Author Topic: I hit the mother load!!! I THINK. Curly maple, birds eye, figured cherry..  (Read 3129 times)

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Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
So today i came across a listing on facebook where a guy was selling a large amount of rough sawn lumber.  He was local so i figured i would go look.   I ended up purchasing (20) boards of 1 1/8” thick x 15” x 10’ curly maple!  I also scored a handful of birds eye maple and figured cherry.   I have a pick up truck with a 6’ long bed and completely filled it up to the top, and then filled up the back seat of my crew cab, just full of great wood.  Get this, all for $250.   I got it so cheap for a few reasons and 1 reason is that it was stored in the attic and about a 1/4 of each board has water damage form a leaking roof.  But the majority of it is clear and in great shape.   I had concerns about buying this wood with the damage and because it was stored in an attic for many many years with all the extreme temp fluctuations.  Being that it was stored in an attic, is there any serious concern that this wood is completely junk?

The story on this material is that a old guy use to make big grandfather clocks, he past away, and some younger gentleman bought the house as an investment and plans to rent it out.  When he bought the house it came with all the contents and there are piles and piles of high grade wood everywhere.  Thousands and thousands of board feet everywhere.   The new owner is not a woodworker but knows enough to know what he has.  He is more interested in getting rid of it so he can start renting the property. I left behind a handful of 4”x4”x8’ curly maple! Those are in perfect shape and i may go back for those.   I didn’t tell my wife i was doing this, when i saw it I couldn’t pass it up but once i told her the story she said go back and get more!  Most of the wood is stored on the first floor of a garage and there are piles of cherry and walnut i want to go through but this garage was not heated.  So i really just want to know if i should be concerned about the temp fluctuations before i spend more money.  Ill post some pics tomorrow after i unload it and while its still daylight, i literally just picked it all up. 

I was into woodworking about 10-15 years ago but life happened, sold everything, but recently got back into it so im still a little new and don’t know as much as some of you veterans and thats why im questioning all of this. 


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Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 561
Sounds like a great find! You are probably fine but maybe get yourself a moisture meter (and a jointer and planer). Even the water stained parts may cleanup.

Mike

Offline c_dwyer

  • Posts: 160
Well @ForumMFG, at least you can make up for your 10-15 year break and get back into the swing of making sawdust.

I had a similar experience a few years ago.  I was looking on CL for anyone local with cherry, and an ad popped up for a person who was cleaning out the lower level of his barn that had a bunch of misc wood and was going to have a barn sale the upcoming weekend. I was planning to be on travel, so I responded and asked if I could take a look before the weekend. He indicated that he had no idea what the stuff was, and he had been renting it out to someone who up and left a few years earlier.

So upon my visit, I had to sift through a lot of stacks of various building materials to get through to some of the decent stuff. I told him what the species were (oak, cherry, maple) and their fair market value so that he wouldn't get skunked during his sale. He finally said that he didn't care, and that he just wanted everything in the barn cleaned out. After purchasing a few boards, he said:  "there's more over in the back corner" which wasn't very well lit.  So after removing the various stuff from the top, I ended up getting into some really wide, incredibly heavy, reddish-dark wood. I drug one of them out into the daylight, and knew right away that is was some type of tropical stuff which ended up being identified as bubinga. There were also sheets (1/8" thick) of the stuff in bundles, that in the dark, I thought was veneered plywood. Dragging that outside, it was the same species (bubinga), but not plywood.

I ended up canceling my trip for Saturday, and got there early enough to purchase as much of the bubinga I could find, which took a lot of effort to move piles (this time, I brought a flashlight...). I had no idea what this person renting the barn was doing, until I saw someone walking around with templates for guitar bodies that they were going to buy.  Then I figured out that the 1/8" bubinga must have been tonewood (bookmatched sets), and there were other woods in there that I ended up having someone ID for me later.  I've made a few things along the way with some of the wood, but still have a ways to go before the rest takes a different form.

Similar to your situation, it was a crazy find. Like the saying goes: "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then."

