 posted 04-09-2013 02:40 AM

AnthonyC...Well I’d keep as much of the patina and all the character as possible. It would make a great trestle table top. I’d plane one face (the face you don’t want to be the “money” side) of each board of the top to a uniform thickness and joint the edges . Plan ahead so that you joint only the edges for gluing up edge to edge…keep one edge of the two outside boards as is. Glue the boards together with the” money” faces up and the surfaced faces down (underside of the table top) and two unjointed edges to the outside. That way you would have all the character that you want and the top would be a consistent thickness. Breadboard the ends

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1572 days


#2 posted 04-09-2013 02:51 AM

I think it’s a two sided coin. I like kdc’s approach, but I also like old boards that have been planed down and have nail holes with black areas around them. It is possible to build a table with an impermeable top (filling those nail holes with black epoxy) and still get the “I’m made of repurposed stuff” message loud and clear.

If you wish to keep the gray, experiment with using the ol’ steel wool and vinegar on a cut edge. My experience has been that you can’t tell the old edge from the cut edge. A wire wheel in a drill and you’ve got it.

Here’s a blog Google suggested when I searched “steel wool and vinegar.”

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2111 posts in 973 days


#3 posted 04-09-2013 02:59 AM

I made this bench out of old cypress barn wood. I hand planed the exposed edges, retaining any nail holes, but I left the hidden faces with their history intact. You can have it both ways.

I like kdc’s suggestion as well. I didn’t have the issue with edge glue-ups, since the barn boards were wide enough to make the five-board bench without having to do a glue-up.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2011 posts in 998 days


#4 posted 04-09-2013 03:03 AM

Lee…the blog was a dead end for me when I opened it

Don…that’s a handsome bench…nicely done !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View AnthonyC's profile

AnthonyC

49 posts in 1628 days


#5 posted 04-09-2013 01:54 PM

I’ve got enough scrap that I think I can do a test board—sand, plane, leave it alone, oil /poly, etc. To see what we like and what we don’t.

And great idea on just planing one side. I hadn’t thought of that. Of course, the boards are very close to the same thickness now, but at least the bottom would be ruler flat to the trestle.

Might do the testing this weekend. I’ll post some pics if it’s successful.

thanks for the ideas,
Anthony

-- Amateur woodworker, professional mess-maker.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1572 days


#6 posted 04-09-2013 06:39 PM

The link didn’t work for me either.

Let’s try this:

http://peachstreet.blogspot.com/2011/07/vinegar-steel-wool-wood-stain.html

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 965 days


#7 posted 04-09-2013 06:45 PM

got any pics of the wood? if you kept the patina and original surface mostly untouched, how would it be finished to have a useful and non-splintering top? the perfectionist in me wants to mill it down to have all 4 surfaces square, but using the reclaimed wood is always nicer when it retains it’s charachter. have fun with this project!

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7320 posts in 1405 days


#8 posted 04-09-2013 07:12 PM

I think I might have a project or two out of Barn wood. maybe a box?

There are a few others, as well.

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

View JayT's profile

JayT

2531 posts in 933 days


#9 posted 04-09-2013 08:11 PM

I made a desk with barnwood for the top. In order have a flat surface, while preserving character, it has an epoxy finish. I was planning a similar dining table. You can still see the color and saw marks through the finish and if the boards didn’t match up exactly on thickness, it wasn’t an issue.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3509 posts in 729 days


#10 posted 04-09-2013 10:58 PM

Here’s what I built from some 100-year-old barn wood that was given to me. The wife and I are pretty pleased with the finished product

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/77110

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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