Question about some old maple pieces

My father offered some old wood to me. I am not much of a woodworker, so I don't know if they are worth the bother or not.
They are 4"x4" beams of hard maple that were used to build an old piece of farm machinery. They are in lengths of 4' to 6', and have 3/4" through holes in various locations. There are a few pieces that have about a 4' clear length.
The wood has been sitting in dry conditions for the last 60+ years, and is harder than any wood I have ever worked with before. Just rubbing a cut surface produces a high gloss that looks like it has been waxed and polished.
So, my question is -- what should I do with them? Do they have enough resale value to make it worth my father's time? Or should I just make some really nice chopping blocks?
--
Murray Peterson
Email: snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca
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I also have some "old" hard maple. It came out of a knitting mill that my father-in-law owned. When he downsized, some of the oldest equipment was torn apart for scrap, it was built before the second world war. On the warper, which winds up hundreds of strands of yarn onto a large drum with wooden slats attached to cast iron wheels, I managed to get most of the wood. It had many shallow holes drilled in one side to fit pins to guide the yarn as it is wound on the drum. I cut this area off and use it for firewood. This wood was old hard maple, almost as hard as metal. I keep it around for special purposes. I also managed to get some old birch, and some structural sized pieces of absolutely clear basswood that are the old dimensions for dressed wood, 3 7/8 x 3 7/8 x mostly 4 feet. Again I keep it for special uses as needed.
Don't waste this good wood, to try to buy it will cost a bundle if you could locate any.

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EXT wrote:

You could make nice work bench top or anything that a real HARD wood is needed Maple is the best hard wood to the point where a friend or mine taps it with 1/4 20 bolts Maple is a wonderfull hardwood for so many reason It depend on how much you have to really give you a good anwesr
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

I'll take a trip out to the farm one of these days to get a closer look at the lumber pile. Until then, I can't answer.
--
Murray Peterson
Email: snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca
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My fatherin-law was a collector of many things, much useless junk. I guess thats true of many of us, me included. But when he passed away some years ago, we went through the piles of wood he had picked up in NYC over the years to save. In it was a purple heart 2x4, about 8-10 feet long, also a rosewood board, 1x10", also about 8 feet long. I've gradually gotten use from these finds.
He also had some beams, as you described. It turns out he had some rough sawn beech, roughly 4x4, again approximately 8 feet long. I kept these items, but it took me about 5 years to find a use for the beech. They made superb legs for the massive workbench I built.
John
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From the responses, it sounds like woodworking requires a certain amount of "hoarding". i.e. keep the stuff that "may be useful someday". Makes me wonder if woodworkers and farmers have a lot in common :-)
--
Murray Peterson
Email: snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca
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