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Blog entry by whiskeyturner posted 1601 days ago 991 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently I found that the gardening section of my favorite hardwear store has very exotic looking hardwood stakes in a range of sizes, from pen blank size to around 4inch square in lengths of 1 to 5 foot depending on it’s thickness. Some of these stakes look to be a She-oak (Casuarina) of some type, there are others that are highly figured & attractive that i can’t begin to identify. I have used a couple of these for tool handles and i’m very happy with the results, they came in a pack of 6, 2×2inch x3 foot for $17.00 I’ve seen similar timbers and others including what appears to be Macassar ebony used as pallets and packing inside shipping containers. It seems to me that a lot of good, colourful & highly figured timber is used in industry (ESP transport) then simply thrown away as rubbish. Most of this timber is cut to small sizes, but segmented turners, pen turners, small box makers and others are well taken care of. there must be plenty of other sources of cheap or free timber…...

Anybody care to share their favorite?

NOTE….. some of these timbers may be treated in someway, it is advisable to find out what with and how to protect your self…....

-- There is always an opportunity to learn. . . .Steve Mcgrady. . Sydney, Australia.



8 comments so far

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3596 posts in 2370 days


#1 posted 1601 days ago

I’ve had my eye on tomato stakes that are sold at my favorite garden center here. It is some dark exotic wood, streaky and coarse grained, and rough-cut to 1” X 1” and 7 feet long. I also see some awesome oak or ash 2X2’s and 3X3s at a local landscaping place, where they are placed between slabs of quarry rock. Though I’d hate to take a chance of embedded stone hitting my planer blades. Might be worth a look if I ever build an abrasive plane, though!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View rustfever's profile

rustfever

621 posts in 1946 days


#2 posted 1601 days ago

Some of the most figured white oak I had ever seen came from disposalbe packing crates and pallets. I, too, have seen other un-identified woods used similarly. Usually only small pieces, but very useable for some projects.
Don’t forget used wine and whiskey barrels. Small and short pieces but only the finest of woods used.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View IkeandBerry's profile

IkeandBerry

45 posts in 1900 days


#3 posted 1601 days ago

I have a friend who works with industrial scales. All of the pallets that the scales come on are made out of different types of hardwood. He brings me the pallets when he is done with them. I have gotten beech, oak, walnut, and elm from the pallets so far and most of the boards are 5 feet long, at least 5/4 thick, and around 6 inches wide. It has been a great source of small project lumber. I am constantly looking for ways to recycle lumber. I have not had to spend much money at all to build up a decent stock of small hardwood lumber.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a hand plane passing across a board in an otherwise quiet shop.

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2434 posts in 2721 days


#4 posted 1601 days ago

Kubota Tractors are packed in Japanese hardwood crates and on pallets. Almost anything imported may have some highly figured woods in the packing materials, and is often free for the asking at different garden tractor dealers.

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

#5 posted 1601 days ago

I want to add to this great thread, But alas, I haven’t found anything like that yet.

But I did want to put this $.02 in for what its worth.
Be very careful of asian pallet and crate wood. Some of it is wonderful and a little of it may have asian beetles in it. A few asian beetles are busy eating up and killing some of our forests as we speak.
Have a look at end grain to see if there are bore holes. Check bark on wanes to see if theres any tracks under it. Infested wood should be burned as soon as possible.
Check this out:
http://www.uvm.edu/albeetle/infestation/index.html
Domestic beetles can do great damage, too. Check this out.
http://doyourownpestcontrol.com/powderpostbeetles.htm
Be careful that the pretty things you make from reclaimed material doesn’t cause an infestation in your wood pile or somebody’s house!

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3596 posts in 2370 days


#6 posted 1601 days ago

Don has a point there. Mostly when the industry I work for has a contract with an offshore customer, there is general agreement that any wooden pallets, crating, or dunnage must be stamped with a “HT” stencil, indicating that the material has been heat-treated and is thus bug and disease-free. I’d assume that it is due to some international protocol.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11644 posts in 2324 days


#7 posted 1601 days ago

I’ve also collected more than my share of gardening stakes and pallets for their highly figured hardwoods that they contain : ) Thanks for the post : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View whiskeyturner's profile

whiskeyturner

92 posts in 1756 days


#8 posted 1601 days ago

Yes good point Don, so this gives us an opertunity to stop at least some of these little nasties. A company I worked for imported tyre rubber from Mallasia, all the containers we recived were treated and issued with a certificate, I did find bugs but all dead, however we should inspect and if in doubt burn.

-- There is always an opportunity to learn. . . .Steve Mcgrady. . Sydney, Australia.

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