Barn Wood and Machinery

I've got access to an entire barn's worth of barnwood including beams. Provided they are cleaned and scanned with a metal detector, are they any "harder" on the machinery than kiln dried hardwood?
The presence of dirt, grit and nails could certainly be most damaging, but I would think it to be common sense to clean them off prior to milling.
Boy are there some nice beams in there. And miles of pine.
JP
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Nahm uses the stuff all of the time. Probably three or four projects per year. Always the metal detector, and through the sander to clean up the grit, before it goes to the jointer or planer blades.
I imagine that a hand held belt sander, as opposed to a stationary wide belt sander, would be sufficient.
To me, this is the best type of recycling! And pretty much the only way to get chestnut...
You lucky fellow, you!
Patriarch
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Jay Pique wrote:

The only problem with barn wood is trying to justify to your wife that now you need a stationary planer. Depending on the age of the barn, the wood will probably be fairly uneven so it takes a lot of planing to get all that wood down to a usable thickness and it takes a LOT of time on a 12" portable.
A word of advice - thickness everything first. Then joint one side, then thickness the other side to get your final board. The accumulated grit and gunk is a little harder on blades so there's no use in trashing both the jointer and the planer.
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Two words - drum sander.

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I did that.
I used a wire brush and metal detector. I did *not* belt-sand.
I would say that it was harder on the jointer and planer blades. I would just plan on a resharpening after getting the top layer off.
The beams that I used (true 4x6) were very sandy from laying around the construction site of my addition for a long time.
There was *alot* of waste. I assume that the beams were installed green about a century ago and there was plenty of checking. But for the project for which it was used I *wanted* to have those flaws to show off the fact that it was recycled lumber. I'll post a few pics to abpw.

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Jay Pique wrote:

Reminds me of when I was a designer for a cabinet shop in the 80's. A fellow bought a barn in Oklahoma, I think, and brought the boards in in a horse trailer to get a set of cabinets made. We had to mill every one of the 8-10" wide x 10-16' long WALNUT planks.
I think he said he bought the entire barn for $3000, what a shrewed gentleman...
The set of Euopean frameless cabinets with Walnut raised panel doors/drawer fronts cost $50,000. Imagine what they would have cost if he didn't have his own wood!!!
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Who cares - you're going to do these on your "old wood" set of planer knives, where you don't mind the odd chip. Don't worry if you don't have such a set, the first few boards will make them for you.
Use a metal detector to remove nails and anything that might fly out at you, but sand and grit aren't magnetic anyway.
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On 14 Jul 2004 10:34:24 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@codesmiths.com (Andy Dingley) wrote:

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.
What I'll probably do is powerspray the stuff first and then beltsand it once it's dry. Then I'll be doing a bit of resawing I believe.
JP
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Snip

That was going to be my suggestion. Hit 'em with the old pressure washer. You can easily remove sand, grit and wood (if you're not careful) from your beams with it.
Good luck.
-Phil Crow
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