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'
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
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?
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
You could make nice work bench top or anything that a real HARD wood is
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
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
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 :-)
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