old redwood?

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Forum topic by jbmaine posted 06-15-2021 02:28 PM 389 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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165 posts in 628 days

06-15-2021 02:28 PM

Hi all, A friend of mine is dismantling a private library and asked me about the actual book shelves. From a sample he showed me they are around 3/4” thick redwood. He says he will have at least 16 boards, 12’ long and 10-12” wide. He also says they have been used as library shelves for at least 50 years. He will get me pictures at some point but for now he is wondering what they may be worth and or what to use them for. I really don’t know much about redwood so I thought I’d ask for your thoughts on this. Thanks, Jim

5 replies so far

View woodetal's profile


109 posts in 931 days

#1 posted 06-15-2021 02:45 PM

Hmmm. First issue that comes up is the seal/coat on the material. My guess is something similar to a varnish/poly that penetrates and leaves a hard coat/shell. So, doing something else with the material that involves glue-up is pretty much out as an option. Planing redwood is a messy job and would require both sides to get to a clear surface for glue-up. Redwood is useful for outdoor surfaces. So, perhaps table tops? If the material can be re-purposed in its given dimensions for shelves, frames, casing work, trim, boxes, display case that may be the best and most cost effective use for the existing finish. Face glue-up is probably a non-starter, long grain to long grain OK. Just my thoughts. I have worked with repurposed redwood from decks and mad some tables last summer. Good luck and let us know what the material is used for.

View jbmaine's profile


165 posts in 628 days

#2 posted 06-15-2021 02:50 PM

Hadn’t thought about any finish on it. The sample he showed me was bare wood, no finish. I’ll ask him about the rest of it. Thanks, Jim

View controlfreak's profile


2487 posts in 760 days

#3 posted 06-15-2021 03:34 PM

My first thought is of 50 years of books putting a bow in the wood. That may not be easy to work around so you may want to get a look at them to see if that is the case.

View PBWilson1970's profile


214 posts in 552 days

#4 posted 06-15-2021 05:13 PM

If any are quartersawn and old, perhaps luthiers would be interested for acoustic guitar tops.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


873 posts in 938 days

#5 posted 06-18-2021 03:47 PM

The value of the wood given the limited quantity makes it hard to put effort into a sell. If a buck a BF, then you have $160. You can post it on CL or FBMP for $150 and see what happens.

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