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Salvaging old barn wood for bed floor.

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Old 03-19-2014, 01:15 PM
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Salvaging old barn wood for bed floor.

I mentioned in an earlier thread about a tree destroying an old barn on my place. I'm attempting to salvage some of the wood to use for bed wood. I don't know the age of the wood since the barn was here before I moved here. Most of the wood was unprotected and in some places really bad shape.

I've spent a lot of time wire brushing and a light belt sanding trying to clean up the planks so that my planer blades won't be totally destroyed on the first board.





They seem to be cleaning up fairly nice, although the planing has be a challenge since the thickness varies considerably.



Question for our wood gurus......since a lot of these boards are cupped pretty badly, I would like to cut them into narrow boards, then plane them and glue them back together. Anyone have experience with wood glues that are truly waterproof ?
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:58 PM
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Great Idea! What species of wood is that?

I have a bunch of barn wood around here, mostly pine and fir. Some is so old and dry it just crumbles apart. Makes great firewood.

Your boards look pretty solid.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:07 PM
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Great Idea! What species of wood is that?

I have a bunch of barn wood around here, mostly pine and fir. Some is so old and dry it just crumbles apart. Makes great firewood.

Your boards look pretty solid.
I'm thinking white oak to have stood up to the weather all these years. The board that I show in the photo that has the end in rough shape was actually down in the dirt. The rotted portion did not extend far up the board. I originally was going to try to cut the boards to eliminate the nail holes, but my wife thinks they add character. I may fill them with epoxy and sand flat before I apply finish to the boards.

And yes....great firewood from the boards too rough to salvage.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:22 PM
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I might be considered cheep but my wood boat paddles seperated. I cleaned them up and used Gorilla Glue to glue them together. I put a good coat of spar varnish on them and have been using them for about 4 years and they show no sign of separation. It says on label this glue is waterproof. Funny part is you have to wet the wood before you apply the glue.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:37 PM
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Drew,
Wow, that will be a great use for the old boards. I agree with your wife about the nail holes. I also think they would add some nice character.

I don't have any advice on the woodwork, I prefer working in steel, that way when I cut it too short I can always weld a chunk back on....LOL

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Old 03-19-2014, 04:05 PM
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Drew,
Wow, that will be a great use for the old boards. I agree with your wife about the nail holes. I also think they would add some nice character.

I don't have any advice on the woodwork, I prefer working in steel, that way when I cut it too short I can always weld a chunk back on....LOL

Bobby

So goes my saying .......Cut it off 3 times and........it's still too short!!
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:06 PM
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That is white oak. You put a good poly on it and it will last
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:16 PM
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Denny, "firsride", is a woodworker by trade and does an excellent job. He'd know a lot about this subject. Maybe he'll chime in or you can send him a PM.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:45 PM
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An easy way to determine if it is either white oak (very rot resistant) or red oak (not very rot resistant) is to shave off a sliver. If you can blow or suck air through it is red, if not it is white.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:49 PM
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A metal detector (and a wire brush to remove grit) are your friends right now. Urethane glues use water to cure (even tiny amounts will do it) and is essentially water and solvent proof once cured.

Gorilla glue is a urethane glue.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:30 PM
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An easy way to determine if it is either white oak (very rot resistant) or red oak (not very rot resistant) is to shave off a sliver. If you can blow or suck air through it is red, if not it is white.
I've done a lot of work with red oak and it doesn't live long exposed to weather. This wood has been hanging on the side of the barn I know 40 years maybe longer.

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A metal detector (and a wire brush to remove grit) are your friends right now. Urethane glues use water to cure (even tiny amounts will do it) and is essentially water and solvent proof once cured.

Gorilla glue is a urethane glue.
I hear you on the metal detection and cleaning. It's still rough on planer blades. I can already tell the blades are starting to go as the planer is getting louder as I run the boards.

Is the glue line noticeable using Gorilla glue? I've got very limited experience with it and appearance was not an issue.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:34 PM
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I have been a woodworker for 40 years. The last 20 have been spent primarily in salvaged or reclaimed wood. Today almost half of my business is providing reclaimed wood to builders in this area for new home construction. I am steering the business in this direction as I believe in the older wood and it's virtues, and I've done so much uptight high end cabinetwork for fussy richfolk all my life, I would rather have the young woodworkers I hire in the shop while I'm out on the road in my truck and trailer finding ways to fill the orders. I can't tell you how glad I am to see your post about using the old barn wood for your bed. My clients beg for nail holes and 'character'. I feel your pain with the planer and it's valuable knives. We have 3 different metal detectors and we still hit a nail first run after we change the knives! We have also planed thousands of feet of heavily painted wood. That is really an awful part of the work. I can't wait to see the bed when it's done. Looks like red oak in your pic, but very hard to tell from here.For the cupped boards If you have some extra thickness, run the boards with the 'hump' upwards with a thin narrow stick like a long yardstick under the hump. This planes that face flat without splitting, next flip it over and plane that side flat. I second the gorrilla glue if you don't have the thickness to plane out.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:07 PM
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Looks like white oak to me too, maybe ash. I've used several different glues and they all have their place. Gorilla glue is some tuff stuff. Bought my wife a maple glider rocking chair when my son was born and over the years it loosened up in spots.One spot broke and I used g.glue on it and the next time it broke about an inch away from the repair. Certainly stronger than the solid wood itself. It does expand quite a bit when it cures so keep that in mind. Doesn't sand down too bad though.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:18 PM
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I have been a woodworker for 40 years. The last 20 have been spent primarily in salvaged or reclaimed wood. Today almost half of my business is providing reclaimed wood to builders in this area for new home construction. I am steering the business in this direction as I believe in the older wood and it's virtues, and I've done so much uptight high end cabinetwork for fussy richfolk all my life, I would rather have the young woodworkers I hire in the shop while I'm out on the road in my truck and trailer finding ways to fill the orders. I can't tell you how glad I am to see your post about using the old barn wood for your bed. My clients beg for nail holes and 'character'. I feel your pain with the planer and it's valuable knives. We have 3 different metal detectors and we still hit a nail first run after we change the knives! We have also planed thousands of feet of heavily painted wood. That is really an awful part of the work. I can't wait to see the bed when it's done. Looks like red oak in your pic, but very hard to tell from here.For the cupped boards If you have some extra thickness, run the boards with the 'hump' upwards with a thin narrow stick like a long yardstick under the hump. This planes that face flat without splitting, next flip it over and plane that side flat. I second the gorrilla glue if you don't have the thickness to plane out.
Many thanks, I hadn't thought of the stick under the hump. My boards run really wild on thickness and some of the boards are cupped so bad that by the time I plane them flat the board would only be about a 1/2" thick. Those were the boards I wanted to rip in half, plane, joint the edges and glue back together.

I really enjoy planing a piece of rough sawn wood. It's like a treasure hunt for me since you never really know what you're going to get. I'm really bad about collecting driftwood when I go on vacation to a coastal area. I usually come home with a pile of junky looking wood and I can hardly wait for it to dry out so I can plane it.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:19 PM
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There are a few really old barns around where I grew up that have new siding on them because a company realized they were American Chestnut. They offered to replace the existing siding for free, as long as the farmers gave it to them. A neighbors barn had boards as big as 12' long by 18" wide and over an inch thick.

Your boards are going to make a great looking bed. And with it's age, just consider it NOS.
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