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What to do with this Wormy Chestnut....?

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Forum topic by Tooch posted 05-03-2019 04:13 PM 582 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tooch

2005 posts in 2263 days


05-03-2019 04:13 PM

So a friend called me a few weeks ago with a heck of a find. He was dismantling and old porch roof at work and found several pieces of what he thought was wormy Chestnut, but they were thrown into the dumpster at the end of the day. So he picked me up and we went dumpster diving at his work and pulled out several pieces of ship-lap chestnut.

I let them dry out for a few days and finally planed them down yesterday. I was blown away with what came out of the other side of the planer:

While I was planing these down, a student asked me why I was using this “Junk wood with all the holes in it”? I laughed and was trying to explain to him how rare and valuable this stuff is. I did a quick google search and found a bunch of lumber for sale at a remarkably high price ($20/bd ft).

I don’t have any real purpose for these board, So now my question is do I save this for the ‘right project’ or try to sell it on craigslist? With the amount I have (roughly 30 bd ft) I feel like I could get a few hundred bucks for it, but its so rare I may just hold onto it until I figure out what to do with it. Overall dimensions are in the pictures below, roughly 41” x 107”

I’m looking for advice, so please feel free to leave your thoughts, thanks!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails


15 replies so far

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doubleDD

8383 posts in 2430 days


#1 posted 05-03-2019 05:53 PM

Great find Tooch. I think it would work out cool as a treasure chest.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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Jim Jakosh

22667 posts in 3493 days


#2 posted 05-03-2019 06:53 PM

Cut off all the nail holes and make some cool boxes, Fill the holes with inlay and finish it!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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SMP

1032 posts in 293 days


#3 posted 05-03-2019 08:09 PM

How thick?

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Tooch

2005 posts in 2263 days


#4 posted 05-03-2019 08:43 PM



How thick?

- SMP

Was 3/4, planned down on both sides so now a little heavier than 5/8”

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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SMP

1032 posts in 293 days


#5 posted 05-03-2019 09:00 PM


How thick?

- SMP

Was 3/4, planned down on both sides so now a little heavier than 5/8”

- Tooch

I was thinking if it was 3/4 or bigger would make a good table top. For you or someone looking at buying. In that case I would probably keep enough to make a box or flag display case, and sell the rest and buy tools. Me personally would do.

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therealSteveN

2808 posts in 961 days


#6 posted 05-03-2019 09:39 PM

5/8 is perfect smallish box material in my book. However as noted by your student, only folks over a certain age can remember anything past what they had for lunch. So they may only be desirable to old folks.

Wondering, how hard do you think it is after years of drying, and heating over all those years on the roof?

I would use it, gift it, and to those who don’t know, educate them with a little paper you include with the gift with the great story of the Chestnut in America. It really is historic stuff.

I was all atwitter, when I first heard I was going to get some free Chestnut years ago. Having heard all about Cryphonectria parasitica AKA Chestnut blight I had heard of this fabled wood for years. I was so excited. Then I got it, and after cutting a bit of it, planed a little, basically just played with it.

All I could say was HUH. It wasn’t near as special to me as many other woods I had already worked with. I had thought it to be an Oak, it’s a beech, just soft wood, Janka is only 540. So I think a table top would be out. Basically very good small box wood. Otherwise it was the original outside wood for many Americans as they moved West. Fences, posts, barn siding. Some furniture, but little of that has outlasted time, scarce as something you’ll see in museums anyhow.

I really think it’s importance, and why so many dollars were/are spent in bringing it back is because it was the first thing in America, the new world that was essentially wiped out. I mean somebody has got to fix that!!!!

-- Think safe, be safe

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MSquared

520 posts in 302 days


#7 posted 05-03-2019 10:10 PM

Tooch …Going out on a limb! ;) .... Noob here, a ‘lurker and learner’, But! If you’re into BBQ and, If you were to cut the portions of the boards with the nail holes away in order to make boxes, etc., don’t discard them. Save those little pieces for smoking meats, especially Pork. Hogs eat Chestnuts ( It’s a natural pairing … that’s another topic) I would temper it a bit with Fruit Woods. Apple wood be first choice, Cherry next. Hogs eat those too. Try a piece, soaked for 30 minutes in water, on some coals and check out the aroma. I’ve never personally gotten any Chestnut for “Q”, but have heard it’s quite nice. The only Nut wood I’ve used thus far is Pecan.

