Best way to mill old barn lumber - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-16-2013, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to mill old barn lumber

So I snagged a handful of old American Chestnut barn timbers and boards (yeah, the barn was around 100 years old, build like a bomb shelter) with the intent of making a bed frame out of them.
I think I can do it, but I need y'all's advice on how to do it best and safely. My tools and shop are severely lacking, and there's not much I can do about that at the moment, but I'm not averse to using hand tools. I have a cheap tabletop Craftsman universal drive table saw (I'm very aware that it's not very good, but it was $40), a battery circular saw, and some hand planes (and some other stuff too, but those are the most relevant).
I'm in the process of making some sawbenches to put the table saw on, but I don't have a workbench, or even a shop space. I'm limited to moving my tools out on the (covered) back deck/patio.

My thinking is to make a straight edge jig with some hardboard and 1x2 and some holddowns, and getting my first straight edge that way, but with the table only being 20-some inches, and no easy way to make an extension table, I'm wondering if that's just asking for trouble.

The lumber is 2 12'x2"x6" timbers I have to cut at 6' because of a nail, and the other boards are a variety of 1"x10" to 1"x14" planks. The longest I'll have to rip will be the 7' stretchers. They're about 1.25"x8".

The other issue is that there are bits of rot here and there. I'd like to keep as much of the width of the boards as I can, so I don't know if I can patch of stabilize those areas, and when I would to that in the milling/building process.
Sorry for all the long questions, but I think this could be some gorgeous wood when done right.

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post #2 of 12 Old 09-16-2013, 09:49 PM
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Probably not worth anything.
Send to me so I can properly dispose of it.
Very bad for you to handle. Lol

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post #3 of 12 Old 09-16-2013, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well, they do have the rest of the barn still... Feel like a road trip?

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post #4 of 12 Old 09-16-2013, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acercanto
Well, they do have the rest of the barn still... Feel like a road trip?

Acer
Why you giving it away?

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post #5 of 12 Old 09-16-2013, 10:14 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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recently got some bardwood myself

The 1" siding boards were very rough pine and kinda punky. The red paint looked great, but was very loose. I'm still considering what to do with them....

Beams are a whole 'nother issue. They are long, heavy and awkward to manage on a small table saw. A circular saw and guide will be a necessity. There is another idea which was actually executed here by a member. There was a need for a 3" deep 45 degree bevel acrooss a wide plank. The solution was to invert the direct drive table saw, use a straight edge guide and move the saw like a circular saw. This allows a 3" deep cut with the 10" blade used on the tablesaw.

To rip the beams into useable stock, you can also rent a large circular saw, 8" or 10" Milwaukee. A bandsaw would be ideal for ripping also.
Nails are your worst enemy and a metal detector would be a big asset.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-16-2013, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Nah, but if you want the rest of the barn, it's still available as far as I know.

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post #7 of 12 Old 09-16-2013, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acercanto
Nah, but if you want the rest of the barn, it's still available as far as I know.

Acer
Thanks but no time and $ to go.
To far for me though.
Hope to see some of your work from it.

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post #8 of 12 Old 09-16-2013, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas, woodnthings. Yeah, the old wood just has that look to it. I've always wanted to work with Chestnut, but never gotten the opportunity, so this'll be a real treat. I'm thinking of making a mallet with the cutoffs of the timber.
Yeesh, I can't even imagine trying to wrestle this thing upside down. I can get a decent circular saw at the pawn shops around here for $40 or so, I guess that'll be my next tool. I'll probably have to screw the saw guide to the timber, since they're only 6" wide. Good call on the edge guide, I hadn't thought of that.
I'm very confident I know exactly where the nails are, at least in the boards I've de-nailed already. I made sure to check that I had pulled the entire nail out each time, and the few that broke off, I marked on all sides of the board.

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-16-2013, 11:09 PM
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-17-2013, 01:04 PM
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I think that you could probably use your table saw, but you will definitely need some help. If you can bribe or blackmail someone to help you man-handle those beams you can get them sliced down in to more manageable chunks.

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post #11 of 12 Old 09-17-2013, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks MT, that's exactly what I'm thinking of making, and using it as a circular saw guide as well.

I think the biggest hurdle to using the TS is that I don't have a way of immobilizing it, and don't have a nice big outfeed table. Those are both factors of my "shop".
Best way to mill old barn lumber-p1130688.jpg
I'm working on the sawbenches you can see in the foreground, but I think I need to make a dedicated stand for the TS that I can bolt it to so it doesn't go rattling all over the place. I just realized, it doesn't have to be hugely heavy, I've got some crane hooks that weight close to 75 lbs each that I can just put on the stand to give it some mass. Ugh! So many projects! Heh, I guess I could have worse problems.

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post #12 of 12 Old 09-17-2013, 08:25 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Ok, now I see

Long boards are best managed by using a circular saw and straight edge, lacking a very long table saw infeed and outfeed support. Even if you have to "buy" one good long straight board and use it as a guide, you'll be better off.

OR you can shorten the boards to more manageable lengths. I rarely use a board longer than 7 ft.. A casing board or trim need only be 6'10" or so. Furniture is rarely 8 ft tall, possibly 8 ft long at most.

Your little table saw can be placed inside a 4 x 8 ft piece of plywood and made a workable situation with a longer fence.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-17-2013 at 08:30 PM.
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