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Salvaging Lumber from my grandfather's old workshop

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Forum topic by livewire516 posted 07-04-2019 08:24 PM 1838 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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livewire516

44 posts in 367 days


07-04-2019 08:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: salvage pine douglas fir reclaimed old growth

I have a few pieces of wood from what was the table saw stand and a motor mount from my grandfather’s workshop. The wood itself seems like it’s nothing special – it was probably construction lumber (my best guess being Douglas Fir).

That being said, it looks old(er) growth – the growth rings are tighter than any framing lumber I could buy today. Also, it would just be cool to make use of what was part of my memory of my grandfather.

How would you go about assessing what parts of the wood are sound? There is some rot, as ironically the endgrain were the only parts not painted in what was an unfinished basement.

I’ve removed all metal fasteners I could find, but I’ll still probably sweep through it a second time with a strong magnet before taking my jack plane to it. Part of me would like to keep the paint where possible, as I do not have a clear idea as to how I’ll use them yet (I have a list of many potential projects, but until I know how much wood I have, it’s hard to tell which projects it could make). Besides, I think the aged paint could look cool once it’s cleaned.

Please let me know what you think would be the best way to figure out what could be reused – thanks!



17 replies so far

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GrantA

1812 posts in 1915 days


#1 posted 07-04-2019 08:32 PM

Most of it can be reused. You could send it off to be cast or what I would do is remove the obviously rotten pieces, whatll just flake out then get a couple cans of minwax wood hardener and a plastic container they’ll fit in. Soak em til they sink. I haven’t don’t it with paint but don’t see why it won’t be fine. It’ll saturate the wood, may take several days to sink just watch. Once they sink they are saturated and set them out to dry. They’ll be hard as a rock and ready for whatever project you think up! If you have a lathe I’d suggest a nice pen kit.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

991 posts in 3300 days


#2 posted 07-04-2019 09:26 PM

Remember that old paint most likely is lead based. Get a test kit, and plane and toss the scrap if it contains lead. I have tools and wood from my grandfather’s, great grandfathers, and even 2 great great grandfathers. Great memories.

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pottz

6332 posts in 1491 days


#3 posted 07-04-2019 09:50 PM

as long as your not going to use it for something structural don’t worry about it,try to incorporate into something where that wood is just needed for strength.it would be a shame to waste any of it.as far as lead as long as your not sanding and breathing the dust I wouldn’t worry about that either.a lot of character and memories,take your time and make those memories last forever.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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ibewjon

991 posts in 3300 days


#4 posted 07-04-2019 10:43 PM

Sure, pottz, don’t worry about lead. It only causes brain damage, especially in kids. If there is nothing to worry about, why was lead paint banned years ago? Why would you want to keep the paint hanging around for anyone to handle? Save the wood, NOT THE PAINT if it tests positive for lead. If it’s clean, no problem.

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pottz

6332 posts in 1491 days


#5 posted 07-05-2019 03:44 AM



Sure, pottz, don t worry about lead. It only causes brain damage, especially in kids. If there is nothing to worry about, why was lead paint banned years ago? Why would you want to keep the paint hanging around for anyone to handle? Save the wood, NOT THE PAINT if it tests positive for lead. If it s clean, no problem.

- ibewjon


wow sounds like you’ve injested too much lead yourself.the lead issue has been way overrated,it’s like asbetose,it’s only a problem if it becomes airborne and breathed or injested,so as long as you don’t chew on it or grind it up and breath deep I think you’ll be ok ibewjon.sounds like you might live in California,yes I live here but im one of the few that aren’t worried about every stupid thing that every 10 million dollar test shows is bad for us.you can worry or you can just live life.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3943 posts in 1895 days


#6 posted 07-05-2019 04:12 AM

The 2 unfinished pieces from the motor mount (I presume) just look like pine to me. Just how much wood do you have? If what you showed is most of it, I don’t see anything there personally that is worth salvaging. It is in pretty bad shape and by the time you clean it up and mill it, you might not have enough to work with. I like the idea of salvaging some wood from your dad, I just don’t see much to work with.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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pottz

6332 posts in 1491 days


#7 posted 07-05-2019 04:37 AM

well livewire according to some you just have a bunch of toxic worthless wood,hell id burn it I guess,no wait,.stop it’s toxic and could kill-lol.forget that s$$t keep your grandpa’s memories alive and use what you can,it wont kill you.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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Lazyman

3943 posts in 1895 days


#8 posted 07-05-2019 12:55 PM

Yikes.

