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PoppyTee

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Dec 22, 2019
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I received some barn wood over the weekend that will make some awesome looking blanks I believe. I have not identified the wood yet but it is estimated to be from 1932.

I'm guessing it would need to be stabilized first. What would be the best way to go about that? Could I cut the blanks first, then stabilize? I do not have the capabilities at the moment to stabilize so this may push this to another time.

Thanks for any info you can provide.
 
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Jolly Red

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Unless the wood has deteriorated, it should not need stabilized. It may have weathered and aged on the surface, but the interior may be just fine. Cut a blank from it to see what the insides look like before worrying about stabilizing. Maybe even turn a piece with or without a tube.
Tom
 

Holzchief

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I just did a family project of 15 Blade pens made of 40 year old livestock fence boards. Pretty weathered on the outside, but no problems anywhere in the process. Although it did seem like I had to sharpen a bit more than usual.
 

MRDucks2

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I have used barn wood two different ways so far. Thanks n neither case was stabilization needed.

First was rom a piece of barn wood the that was weathered with some rot along one side. Cutting out he rot area reveled very solid wood underneath. The wood was Chestnut with splaying n it and turned quite nice, produced about 20 pens for family.

The second was for a great-nephew whose grandpa had passed. He brought me some barn boards for a pen. For the o turned the in such a manner to preserve a portion of the weathered surface of the board on the exterior of the pen. These were oak, turned well and were not stabilized
 

GaryMGg

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I believe the first thing to do is cut a piece into a large blank and determine the wood type and condition.
It might be useable as is.
Depending on the wood, you may want to crosscut some or all?
 

Holzchief

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These are are the blanks I cut from the livestock pen board. Again 40 years in the weather but, I was able to go pick out the piece to use.
20200718_215346.jpg
 

jrich7970

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I just redid my deck. I saved a few pieces of the old cedar decking to see how it will look if I turn it. It's Western Red Cedar....not aromatic or anything "fun". It's a pretty boring wood, and also very soft, so I'm not expecting much. But, any time I get spare wood now, I try it out. I'm also experimenting with bleach and dye. Pretty cool results.
 

leehljp

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That looks like old growth yellow pine, not the soft fast growth type.

Personally, I would stabilize it. There is such a big difference in the hard darker areas of the grain vs the lighter soft areas in the grain that it can present a problem in both drilling straight and causing problems in sanding. The soft whiter wood will sand down fast under the same pressure than passes over the harder dark rings. By stabilizing it, the soft will harden and make the whole blank more uniform in density and hardness.

In general with some woods, it is not necessary to stabilize old wood, but in dealing with pine, it is better to err on the side of caution, especially in drilling.

There are probably a half a dozen posts per year on this forum from people wondering why their drill press or lathe is not drilling straight. At least one third of the time it is the wood type/grain that is causing the problem. And I can see that happening with those blanks - if they are not stabilized.
 
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PoppyTee

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Alabama
IMG_5558.JPG
here’s a pic of another pen with the barn wood in question as a backdrop. Looks pretty solid but won’t know for sure until I cut into it.

Any ideas on the type of wood? Oak maybe?


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leehljp

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The wood behind the blue pen looks very much like red oak. Being nearly 90 years old, I am surprised it has not grayed out yet, even if inside the whole time. But having been in literally hundreds of barns, it is no telling what particular wood that is. The barns I have been in are - mostly white oak followed by other or any available in the local area. White oak is more resistant to rot than red oak or pine.
 

PoppyTee

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Alabama
The wood behind the blue pen looks very much like red oak. Being nearly 90 years old, I am surprised it has not grayed out yet, even if inside the whole time. But having been in literally hundreds of barns, it is no telling what particular wood that is. The barns I have been in are - mostly white oak followed by other or any available in the local area. White oak is more resistant to rot than red oak or pine.

Could be. I do not know the history of the wood. I paid $2 for a slab and can probably get 8-10 blanks out of it.


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1080Wayne

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We can give you a better idea if you can give us a couple more pictures . Cut a 1 inch strip across the width of the board . Sand both faces and the cut edge to at least 220 grit , preferably 400 . Then we have a chance of distinguishing between red and white oaks , or something entirely different . And you will have a cross cut blank which likely will look better than a straight cut one .
 

PoppyTee

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Dec 22, 2019
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We can give you a better idea if you can give us a couple more pictures . Cut a 1 inch strip across the width of the board . Sand both faces and the cut edge to at least 220 grit , preferably 400 . Then we have a chance of distinguishing between red and white oaks , or something entirely different . And you will have a cross cut blank which likely will look better than a straight cut one .

IMG_5649.JPG




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