Kudos to you, and now you can ramp back up into woodworking again.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 577
If the wood has no rot and it is not visibly warped, twisted, etc. then you are probably fine. Sounds like a terrific find! Enjoy! The biggest potential problem you face is not buying all you can. Then you will do a project and you will find that you need some more wood. The problem will start when you go to a hardwood retailer and see just how much you are going to have to pay for it😊. Like I said enjoy!

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7531
I really wouldn't be concerned about the temperature fluctuations, wood does what it wants to do.

The bigger issue is if the water/mineral markings are significant enough to impair the overall general looks of the wood.

Sometimes the mineral markings can be a positive addition to the appearance of the material.

My suggestion, if you do pull the pin, purchase at least 20-30% more than you'll need just to make sure because you'll probably never be able to match the wood tonation from outside sources again.

Offline Vondawg

  • Posts: 357
This point Cheese is making is VERY important....I ran into this kind of deal with some barn dried walnut, some of the most beautiful purplish I’ve ever seen ( kiln dried kinda evens the color out) and couldn’t buy walnut that matched it...once gone...it’s gone
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
Well @ForumMFG, at least you can make up for your 10-15 year break and get back into the swing of making sawdust.

I had a similar experience a few years ago.  I was looking on CL for anyone local with cherry, and an ad popped up for a person who was cleaning out the lower level of his barn that had a bunch of misc wood and was going to have a barn sale the upcoming weekend. I was planning to be on travel, so I responded and asked if I could take a look before the weekend. He indicated that he had no idea what the stuff was, and he had been renting it out to someone who up and left a few years earlier.

So upon my visit, I had to sift through a lot of stacks of various building materials to get through to some of the decent stuff. I told him what the species were (oak, cherry, maple) and their fair market value so that he wouldn't get skunked during his sale. He finally said that he didn't care, and that he just wanted everything in the barn cleaned out. After purchasing a few boards, he said:  "there's more over in the back corner" which wasn't very well lit.  So after removing the various stuff from the top, I ended up getting into some really wide, incredibly heavy, reddish-dark wood. I drug one of them out into the daylight, and knew right away that is was some type of tropical stuff which ended up being identified as bubinga. There were also sheets (1/8" thick) of the stuff in bundles, that in the dark, I thought was veneered plywood. Dragging that outside, it was the same species (bubinga), but not plywood.

I ended up canceling my trip for Saturday, and got there early enough to purchase as much of the bubinga I could find, which took a lot of effort to move piles (this time, I brought a flashlight...). I had no idea what this person renting the barn was doing, until I saw someone walking around with templates for guitar bodies that they were going to buy.  Then I figured out that the 1/8" bubinga must have been tonewood (bookmatched sets), and there were other woods in there that I ended up having someone ID for me later.  I've made a few things along the way with some of the wood, but still have a ways to go before the rest takes a different form.

Similar to your situation, it was a crazy find. Like the saying goes: "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then."

Kudos to you, and now you can ramp back up into woodworking again.


I love hearing stories like this.  Was any of waterfall bubinga? Bubinga in general is my favorite wood but waterfall, man thats on a whole different level.  It’s unfortunate that we can’t get it anymore but i totally understand, we as humans have caused the problem and i hope there are enough trees like that for future generations to enjoy as well.  But people need to do a better job of planting.  If you take one plant one should be the goal but too many people don’t care


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Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
If the wood has no rot and it is not visibly warped, twisted, etc. then you are probably fine. Sounds like a terrific find! Enjoy! The biggest potential problem you face is not buying all you can. Then you will do a project and you will find that you need some more wood. The problem will start when you go to a hardwood retailer and see just how much you are going to have to pay for it. Like I said enjoy!


Lol, i am fully aware of what this stuff costs! And i already thought of that.  Most of the boards have a slight twist and some a warp.  But the boards are so thick and wide that after i mill it to the sizes i want i don’t think it will be an issue.  To me its no different than any other rough sawn lumber, am i wrong?


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Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 577
Tough call without seeing it up close and personal. It’s really a judgement call. Modest warp is a lot easier to deal with than twist. Also if you are able to store the wood you buy in a climate controlled environment and get it stabilized before and after you mill it that will certainly help a lot. Sounds like you need to account for an above average quantity of waste but if you have the space and the savings are huge it is probably worth the risk.

