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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    Big hunk of wood...

    Was given this big hunk of wood, and not sure where to begin. I'd like to make a board out of it, and have limited tools, like files, sand paper and a palm sander. I've done boards before, but nothing this thick. That may play to my advantage I'm sure. Also, any ideas as to the wood?

    Its already well aged and dry as a bone. My boss found it in the warehouse when he bought the building 15 years ago, and the building was abandoned for at least 20 years before that, so it's old. When I ran some sand paper over one corner, there was no distinct smell. It weighs around 15 pounds, The black marks are just stains, and look only to be on the surface. But you can see from the crappy crappy pics the rough cut lines.

    TIA



    "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.. Beer!" -Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck

  2. #2
    You need to find someone with a planer and a sander. Which is similar to a planer. but uses paper abrasives rather then steel or carbide cutting blades. From there hand finishing with a hand belt sander or orbital disk sander set up to run paper abrasives. Should get ya what you looking for as far as finished.


    I cant tell from the pictures what wood species it is.,

    Take to local high school. they often have a wood shop and could be willing to help ya out? OR check for local wood workers. etc.

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  3. #3
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    sachem allison's Avatar
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    looks like redwood. Maybe piece of lumber used to make forms in construction. was it sitting in a basement or some other place it could have gotten damp. looks like some water staining.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  4. #4
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    A no4 smoothing plane properly set with a cambered blade would smooth and level it pretty quickly. Just keep the blade sharp and the cut shallow

  5. #5

    ecchef's Avatar
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    I'd be concerned about the toxicity of whatever caused those stains.
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  6. #6
    @ 15lbs it looks like mahogany, but seeing as you are in PA it could be cherry.

  7. #7
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    15lbs is pretty heavy for a piece that size.
    So we know it is a hard dense wood.
    The colors don't tell us anything. Old maple can oxidize to look orange like your photo.
    As for the staining, as long as it doesn't smell like chemicals or urine, you are probably safe.
    My preferred way to do things would be surfacing with a drum sander.
    I would check to see if anyone in your area has a drum sander (cabinet shops, schools).
    Start at 36 or 60 grit and get both sides flat and smooth.
    After that you can finish using a handheld belt sander, then a palm sander.
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  8. #8
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    What town are you in? It looks like the remainder of some 10/4 mahogany that we used to use in a level plant in the Alum Bank (Bedford) area of PA.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    I'm in Hanover, between York and Gettysburg.

    The stains have no smell, and last night I took some 80 grit to one of th stains, and it came right off.

    I'm going to contact a teacher freind and see if he can get me into the wood shop soon. They should have a drum sander. We'll see. I'm sure with a peice this thick an heavy, warping shouldn't be to much of a concern, correct?
    "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.. Beer!" -Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmadams13 View Post
    I'm in Hanover, between York and Gettysburg.

    The stains have no smell, and last night I took some 80 grit to one of th stains, and it came right off.

    I'm going to contact a teacher freind and see if he can get me into the wood shop soon. They should have a drum sander. We'll see. I'm sure with a peice this thick an heavy, warping shouldn't be to much of a concern, correct?
    TBM Hardwoods is in Hanover. They used to supply us with 10/4 mahogany for wood levels. Some of the boards were up to 36" wide- really pretty stuff.

    The rejected planed and molded level blanks were used as warehouse rack supports- a real shame. When true mahogany went from $8 to $11 per board foot, we switched to Spanish cedar.

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