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post #1 of 7 Old 12-27-2013, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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What to do with barn wood

A few years ago a barn collapsed near me and I got some of the larger timbers out of it. They were about 8 or 10 inch square, hand hewn (spelling?) and about 12 feet long. They do have some large splits down them from about 100 years of weathering. I had thought about using them in a table of some kind like a dining room table (not for the top but the legs) but am unsure if I could. They are not perfectly straight, they have some curve to them as expected. Should I have them planed down to remove the weathering? What are some projects that you all could think of for them? I have 6 or 7 I think.

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-27-2013, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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I dont have a pic of all of the pieces but the square one at the top is a representative piece of what I have.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-27-2013, 01:40 PM
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Looks pretty rugged...

Possibly fireplace mantels.

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OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-27-2013, 01:51 PM
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Can you have them resawn-some @ 4" X 4" for leg stock?
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-27-2013, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Can you have them resawn-some @ 4" X 4" for leg stock?
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That may be a possibility, I will have a portable sawmill coming in the near future to saw some walnut logs.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-27-2013, 02:53 PM
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If you can find a larger project where you can leave at least one weathered edge intact (as mdntrdr mentioned) that would best show off the age of the wood. How about some benches using a cut edge for the seat.

If there are too many cracks/splits to resaw into larger pieces, cut it into small pieces you can use for many different projects from frames, small boxes, planter boxes.

Do you know the wood species on your beams?

I've been using a lot of white oak from our old barn for projects. I plane off the greyed weather outer edge, but still get a lot of color variation/staining from tannins a inch or more into the wood. Best of both worlds - I still get a weathered look, but have smooth straight edges to build things with. There is obviously a lot of waste in getting usable boards, but it was free to start with so it really doesn't matter.

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post #7 of 7 Old 12-27-2013, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by trc65 View Post
If you can find a larger project where you can leave at least one weathered edge intact (as mdntrdr mentioned) that would best show off the age of the wood. How about some benches using a cut edge for the seat.

If there are too many cracks/splits to resaw into larger pieces, cut it into small pieces you can use for many different projects from frames, small boxes, planter boxes.

Do you know the wood species on your beams?

I've been using a lot of white oak from our old barn for projects. I plane off the greyed weather outer edge, but still get a lot of color variation/staining from tannins a inch or more into the wood. Best of both worlds - I still get a weathered look, but have smooth straight edges to build things with. There is obviously a lot of waste in getting usable boards, but it was free to start with so it really doesn't matter.
I am not sure of the species, it has been too long since I picked them out and I forgot. I know that barns in the area of this time period were usually oak and chestnut. I am leaning towards oak. I know the barn did have chestnut but I believe that they were smaller 1 inch strips that were severely broken and damaged when the roof collapsed. They were also full of nails. I like the bench idea, and the wife really likes the idea. She has wanted a bench for the table for a long time.
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