Gloat Post (12/4 wenge!)

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Forum topic by Konquest posted 04-18-2009 03:55 AM 1320 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Konquest's profile


171 posts in 3442 days

04-18-2009 03:55 AM

My old man, who works for the Union Pacific Railroad, and does a lot of traveling cross-country (business car, hyrail truck, etc.), came upon a couple of old railroad ties from the southern area of the lines. Apparently, they used to use some exotic hardwoods for ties, due to the insect and wildfire resistance of the wood. He salvaged two ties for me, both just heavy as hell, almost like steel beams, but really rough and dirty. He did not know what the species was, but seeing as they have spent 10+ years in the desert, he figured moisture content would not be an issue, but did warn me that I should probably use carbide tools to work it. Well, lo and behold, the bug bit me tonight and I jointed and resawed a few 1” planks from the ties and it is 12/4 wenge! The wood will most certainly be used for a project for my Dad’s retirement, but what a find! If anyone has connections to old railroad scraps, there is a bunch of this stuff just littering the American southwest and most of the people who deal with it don’t know its value.

-- 9 3/4 fingers remaining.

6 replies so far

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 3918 days

#1 posted 04-18-2009 04:12 AM

friggen sweet!

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3813 days

#2 posted 04-18-2009 04:22 AM

I’m a little curious as to why the railroad would go to all the trouble of shipping a hardwood species all the way from Africa to make railroad ties?

Sounds like a sweet find though.

-- Scott - Chico California

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3351 days

#3 posted 04-18-2009 04:25 AM

Holy cow! What a find!

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4398 days

#4 posted 04-18-2009 04:26 AM

I was watching the sawmill owner in NJ cutting a special railway tie for use in a junction of many rails. he used bandsae, cheinsaw, chisles to do the required cuts. The tie was some exoctic wood that they provide to him.

Great find your dad came up with.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Bovine's profile


114 posts in 3326 days

#5 posted 04-18-2009 06:37 AM

The ties I’ve seen are usually soaked with creasote (or however you spell it) and tar. It sounds like yours is much better!

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3759 days

#6 posted 04-19-2009 03:40 AM

The Wenge that I’ve seen at the Frank Miller Lumber Co. is a deep reddish brown, and handling it will give you splinters that you will not forget.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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