I usually watch for (and stores included) if it is outside stored wood,
don't use it inside. If it is inside stored wood then don't use it outside.
One of my uncles retired, as an old farmer, and finally got around to using
up some old wood in his drivin' shed, possibly over a hundred years old. He
was always a good work worker and produced some very nice projects, not
having much toime, being a busy farmer.
He was ripping an old piece of ash (can't remember exactlly how big but a
large old barn beam) he wanted to use in a project. When he got half way
down the length, the piece exploded end to end and he thought he was dead.
When he pulled himeslf to gether again, it seems one piece has a twist in it
almost 360 degrees from end to end and had been wating for all those years
to "let loose" from the rest of the beam.
All those years of drying didn't settle this piece of wood down.
I want to get some 4 x 12 beams for a pergola. I have four, IIRC, down in
Vegas, about 12 to 16 feet long, square on the ends. They are about ten to
twenty years old, and straight as day one.
Are they pine? Fir? What was used for external wood back then? If I was
to go buy some stuff today, what would I ask for? Really, I think I'll put
an ad on Craigslist for old wood, and just use stuff that is old that has
kept straight. Guides for identifying wood would be helpful.
It seems that this old wood is fairly dense (heavy). Just going to band saw
it on the ends, or carve it. I live in a dry climate with little rain, and
reasonably cold in the winter.
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