clean up lots of Oak - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-25-2019, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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clean up lots of Oak

Ok, so some of you will call me names, I did a bad thing.


About 10 years ago, I inherited a mess of a house with no garage. I moved from my old house/shop to the new one and left about 300 bd/ft of Oak in a corner of the backyard under a tarp while we fixed up the new house and more importantly built a shop (24ft.X46ft), then I got a car to restore and worked on that. Ok, house is done, shop is done, car is done, lets make sawdust.


Issue is years ago the tarp rotted and the Oak boards have been sitting out in the weather, they are mostly all grey and weathered. The ones in the middle of the pile seem pretty good, they are between 8ft and 14ft long, varying widths. There is some 5/4 in there, I can plane those down and clean up the weathering. What do I do with the rest ? I really want to clean it up and use it, I know its been rained on so there may be moisture issues, there are some termite issues (very minor so far), I want to build shop cabinets so nothing too critical but will not want to paint them.



I am going to go through them this weekend, turn the badly twisted ones into kindling for my Pizza oven, sort the rest into what I hope is a good sized "save" pile. I am thinking scrub brush and water will clean some and bleaching with oxalic acid may clean them up enough to be used for shop furniture. Any one out ever done this dumb a thing and ruin a good pile of wood and try to save it ? Anything better than oxalic ? The other option I guess is to resaw or plane them down to 1/2 for something, but that seems like the wrong choice.

I just play with wood in order to make sawdust, I make the very best sawdust.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-25-2019, 07:53 PM
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Just because a board’s patina has greeted doesn’t mean it is Grey all the way through. I have a 2 1/4” thick red oak that is approximately 100 years old if not more. I made a couple of passes through my planar and it is absolutely gorgeous.

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post #3 of 6 Old 10-27-2019, 04:39 AM
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You said you have 'some 5/4" ', but what dimension is the rest? If it's 4/4", just run it through the planer a couple of light passes to even it out and who cares about the gray, if it's just shop pieces? As long as it's sound and functional.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-27-2019, 06:18 PM
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What ibboykin, the surface patina is exactly that, on the surface. Long as the wood isn't rotted underneath itll clean up and look brand new, for the most part. You may have some issues where cracks or voids leave some dirty spots on an otherwise flat and clean surface, but it's easy to work around those

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post #5 of 6 Old 10-27-2019, 07:16 PM
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Here is a picture of the greed edge of the wood. The second picture is the top surface after it was planed.
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File Type: jpg D7FC2173-6789-43E2-9B00-6BDFA6F1394D_1572214440715.jpg (417.5 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg 0585F942-C40C-4AED-B9C2-2CC46B2EFE28_1572214514156.jpg (418.6 KB, 36 views)

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post #6 of 6 Old 10-28-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well, just to close this out. I was worried about nothing, it was pretty easy and I was able to save 90% or more of the wood. Some was just too damaged from the weather or too warped to use. The grey/weathered part was not very deep in most boards just the few boards that had been on top, the ones below those was more surface gray and a very light pass with the planer cleaned them up just fine.
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I just play with wood in order to make sawdust, I make the very best sawdust.
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