Need a large block of wood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-16-2017, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Need a large block of wood

Hi, first post here :)


I need a large block of wood, maybe mahogany, cherry, walnut, or some other dark hardwood. The dimensions I need are 9x9x11 in. Before I start looking around does this even exist? Or will it be impossible for me to find a hardwood in that size?


Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 25 Old 12-16-2017, 11:32 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Riff!

Mahogany isn't very dark but it's usually stained dark. Same with Cherry. Walnut is a different story - it's dark. Is there a sawmill close to you? The sawmill I use will cut about any size I want so one might that's close to you. When you get a minute complete your profile info with location and first name so we can better help you.

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post #3 of 25 Old 12-16-2017, 11:45 PM
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A block of wood of those dimensions is going to be a bit of a chore to find, and even if you did its very, very likely to have some cracks in it. Large blocks dont dry particularly well after all. Is there a reason it has to be a solid block? Something that size id much rather glue up

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post #4 of 25 Old 12-17-2017, 08:10 AM
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Does it have to be one solid block? I would just glue several pieces together to get that size. You can get 4x4x12 from walllumber.com and glue 3 together.

George
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post #5 of 25 Old 12-17-2017, 10:20 PM
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What exactly are you making? That might help us with our suggestions.
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post #6 of 25 Old 12-17-2017, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all! :)


Regarding the sawmill, there is one close by, but they are closed for the season (I live in the NE)


No, it doesn't HAVE to be one block; I really COULD make something, but I really WANT it to be one block.


I have (which reminds me, I really need two ... lol) speaker stands which hold my bookshelf speakers, which need to be about 9" higher. Raising the stands themselves is not an option. So I need to put the speakers on something, and for aesthetics, I am wanting a block of wood.


Thanks!


-Jeff

Last edited by riffwraith; 12-17-2017 at 10:57 PM.
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post #7 of 25 Old 12-18-2017, 06:20 AM
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If you do a decent job of glue up and careful wood selection aesthetics should be no problem. You should visually not be able to tell the difference.

For what you want there are many ways of achieving the look without the solid block. This is assuming you plan to stain and not paint. If you paint it is even easier.

George
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post #8 of 25 Old 12-18-2017, 09:04 AM
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You could cut four pieces of 3/4x9x11 and put a 45 degree miter on both sides and glue it together. Once sanded and finished you wouldn't be able to tell it wasn't a solid piece of wood and would be a lot lighter.
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post #9 of 25 Old 12-18-2017, 02:47 PM
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Maybe you can find something at a reclaimed lumber vendor, here's some in Connecticut:
https://www.google.com/search?q=recl...firefox-b-1-ab

They could probably cut it for you and it's Eco-groovy!
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post #10 of 25 Old 12-18-2017, 03:09 PM
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Big blocks are commonplace in wood carving.
They are either so subtle that you can't see the glue lines
or they are quite obviously glued up and that fits into the carved design (if you're really good).

Big blocks are really hard to dry. I predict that they will crack all to hello, right before your very eyes.
That's a very costly failure.

Plan A: put the word out = nobody knows what you need.
You're looking for barn demolitions and the big beam framing timbers.

Plan B: Buy a bunch of 4/4 or 6/4 wood, G4S and ponder how to match them for a monster glue-up, 2 pieces at a time.
= = =

Google UBC/MOA (University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology)
You are looking for Bill Reid's "Raven and the First Men" a part of the Haida belief about Creation.
They took the roof off the rotunda and dropped the carving inside.
It's no more than 6' tall by maybe 6' across. Extraordinary work.
> It is a glue up of 145 pieces of Yellow Cedar and I could not find a single seam. No kidding.
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post #11 of 25 Old 12-18-2017, 06:51 PM
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Bull crap. I hate seeing a product made from glued blocks. Large chunks are available perhaps not kiln dried, but finding a chunk that has air dried somewhere for ten + years will be almost a needle in a hay stack proposition. Such things are found in old corn cribs and barns at farm sales. I have a 12 x 12 stall in my barn with chunks of walnut, cherry, maple, sassafras and poplar drying. stacked on pallets to keep them off the ground, some have been in there two and a half years now. A buddy's uncle found a linden log stored in an out building when he bought a place in the country. I still can't get the uncle to give me a price on it. It has been there for about 20 years, probably longer. There are ways to accelerate drying using alcohol, glycol and other things.

