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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since getting back on WWT I have been going through the project showcase section to see what I missed while I was away.

I see lots of projects with oak, maple, walnut, and various exotics, but so far I haven't seen very many projects from old reclaimed pine.

I was just wondering why? Is it because it's hard to come by or expensive or is there another reason??

I got a hold of some recently while doing some work to an old building. We had to remove a 12" x 3" x 30' ... yes thirty foot ceiling joist that was probably 100 years old or better. We cut it into 4 sections and I took it home, pulled the nails out, ripped the rotten edges off, jointed and planed it and now I have some gorgeous wood that I'm almost scared to use until I come up with a project that's "worthy" of being made of this stuff :laughing:

Here's what I was able to get out of that ceiling joist, plus a couple of smaller boards that were nailed to it.
Wood Hardwood Plywood Lumber Wood flooring
 

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If it is real, old heart pine it is not used in modern woodworking because it would ruin the blades of any precision machinery. It is just too hard. When the old buildings were built with the pine it was still fresh and not hard like it is now..

What you have is probably not what the old timers called "heart pine." Real heart pine is the best firewood kindling you can find. You can easily light it with a match and two or 3 pieces will easily get a stack of coal going. My father and I used to go out to our country place and find old stumps to cut up for the "lighter wood."

George
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I believe what I have is real.. it is indeed very hard though not quite as hard as oak. It's also very heavy and you can tell from the smell when you cut into it that it is "lighter" wood.

I remember watching several episodes of The New Yankee Workshop where Norm would build projects out of this stuff... I was under the impression that it was highly sought after by woodworkers?
 

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Looks like old growth pine to me for sure. I see it used in "rustic" furniture in my area. I am currently building a farm table out of some. It's not hard to come by in my area, lots of old barns and buildings to reclaim from I guess. The wood I have is leftover from a decretive interior Beam that went in a new construction home near me. We see lots of pine floors in my area right now as well. I have seen the dried pitch completely destroy hss blades on planers and jointers, I have not had that happen with any of my carbide blades.
 

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I, too, remember some of the NYW episodes were Norm used heart pine. I've always wanted some just to try myself.....that's a nice haul you got there. Enjoy!
 

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Why does it look like old growth?
I'll take a stab at this. Grain structure looks really tight to me and would also lead me to believe that it is old growth pine. New growth or young trees like the ones grown in farms have loose growth rings b/c there grown so fast in order to harvest in a reasonable amount if time. Old growth timber has growth rings that are really tight due to the age and the slow growth over hundreds of years also Old growth timber is less likely to move compared to newer timber due to the tight grain structure being more stable.
 

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Why does it look like old growth?

the other guy is right. "old growth" is the term for how quick the tree grew. The tightly spaced rings mean that it took a long time to grow that amount. Each dark ring is the tree waking up in the early spring, and then the rest is the growing season after until the winter. If the conditions for the tree made it grow very quickly, those rings would be spread out.

Old growth may be more dense, but the way it breaks under pressure is very different from new growth.

I believe "old hickory" is what is NOT used for handles because the tight grain makes it crack off easier and "new growth hickory" is stronger and breaks in bigger pieces. The ratio of early growth to growing season is the reason for this behavior.
 

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looks like the Southern Yellow Pine, I reclaimed and used for a bathroom vanity.
That's probably because usually "heart pine" IS Southern yellow pine :smile:

Also, what's been called "lighter" wood in this thread is more commonly referred to as "fat wood".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Phinds, it's interesting that you called it "fat wood". I've heard a bunch of people around here call it "fat lighter"... I wonder where the "fat" came from?

I actually have a little bit more than is shown in the picture from previous jobs.. most of it is still sitting, waiting to be planed.

I did glue up some smaller pieces I had laying around today and plan to make a box out of them... I will post pictures when I'm done :D
 

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nbo10 said:
Why does it look like old growth?
Waterboy nailed it. Thanks.

I also attribute the color to old growth, but that may not be accurate. The only pine I have ever sawn that has been that color has been from old reclaimed beams. So I have made that assumption.
 

