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SawDust Maker
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by Greg Cater
After 88 seasons of exciting football, Cal Memorial Stadium in Berkeley underwent a long overdue renovation in 2010.

Port Orford and Alaska yellow cedar, initially milled for the stadium in the 1920’s was salvaged. This cedar probably would have been sent to a landfill not that many years ago. A few lucky Bay Area companies purchased the cedar, most of which was 5-3/8” x 2-3/8” in varying lengths. The salvage companies sold a small portion of the reclaimed wood to local woodworkers and hobbyists. I stumbled on the wood on Craig’s list and immediately was hooked on the story behind the wood.
The wood all had faded Cal Bear school colors, blue and gold still on it. Some of the boards had seat numbers and some were not numbered. It appeared the numbers had been applied to the seats in several different manners over the years. The later numbers were machine carved or stamped into the wood, but many of the boards still bore hand carved seat numbers.

I knew that this variety of cedar is very strong and dimensionally stable. Having borne the elements for the 88 years, I was certain that it would be the ideal choice for my first entry door project. Although I’ve never made an entry door, in a former life I was a regional sales manager for a door and molding company and had always dreamed of making my own door.
For the purposes of my front door and sidelight project I chose to resaw the wood down and remove all of the paint. After resawing the face of the painted board, I ended up with a piece that was approximately 3/8 of an inch thick, which I will save for future projects. Most of the wood I purchased only had paint on three sides. I then passed the wood through my drum sander until I had the desired finished dimensions. I assembled the door and sidelights with traditional mortise tenon joinery.
I also made 1-1/8’ floating raised panels.
In this photo you can see where I joined seat numbers #1 and #16 to come up with my house number. These boards have the original hand carved seat numbers.

Post your own Reclaimed Wood Project at:

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