One of the signs of lead poisoning in children is irritability. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. :-)

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

991 posts in 3300 days


#9 posted 07-05-2019 03:09 PM

No, I do not live in California. If lead is safe, ask the people in Flint, MI, or south of Chicago where lead was found in the water. Or the former residents of a lead mining town in Oklahoma that is now abandoned. Sorry to try to help by telling him about the possibility of lead before he sands it, turns it or scrapes it and creates a cloud of airborne lead particles. The wood should be stripped using soy gel or citrus strip, both non hazardous strippers. I thought this site was to help others, not insult those offering to help. Many young people do not know about the hazards of lead paint because it was banned before their birth. I had a pile of redwood siding I would have liked to keep, but did not want to endanger my children, wife, or myself by working with it.

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pottz

6332 posts in 1491 days


#10 posted 07-05-2019 03:25 PM



No, I do not live in California. If lead is safe, ask the people in Flint, MI, or south of Chicago where lead was found in the water. Or the former residents of a lead mining town in Oklahoma that is now abandoned. Sorry to try to help by telling him about the possibility of lead before he sands it, turns it or scrapes it and creates a cloud of airborne lead particles. The wood should be stripped using soy gel or citrus strip, both non hazardous strippers. I thought this site was to help others, not insult those offering to help. Many young people do not know about the hazards of lead paint because it was banned before their birth. I had a pile of redwood siding I would have liked to keep, but did not want to endanger my children, wife, or myself by working with it.

- ibewjon


my apologies for being rude,but as i stated as long as it’s not disturbed by sanding,grinding it or chewing the paint it’s not gonna hurt you.people use old barn wood with paint on it all the time,my wood supplier sells a lot of it.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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ibewjon

991 posts in 3300 days


#11 posted 07-05-2019 04:48 PM

If it is not airborne. I understand. But how does a person cut, sand or turn it without dust? So strip it, and all is good. And I would guess it has all been tested for lead, or the liability of selling it would quickly eat the profits.

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MrRon

5715 posts in 3751 days


#12 posted 07-05-2019 05:22 PM

I grew up in New York City. We had asbestos mats for cooking on the stove, lead paint everywhere, asbestos brake shoes, lead pipe for water and formaldehyde in our plywood. As a kid, I played with mercury, asbestos and lead soldiers. Today I am 84 and show no symptoms to worry about. I also smoked and drank hard liquor most of my life (quit last year due to cost). Am I living on borrowed time? I don’t think so. I have outlived most of my friends who were younger than me. Stop worrying about things and do what you got to do. If I still lived in Ca, I would keep doing what I do despite their stupid laws.

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ibewjon

991 posts in 3300 days


#13 posted 07-05-2019 06:04 PM

Ron, you are lucky to have good genes. The f….. smoking killed my dad at 41!!!,. I don’t understand why some are telling livewire to take the chance. A cheap test kit may show no lead, then all is ok. If not, he will need to decide if it is worth the risk.

View livewire516's profile

livewire516

44 posts in 367 days


#14 posted 07-06-2019 02:55 AM

Wow…I feel like I left the house for a few minutes and came back to a smouldering heap.

Thanks to all who contributed sound advice but I’m ‘unwatching’ this thread because there’s a lot more BS in here than stuff worth replying to. My time is better spent in the shop.

View pottz's profile

pottz

6332 posts in 1491 days


#15 posted 07-06-2019 10:10 PM

hey nobody ever said lumber jock threads were sugar,spice and everything nice-LOL.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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