The thought occurred to me that Paulownia does not check. It will take a large tree and it will not be dark wood, but such chunks would easily be available if you can find a mill with a moderate sized trees. I have one or two at the end of my property, but the largest is only about 14 inches in diameter and not ready for cutting for at least another 5 to 10 years. I asked my local miller about the wood and he replied that he rarely ever gets any, (perhaps every 4 or 5 years.) he has to be careful because the logs are frequently stolen. He only recalls one linden tree in his career because they were all cut down here about 25 to 30 years ago.
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post #12 of 25 Old 12-18-2017, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
You could cut...
No, actually I can't cut. I have nothing with a blade :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by P89DC View Post
Maybe you can find something at a reclaimed lumber vendor, here's some in Connecticut:
https://www.google.com/search?q=recl...firefox-b-1-ab
They could probably cut it for you and it's Eco-groovy!
Thanks for that, and I am into eco-groovy! Will give them a shout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by holtzdreher View Post
I have a 12 x 12 stall in my barn with chunks of walnut, cherry, maple, sassafras and poplar drying.
Cool - wanna sell me something? :)

So, if I go the glued route, just sand the sides to sort of "blend" them together?
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post #13 of 25 Old 12-18-2017, 10:15 PM
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If you don't have the equipment you might run an ad or craigslist for someone to make or provide a block to your specifications. Another option is some of these places like woodcraft have woodworking classes. Maybe someone there could make the block for you.
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post #14 of 25 Old 12-19-2017, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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So, one of the places I found via P89DC's post has a piece of Mahogany and live edge Maple. Cost will be $500 which seems rather steep. Is it?


Thanks for the CL recommendation, SN.


BTW - what is "live edge" maple? Is that the opposite of dead middle? lol
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post #15 of 25 Old 12-19-2017, 04:20 PM
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"Live edge" means that the natural edge of the wood is visible.
Usually, the bark is taken off before it falls off.
Imagine a "live edge" slab table = all wiggly around the edge of the real log.

Any sort of tree removal service? New housing subdivision development?
Anything might do with a dark stain. Do you really care if it cracks? That's natural.

Local western red cedar smells nice, dark brown colors. shake blocks are 24" tall x 12" wide x 8" thick (mostly).
20 minutes to the mill and take your pick for $5 each. Fresh, they are about 35 - 40 lbs.
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post #16 of 25 Old 12-19-2017, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
"Live edge" means that the natural edge of the wood is visible.
Usually, the bark is taken off before it falls off.
Imagine a "live edge" slab table = all wiggly around the edge of the real log.

Any sort of tree removal service? New housing subdivision development?
Anything might do with a dark stain. Do you really care if it cracks? That's natural.

Local western red cedar smells nice, dark brown colors. shake blocks are 24" tall x 12" wide x 8" thick (mostly).
20 minutes to the mill and take your pick for $5 each. Fresh, they are about 35 - 40 lbs.
He said he cannot cut, he has nothing with a blade. He had to have someone make it for him.

George
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post #17 of 25 Old 12-19-2017, 06:25 PM
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He asked what "live edge" meant. No saw needed, literally!

I use shake blocks inside my front door to set things on.
They are precut and pre-shaped to fit into a corner. No saw needed.
Nice and heavy = hard to tip over.

And, 24" is a nice length for wood carvings, even after splitting with a mallet and froe.
I have a Stanley saw. Works really well to cut up soapstone for carving.
Both the gas and electric chainsaws are a bit much in the kitchen.
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post #18 of 25 Old 12-20-2017, 11:46 AM
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Just so you know, the Millennial Generation has discovered the sonic joy that larger speakers deliver. They're not running 15" Cerwin Vegas off of 500W amps yet. Think self-powered 6"~8" mid/woofer with a separate tweeter above it. They want speaker stands to get the tweeter closer to ear level. And they love eco-groovy, natural wood grain. Reclaimed lumber is even cooler as it can be labeled "sustainable".

I know this from my 23 year old off-spring. I relay these facts with any judgement because there's a business opportunity for some members here.
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post #19 of 25 Old 12-20-2017, 11:59 AM
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Just out of curiosity what's so special about these speakers that would require solid wooden blocks as opposed to laminated blocks or even a hollowed out contraption? I've had some nice speakers over the years, but they never really expressed an opinion either way.
Want and need don't always meet at the same intersection every time.
Something else to consider, by the time you've bought and paid for these blocks you could probably buy some sort of saw which could potentially lend itself to some future projects. Life is just too short to go through it completely sawless.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?

Last edited by allpurpose; 12-20-2017 at 12:06 PM.
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post #20 of 25 Old 12-20-2017, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riffwraith View Post
So, one of the places I found via P89DC's post has a piece of Mahogany and live edge Maple. Cost will be $500 which seems rather steep. Is it?


Thanks for the CL recommendation, SN.


BTW - what is "live edge" maple? Is that the opposite of dead middle? lol
I would give you a price of walnut in those dimensions if you're willing to travel to the thousand islands. It would be green of course but just got done milling 150 bf of walnut and have several logs I was going to make live edge slabs from. I could cut a piece from a chunk of log but that's a ways to travel for one piece of wood.
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