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

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Boxguy

2822 posts in 2655 days


#8 posted 05-04-2019 10:49 AM

Tooch, my problem is that everything looks like a box to me. So, I am a poor one to give advice on the problem. I would make a box, look at it for a while, and if I liked the look, I would make more boxes. If I didn’t think it suited me, then I’d sell the wood. It is enough for a small piece of furniture, but you would have a difficult time finding more chestnut to make a set of something. I plane all the boards for boxes down to 5/8 because it fits my hinges and does not look too bulky as a side.

-- Big Al in IN

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Tooch

2005 posts in 2263 days


#9 posted 05-04-2019 01:36 PM



Tooch …Going out on a limb! ;) .... Noob here, a lurker and learner , But! If you re into BBQ and, If you were to cut the portions of the boards with the nail holes away in order to make boxes, etc., don t discard them. Save those little pieces for smoking meats, especially Pork. Hogs eat Chestnuts ( It s a natural pairing … that s another topic) I would temper it a bit with Fruit Woods. Apple wood be first choice, Cherry next. Hogs eat those too. Try a piece, soaked for 30 minutes in water, on some coals and check out the aroma. I ve never personally gotten any Chestnut for “Q”, but have heard it s quite nice. The only Nut wood I ve used thus far is Pecan.

- MSquared

That’s a great call. I’ve made a few oak planks for grilling salmon. after soaking them for a few hrs I like to drop on some liquid smoke to add some flavor and it turns out pretty darn good. Will definitely keep any scraps

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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Tooch

2005 posts in 2263 days


#10 posted 05-04-2019 01:39 PM



Cut off all the nail holes and make some cool boxes, Fill the holes with inlay and finish it!

Cheers, Jim

- Jim Jakosh

Jim I’ve never used inlay and have no idea where to start. I have admired your projects with turquoise and various other colors, so if you have any direction that you can point me in I would appreciate the help!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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Tooch

2005 posts in 2263 days


#11 posted 05-04-2019 01:42 PM


I really think it s importance, and why so many dollars were/are spent in bringing it back is because it was the first thing in America, the new world that was essentially wiped out. I mean somebody has got to fix that!!!!

- therealSteveN

Steve after reading your post I feel like it’s my patriotic duty to keep this wood. I am inspired and now am starting to lean towards using it

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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Tooch

2005 posts in 2263 days


#12 posted 05-04-2019 01:46 PM



Tooch, my problem is that everything looks like a box to me. So, I am a poor one to give advice on the problem. I would make a box, look at it for a while, and if I liked the look, I would make more boxes. If I didn t think it suited me, then I d sell the wood. It is enough for a small piece of furniture, but you would have a difficult time finding more chestnut to make a set of something. I plane all the boards for boxes down to 5/8 because it fits my hinges and does not look too bulky as a side.

- Boxguy

Al there is nothing wrong with thinking inside of the box. I was thinking of using it for a head board to accent the new furniture in our new bedroom. So far I only have two bedside tables, and they are both in oak.

The grain pattern with this is similar and I think the color would match, albeit slightly darker due to the age. I just don’t know if it would look awesome or just look out of place…

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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WDHLT15

1816 posts in 2863 days


#13 posted 05-06-2019 12:07 PM

That lumber is screaming to be a rustic, sliding, barn door.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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Tooch

2005 posts in 2263 days


#14 posted 05-06-2019 12:49 PM

I would agree with that, but I have no place that would require a door like that!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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SMP

1032 posts in 293 days


#15 posted 05-06-2019 02:46 PM



I would agree with that, but I have no place that would require a door like that!

- Tooch

I have seen things like entertainment centers, and under flat screen tv “media centers“ that have “sliding barn doors“. Kind of trendy now but that stuff sells.

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