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Thread: Favorite wood finds?

  1. #1
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    Favorite wood finds?

    Hi all!
    Was just curious to see what you favorite finds have been. I quite frequently find nicely figured curly oak and maple in a big box store here in Maine. I guess some companies just don't care or are ignorant. Oh well their loss, it just means I don't have to shell out as much money to get nice wood!
    "The key to a long life is when you start to die, don't"

  2. #2
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    They buy a big bundle from mills across the country. It is cut, stickerred, stacked and shipped without much inspection sometimes the pieces are junk, sometimes they are gems.

    One of my favorites to find is 'bird's eye pine' when sorting through the stacks of fir:

    Bird's Eye Pine?.jpg

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
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    This some neat looking wood! It reminds me of Huon pine. Around here places sometimes get pine doors with what's called dimple figure. You can see it here on pg 43. https://aurora.auburn.edu/handle/11200/2414 Looks close to birds eye but is definitely not what you have.
    "The key to a long life is when you start to die, don't"

  4. #4
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    I rummage through the random width Red Oak at a big box store and every now and then find something I like.
    The bottom shelf of this book case is one of those. I wish I could fine more.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    There is a mill near me that makes low quality logs into pallet lumber, mud mats, temporary construction etc. Really low prices. I have gone there for a supply of 8/4 oak which I dried and have used for secondary wood and garden stakes. Some of it was good enough as a primary wood. And went there for some green oak for bending.

  6. #6
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    7 years ago a thunderstorm took down a rather large branch out of a maple tree in the yard. I cut some 3’ logs out of the “secondary” lumber and stored them in a garden shed for a couple of years. The end result was this great splayed maple from what we have always called the tire swing tree. I’ve made some keep sake boxes for the kids and used this in the door panels of my plane/chisel cabinet.
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    Last edited by Joe A Faulkner; 01-16-2021 at 9:35 AM.

  7. #7
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    Reading through this post brings back memories. Before moving to Washington my wife loved driving up and down the coast with me for camping and antique shop browsing. There were also lots of other shopping/browsing. One store in Bandon, OR had a stack of various lumbers upstairs. A few pieces of maple and myrtle were purchased with the thought of using them for future chisel handles.

    We also enjoyed yard sales and such. One had an artist made box that appealed to me. There was a scrap of wood inside.

    Much later a few of my first attempts at turning handles on a lathe broke in use. My first chisel handles were not well designed but it was a learning experience. Not liking to waste things one of the broken handles was repurposed as a hammer handle. A piece of the scrap found in the box was identified as lignum vitae. It is heavy for its size and incredibly hard.

    Plane Hammer.jpg

    The fit between the head and the handle is an interference fit.

    This gets used often.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 01-17-2021 at 11:52 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  8. #8
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    I lived in Southwest Georgia back in the 80's and early 90's. Went to an estate sale after working the graveyard shift, not really expecting to find anything woodworking related. Mostly old furniture/kitchen items. Purchased some trim molding strips; while paying the clerk she stated the owner of the home 'made things with wood' and that there maybe some leftover wood in a small shed out back, and I could have what I found.
    What I found was about 200 board feet of 8/4 Walnut. Could not load it fast enough.
    Never had that happen since.

  9. #9
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    Actually just found some birds eye maple in the orange boxstore but didn't get any. Small eyes and expensive for what it was.
    "The key to a long life is when you start to die, don't"

  10. #10
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    https://www.google.com/search?q=hous...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    You might check here. It's like a kid going to a toy shop.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    https://www.google.com/search?q=hous...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    You might check here. It's like a kid going to a toy shop.
    It looks like it! It's a little far for me though!
    "The key to a long life is when you start to die, don't"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe A Faulkner View Post
    7 years ago a thunderstorm took down a rather large branch out of a maple tree in the yard. I cut some 3’ logs out of the “secondary” lumber and stored them in a garden shed for a couple of years. The end result was this great splayed maple from what we have always called the tire swing tree. I’ve made some keep sake boxes for the kids and used this in the door panels of my plane/chisel cabinet.
    Love the spalted Maple!!!!!

  13. #13
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    Some nice wood has come from one of my neighbors:

    Back Saw Handle Wood.jpg

    These are a few of the smaller pieces that were being evaluated for a back saw handle.

    This was serendipitous, while going out to check the mail a couple of neighbors were also out and we started talking. Pat was across the street and came over to say hi. He mentioned an old apple tree came down in the previous night's snow storm and he was in his yard burning it. My inquiry as to was there any left got him to invite me to take it away. He was kind of happy for me to be taking it as it saved him the work of burning it.

    Holly Logs.jpgSplit Holly Stump.jpg

    This holly also came from Pat. He had the tree cut down and came over and asked if it was of any interest to me. He helped me load and unload it and told me it saved him a bunch in dump fees if the tree cutter hauled it off. Unfortunately holly needs to be dried right after cutting to keep it bright white. This is lightly spalted but still beautiful when cut.

    Hunk o' Holly.jpg

    Not sure if it can be bleached. It is still a nice wood for some projects.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
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    Many years ago I was at a local artisan furniture factory for a "garage sale". I grabbed a glued up tabletop of QSWO for cheap because one of the boards was glued in backwards (grain running wrong direction) and it had a little warp. It was 1 1/4 thick x 40 x 72 and was priced at $50 if I recall. I made a number of projects out of that lumber, Including these tables.







    We were rummaging through the scrap pile looking for some pieces to put down on my truck bed before loading the table top and found some "stained maple". It was free. I thought "the stain" looked nice.

    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  15. #15
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    I was at a Yard Sale that had great promise, as the Son-in-law ( who was around 70 )who was running the sale had told me that the previously passed owner was a Cabinetmaker. But, he said, all the good stuff had gone at a sale years ago when the old fellow was still alive.

    Down into the dingy, dark basement I went, there was a table with a bunch of free stuff on it, of which I grabbed a couple of things, and a stack of lumber at least 3' x 3' x 8' long. It was virtually all Douglas Fir, which we have here by the boatload, but neat the bottom of the pile was a 5'' x 5/4 board that was darker than the fir. I started the process of digging down to it, pulling the board and re-stacking the pile very neatly.

    I got it out into the light, and was unsure of what it was as the lighting was marginal, but gave it a scrape with my knife - Cocobolo! The smell was unmistakable ! Over 7 feet long.

    A bit more rooting around revealed a 24'' long x 5/4 x nearly 12'' piece of solid teak.

    I found the SIL, and said I had a couple boxes of screws from the Free table, and a couple pieces of wood - he took one look and said ' ten bucks ' - I said, oh no, the wood was worth much more than that, ' no - ten bucks is all I want ' -

    I replied ' let me give you twenty ' - he was arguing pretty good by now that he only wanted ten - so finally he took 15 bucks.

    That was a good score.
    Last edited by Dave Beauchesne; 01-21-2021 at 10:43 AM. Reason: extra info

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