BTW, you are not wrong about those issues being common in thick rough cut hardwoods but if you buy it commercially you can pick through it and cherry pick the pieces you want. Probably not as feasible in a case like this.

The good news is that if you buy a lot of this wood it is going to significantly improve your milling skills!

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
So i have never milled wood figured like this, how hard is this material on jointer and planer knives? I ask because i find it amazing that material is rough sawn and the figure is very pronounced.  I went back and bough a bunch of 5/4 curly maple, 8-10” wide 8’ long, it was dark again so ill have to get pictures this weekend.   Bought some that were 4” thick 4-5” wide 5’-6’ long.  Im gonna have to resaw a bunch of this


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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4828
The wavy grain won’t be “hard on the knives” but dirt I the grain would dull the knives faster. Just scrub with a vacuum brush first.

The problem with wavy grain is it’s more likely to tearout. When you get close to final dimension make very shallow passes or take it to someone with a widebelt sander.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 577
IMO Maple is not that hard on knives. Dirt, gravel and metal certainly are though. If it is dirty and gritty give it a bit of a shower and dry it off. If you think that metal is a problem buy a metal detector. Other than that it should not be too bad. If it is super highly figured you could have some issues with tear out but that is just part of the journey with gorgeous wood. Just joint an edge so you can properly read the grain and make the best decision you can about feed direction. Then if the results are bad turn the board end for end and try again to see which way is better. You will learn fast.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 577
BTW, I like Michael’s vacuum idea better than my “give it a shower” concept but you be the judge😊

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1969
Okay, now we’re going to need pictures!!!  You can see the figure on the rough saw boards???  (I believe you, but now I want to see what you’re looking at...before and after you plane it...pleeeeease!).  [smile]
-Raj

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
Tough call without seeing it up close and personal. It’s really a judgement call. Modest warp is a lot easier to deal with than twist. Also if you are able to store the wood you buy in a climate controlled environment and get it stabilized before and after you mill it that will certainly help a lot. Sounds like you need to account for an above average quantity of waste but if you have the space and the savings are huge it is probably worth the risk.

BTW, you are not wrong about those issues being common in thick rough cut hardwoods but if you buy it commercially you can pick through it and cherry pick the pieces you want. Probably not as feasible in a case like this.

The good news is that if you buy a lot of this wood it is going to significantly improve your milling skills!


Thanks, i appreciate the advice.  But listen, yesterday i spent $250, today i spent $120, in the picture with the boards laying down you can see all the lumber i bought.  Its 100% curly maple or figured cherry.  Mostly maple.  In the picture with the boards standing up, thats a mixture of ash, oak, walnut, more curly maple.  Beneath all that small stuff you see laying down is a bunch of boards at least 8” wide, 8’ long and 15-20 boards 15” wide 10’ long.  If i can’t get my moneys worth out of all this then something is wrong.

Now granted there are certainly some boards that are in less than perfect shape, stains, a little rot, etc.  and the worst part is, this stuff has been sitting so long that what i thought were walnut boards was actually curly maple.  That much dust/dirt/grime has accumulated.   For the stuff that has stains, rot, or warped too bad, oh well.  But im not a production shop.  Im a hobbyist.  My name says ForumMFG but that was because when i joined this group thats who i was working for.  I have no idea why i picked that name.  As a hobbyist i have time to get these boards in the condition they need to be in.




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Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
The wavy grain won’t be “hard on the knives” but dirt I the grain would dull the knives faster. Just scrub with a vacuum brush first.

The problem with wavy grain is it’s more likely to tearout. When you get close to final dimension make very shallow passes or take it to someone with a widebelt sander.


This is a great idea, as i just said, it is so dirty.  What i thought may have been walnut was maple!


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Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
Okay, now we’re going to need pictures!!!  You can see the figure on the rough saw boards???  (I believe you, but now I want to see what you’re looking at...before and after you plane it...pleeeeease!).  [smile]


Here you go, broke out a block plane, did a little sanding and put some odies oil on it.  Its amazing.  And i picked a board with the least amount of figure.  There is also some birds eye and what i call blister maple.  2nd pic is the birds eye with a little dirt on it.  Ill have to dig out the blister maple 




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Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7531
The wavy grain won’t be “hard on the knives” but dirt I the grain would dull the knives faster. Just scrub with a vacuum brush first.