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Phinds, it's interesting that you called it "fat wood". I've heard a bunch of people around here call it "fat lighter"... I wonder where the "fat" came from?
It's called "fat wood" because the long-burning properties (which are due to massive saturation with pine resin) are similar to those of animal tallow (fat).
 

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Since getting back on WWT I have been going through the project showcase section to see what I missed while I was away.

I see lots of projects with oak, maple, walnut, and various exotics, but so far I haven't seen very many projects from old reclaimed pine.

I was just wondering why? Is it because it's hard to come by or expensive or is there another reason??

I got a hold of some recently while doing some work to an old building. We had to remove a 12" x 3" x 30' ... yes thirty foot ceiling joist that was probably 100 years old or better. We cut it into 4 sections and I took it home, pulled the nails out, ripped the rotten edges off, jointed and planed it and now I have some gorgeous wood that I'm almost scared to use until I come up with a project that's "worthy" of being made of this stuff :laughing:

Here's what I was able to get out of that ceiling joist, plus a couple of smaller boards that were nailed to it.
View attachment 80097
@Chris86, you nailed it. That's close to old growth Southern Yellow Pine - probably Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris). It's extremely popular due to hardness, dimensional stability, and strength. The boards in your picture are straddling the border between slow-growth and new growth, as the images you posted have growth rings of only moderate density.

It is generally expensive, which is one reason you may not see it used as often as other woods. It is also tougher on certain tools, as old-growth Heart Pine is extremely hard, dense, and resinous.

Heart Pine is a term that describes the heartwood of old growth Southern Yellow Pine trees - again, generally Pinus palustris. The growth rings in this wood should be eight to the inch or greater.

You often find dealers and companies passing off newer and faster-growth Southern Yellow Pine as 'Heart Pine' - you can tell the difference by the density of the growth rings.

We may be the only mill in the world that grades Heart Pine as strictly as we do. Our website has images of Heart Pine that has been milled quartersawn, flatsawn, clear, knotty, etc.

http://www.longleaflumber.com/reclaimed-heart-pine/
 

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Depends upon where you live what it is most commonly called. I too have heard it referred to as "fat" but that is not common.

George
George, I either missed this when you first posted it or for some reason I didn't respond, but in any case, thanks for that information. I was not aware of that.

Paul
 

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When we were doing restoration work years back we used a lot of the old slow growth heart pine, most we bought was from Louisiana as were some of the mantels and doors. My flooring guys hated the heart pine because it was so hard on their sanders and sand paper. They had to be very careful to check for exposed nails as it would catch the sanders on fire. Most of the floors were hand scraped after sanding. We installed the flooring the flooring guys did the finishing, beautiful wood.
 

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I work with it almost every day. See my Windows page for 18th Century exact reproduction window sash we built out of it, and woodwork page for how we replaced rotten parts in an 1828 house with matching Heart Pine like the originals.

It's pretty brittle, and every crosscut needs to be backed up, or a big chunk will most likely break off. Once milled though, there is nothing at all wrong with it, and it should last for hundreds of more years.

These days, it goes for 25 to 35 bucks a bf for the best grades. To build 43 window sash took 3300 dollars worth of wood. The shot of the wood in the back of my truck was the total purchase.

Old growth means the trees were standing as virgin timber when this country was first started.

It's very stable, since it's had a couple of hundred years of air drying to relieve any stresses.

Long Leaf Lumber, I've been looking for some Live Oak. I'll be contacting you. If you know of anyone who needs any reproduction windows, we can do it. I started making them because anyone we contacted didn't want to use Heart Pine, or even told us it couldn't be done for sash.
 

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If it is real, old heart pine it is not used in modern woodworking because it would ruin the blades of any precision machinery. It is just too hard. When the old buildings were built with the pine it was still fresh and not hard like it is now..

What you have is probably not what the old timers called "heart pine." Real heart pine is the best firewood kindling you can find. You can easily light it with a match and two or 3 pieces will easily get a stack of coal going. My father and I used to go out to our country place and find old stumps to cut up for the "lighter wood."

George
i belive they called them lighter knots



knots
 
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