Reclaimed Glory #11: Hardwood score - Poplar & Cherry galore

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Blog entry by palaswood posted 09-25-2013 05:34 PM 1995 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Rescued a lonely solid Oak side table with a broken leg - Patch him up? or Cannabalize? Part 11 of Reclaimed Glory series Part 12: This Oak Pallet is rough around the edges, like me! »

I hit the jackpot last night on my salvage rounds.

I’ve been frequently checking the discarded cutoffs behind an office furniture maker near my workplace, where I have found small, scrap pieces of cherry (some long, skinny pieces too, but nothing spectacular). Well last night I hit the mother lode (as far as I’m concerned anyway). Mostly poplar and american cherry, some clear pine and a flat, thin piece of mahogany (i think).

I bound it up really well with twisted wire and tied it up with paper, then covered it with wrap – it wasnt goin nowhere.

It was a bit of a pain to actually unwrap it. But since i had to carry this home on my bicycle, I wanted it to be secure as possible. It was a breeze to get home, just balanced it on the handlebars as always (gettin quite good at that these days).

I needed to bust out the wire cutters too

Here is the haul, left to right, (all 3/4 in): a couple of T&G pieces (birch? no idea), 2x clear pine 1×2s, 6x Poplar in assorted lengths & widths and 4 nice cherry pieces as well.

Got some nice lengths of cherry 1/2in x 1/2in x 4 feet or so as well, for trim.

I was so stoked. I have been finding more and more hardwoods lately – mostly oak in various forms, but this was exciting for me. I dont live too near a lumberyard and I am limited to the distance I can travel by bicycle and to what I can carry on it, so that severely limits my sources of wood. Its such a treat to be blessed with free woods for nice projects other than the pine construction lumber I get most often. These will end up being Christmas presents possibly. I have some good ideas for lathe turned projects this year as well as small boxes as gifts.

Also got some various pieces: Thin piece of mahogany (I believe), a common pine board (at least its flat), a spalted piece of prefinished maple (?) ply (for the shooting board I wanna build), and a strange, cool unfinished walnut veneered mdf board I just couldnt leave behind.

All together now:

I’m crazy. I know it. My girlfriend really thinks I’m nuts. You guys should see the mess of wood I have piled up in the shop aka salvage yard now (actually you shouldn’t). I really was beginning to think I needed to start skipping looking for wood after work and just go straight home and actually make something instead, but I after this find I will be hard pressed to at least not take a little looksie. Can’t hurt right?

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

12 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4198 days

#1 posted 09-25-2013 05:43 PM

Nice Finds !!! Some just have all the luck !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3642 days

#2 posted 09-25-2013 05:47 PM

Hey, can’t beat the price.

-- Brian Timmons -

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5254 days

#3 posted 09-25-2013 05:50 PM


-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2908 days

#4 posted 09-25-2013 05:57 PM

My efforts are finally paying off – Trash trucks come 3 or 4 times a week around here, so you gotta be swift.

I rescued an oak railing from a trash man the other day. I come riding around the corner, and he’s about the dump it, so I jumped in there and pulled it off the top of the dumpster before he could.

I dont mind getting a little dirty for freebies like these. It makes the whole process a joy, since I can avoid shelling out top $ for good woods, and I really love the process of just making do with what God provides. Also, if I screw up on a cut, its no biggie!

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4944 days

#5 posted 09-25-2013 07:22 PM

Excellent story, nice wood, good plans for use. You are to be commended!!!

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2908 days

#6 posted 09-25-2013 09:01 PM

I just stopped by there on my lunch break and came away with these goodies:

8/4 cherry and I believe a little poplar board

More cherry

I got a bunch of 320 grit sanding pads too – plenty of life left in them – and a bunch of small cherry sticks (used as paint stirrers) which im gonna plane down, joint and glue up for a “reclaimed” wood box lid. I’m stoked.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View SirFatty's profile


547 posts in 3369 days

#7 posted 09-26-2013 12:20 PM

Maybe you should approach the owners and see if they would set the stuff aside for you.

-- Visit my blog at

View quartrsawn's profile


146 posts in 4370 days

#8 posted 09-26-2013 01:28 PM

I agree with Sirfatty. Sometimes a dozen donuts / Danish to the right guy will work wonders.

-- Nat - West Sayville,L.I., NY

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2908 days

#9 posted 09-26-2013 05:18 PM

Thats a great idea guys

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

645 posts in 3310 days

#10 posted 09-27-2013 09:52 PM

Sweet. I wish I could find a source like that where I live. I’m always on the lookout, but have yet to find any discarded wood anywhere. Not even pallets. I need to look harder I guess.

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2908 days

#11 posted 09-27-2013 10:48 PM

Cliff, where do you live? I’m in southern california, Orange County.

You have to keep your eyes open. It’s there, trust me. Small business parks, little light industrial centers – anywhere that a company has to have stuff delivered, there will be pallets. I came across an all oak pallet the other day, some of the boards have a live edge (why they were sold to use as pallets I assume), but it would be interesting to try to preserve that and use the wood somehow

Good luck searching, but if you’re not sure if its ok to take, just ask. A smile and a please goes a long way.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

645 posts in 3310 days

#12 posted 09-27-2013 10:57 PM

I’m in north Georgia. I’m sure it’s there. I just need to look harder.

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

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