The problem with wavy grain is it’s more likely to tearout. When you get close to final dimension make very shallow passes or take it to someone with a widebelt sander.

I agree 100%...working with birds eye maple and even when I take a cut of only .010" using a straight knife planer, some of the eyes of the maple are ripped out and there are only voids left. At some point, I did the best I could with what I had and I then used a local service that put the birds eye maple through a Time Saver.


Maybe a helical insert planer would work better...just a thought.

The Time Saver approach however is still the best to provide a uniform surface and appearance.

I'd also warn against trying to finesse the surface too much with a planer. There were times when I looked at the surface and thought "maybe just one more really thin pass with the planer and everything will be perfect."  Only to find out I now had more eyes missing than the previous result.  [sad]
« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 09:45 PM by Cheese »

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
And by the way, in that pic of the curly, thats not a stain, its just the angle i took the photo


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Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
The wavy grain won’t be “hard on the knives” but dirt I the grain would dull the knives faster. Just scrub with a vacuum brush first.

The problem with wavy grain is it’s more likely to tearout. When you get close to final dimension make very shallow passes or take it to someone with a widebelt sander.

I agree 100%...working with birds eye maple and even when I take a cut of only .010" using a straight knife planer, some of the eyes of the maple are ripped out and there are only voids left. At some point, I did the best I could with what I had and I then used a local service that put the birds eye maple through a Time Saver.

Maybe a helical insert planer would work better...just a thought.

The Time Saver approach however is still the best to provide a uniform surface and appearance.


Whats a time saver? Never heard of that?


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Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7531

Whats a time saver? Never heard of that?


A wide belt sanding machine that Michael was referring to.

http://timesaversinc.com

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1969
I’d say you definitely got your money’s worth!  You’re going to have some fun with all that.  The rotex should do a reasonably good job of “cleaning” the boards before running them through the planer, I would think.  Got any plans for projects yet?
-Raj

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7531
As a hobbyist i have time to get these boards in the condition they need to be in.

That's a real nice score.  [smile]

I'd take the Rotex hooked to a vac with some 60 grit and go over every board lightly on the width just so that you can clean them up a bit and then be able to identify & sort the wood species easier.  That'd be a good Saturday/Sunday project.

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG

Whats a time saver? Never heard of that?


A wide belt sanding machine that Michael was referring to.

http://timesaversinc.com


Gotcha, i don’t have a wide belt sand at home but the company i work for has a 36” 2 head wide belt that ill be able to use. 

Good tip for the rotex, just to knock off all the dirt.  I only had 120 grit last and it took forever to clean it up which is when i decided to use a block plane to clear up most of it.  The only way to clear that material fast with the rotex was to angle it applying pressure but i don’t like doing that as you can melt the stickfix extremely fast with the heat build-up.  Ive done it before. 


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Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7531
Good tip for the rotex, just to knock off all the dirt.  I only had 120 grit last and it took forever to clean it up which is when i decided to use a block plane to clear up most of it. 

If you've got a RAS 115 that'd work even better than the Rotex. The RAS with some Saphir 50 or 80 would make quick work of the dirt removal chore.

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
I’d say you definitely got your money’s worth!  You’re going to have some fun with all that.  The rotex should do a reasonably good job of “cleaning” the boards before running them through the planer, I would think.  Got any plans for projects yet?


No plans right now except to go through it all, cut off some ends that are bad, sort, and store it.  I do have a list of projects that need started though! Just a matter of having time to start them.  A kitchen buffet cabinet is first on the list.  Im married with 3 kids, both full time jobs and i own a side business.  I aquaculture coral and sell it at trade shows on the weekends 1-2 times a month traveling to cities from new york to chicago.   Needless to say, i don’t have a ton of time for projects and a project that would take someone a day would take me a few months as i rarely have time for anything.  But as the kids get older and things slow down i’ll have more time, knowing this is why i bought it because this wood will last me many many years worth of projects.  I will probably sell a hand full of boards to get my money back, thats how i was able to get the wife on board with this purchase. 

