Old Wood

Old Wood 2015-10-27T18:42:05+00:00
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  • #2027665

    Greg
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    I’m working on a project using some old weathered wood (requested by the client who is my dad).  There is lots of splitting going on even in the middle of the boards. There’s also a lot of cupping and twisting. I’m guessing my only option is to rip the board, surface and glue it back together to avoid making it a 1/2″ thick board.

    Any suggestions for surfacing the wood and keeping the board in tact?IMG_0710

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  • Mike in TN
    Participant
    Post count: 261

    Greg,

    Obviously you need a board flattener and a board strecher ( it is an old shop joke on newbies) . It looks like a very interesting situation and a lot on choices would be dependent upon the exact nature of the project. A small project such as a small box or a project that uses small parts such as an end table would be much less problematic that a project requiring large pieces such as a larger table top. If the project requires keeping the weathered surfaces  then maybe the splits, cupping and twisting can be incorporated into the design. I would tend to try and use the worst pieces for the smaller parts to minimize the overall amount of cup. twist. and bowing that must be dealt with.  Rough cut the pieces first. Most heavily weathered boards will have lots of minor cracking throughout the boards but it usually becomes more of a finishing issue than a structural one.  Boards normally have a lot of hidden cracks on the ends so I would avoid using the ends when possible. Cupping can be dealt with as you suggest and I have also seen kerfs cut on the concave sides partway through the board and battens used to pull the board flatter, maintaining the visible surface grain continuity. One of the great things about traditional woodworking is the it gives you more of an opportunity to use the unique features of individual boards. It would really help to know more about your project.

    Keep us posted I would love to see the finished project.

    Have fun.

  • Greg
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    I’m actually making a blanket chest (Glen Huey’s Pennsylvania Blanket Chest to be exact). There are some wide pieces in the chest so I was hoping to keep the boards wide and have the board wrap around to show that it’s a continuous board. I’ve cut and milled some pieces already and I might have 5/8″ thick material when it’s all said and done. Is that thick enough for a dovetailed joint on a medium sized chest?

    By the way, not much of this project is going to be done by hand. I started milling with a hand plane, but this is pecan wood and is not very easy to work with. Plus I don’t have a proper scrub plane so I have to take a lot of passes on this 1″+ thick wood. Not sure I have the skills to do the dovetails by hand either. I’ve attached a picture of a before and an after.

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  • Sides
    Participant
    Post count: 52

    Use It

    Instead of worrying about the splits and cracks, incorporate it into the design. It will look far better then a bunch of boards glued together. It will give it more character. If you go into an antique store and find an old six board chest, it will have some cracks. It looks like it is mostly by the knots anyways. I really like the look of the wood, the chest will be a beauty.

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