One thing I definitely want to do is pair some of this maple with waterfall bubinga for a narrow library table.  I’ve located a few sources that sell waterfall bubinga in veneer sheets in the states. 


Question, i really want to store this material in my basement.  Basement is finished and i paid a lot of money for a whole home dehumidifier that keeps the house at 40-45% all year.  Is there any real concern for insects since all of this is dry?  I fear bringing it in the house would bring insects in that would chew up all the 2x4’s in all the walls, lol. 


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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4828
Only cut off a 1/4” of the ends even if deeply checked. Then paint the ends with a clear sealer, shellac at minimum.

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
Only cut off a 1/4” of the ends even if deeply checked. Then paint the ends with a clear sealer, shellac at minimum.


You said shellac at a minimum, whats your first choice?


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Offline ForumMFG

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    • Forum MFG
Whats a good hand plane for heavy stock removal? Low angle #5 jack with a tooth blade or a #6 scrub for all this rough sawn? Im assuming i would want to use all low angle planes because of the grain?


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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4828
Only cut off a 1/4” of the ends even if deeply checked. Then paint the ends with a clear sealer, shellac at minimum.


You said shellac at a minimum, whats your first choice?


Genuine varnish. Most people coat green wood with an opaque latex sealer to slow drying of the ends to reduce splitting (can’t think of the name now) but your wood isn’t green and I take it you want to be able to see the end grain of the boards in the stack. Don’t forget to sticker the stack (put small sticks between the boards so air can circulate).

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 577
I think that Anchor-seal is the name you are trying to think of. As you said it is generally considered to be for green lumber.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
Only cut off a 1/4” of the ends even if deeply checked. Then paint the ends with a clear sealer, shellac at minimum.


You said shellac at a minimum, whats your first choice?


Genuine varnish. Most people coat green wood with an opaque latex sealer to slow drying of the ends to reduce splitting (can’t think of the name now) but your wood isn’t green and I take it you want to be able to see the end grain of the boards in the stack. Don’t forget to sticker the stack (put small sticks between the boards so air can circulate).


When you have a moment can you link me to a product you recommend? Im not too familiar with those products.  I only get into oils and waxes at home.


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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4828
Every shop should have shellac on hand. It’s the aspirin of wood finishes.

General info on basic clear finishes.

Zinsser shellac is readymade and readily available. (You can make your own with dried flakes and alcohol from heavy to extremely thin for different purposes). But for sealing wood the ends of the boards it would take a few coats to equal one coat of varnish.

For the board ends I’d just get a quart of any varnish and a disposable bristle brush.

For “cleaning” the boards I like the RAS115 suggestion. It would be good practice to learn how to be productive and maintain fairly good sustainable collection.

Offline jeffinsgf

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Was that the whole batch or is there some left?  I'm only a couple hours away.

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
Was that the whole batch or is there some left?  I'm only a couple hours away.

All of its gone


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Offline jeffinsgf

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Well...what you got is all junk, so I'll help you out by hauling it all away.  [big grin]

Congratulations.  Great score. It would take me years just to figure out what to do with the maple...no project would ever be worthy enough.

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 2025
Well...what you got is all junk, so I'll help you out by hauling it all away.  [big grin]

Congratulations.  Great score. It would take me years just to figure out what to do with the maple...no project would ever be worthy enough.

LOL, I have a small stock of material too nice for the likes of my projects...

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 937
    • Forum MFG
Every shop should have shellac on hand. It’s the aspirin of wood finishes.

General info on basic clear finishes.

Zinsser shellac is readymade and readily available. (You can make your own with dried flakes and alcohol from heavy to extremely thin for different purposes). But for sealing wood the ends of the boards it would take a few coats to equal one coat of varnish.

For the board ends I’d just get a quart of any varnish and a disposable bristle brush.

For “cleaning” the boards I like the RAS115 suggestion. It would be good practice to learn how to be productive and maintain fairly good sustainable collection.

Picked up a quart, see how far this goes



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Offline JBag09

  • Posts: 228
Wish I went through this thread a few weeks ago. Pentacryl is what your looking for to stabilize wood . And as stated earlier Anchorseal is a end sealer.


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