Reclaimed wood dining table questions

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You might try 3-4 coats of dark brown paste wax as a finish.... yes it would need to be refreshed over time but it would likely give that non-uniform look. A wax finish was common on relatively rustic furniture in past centuries... (i.e., not fine furniture).
If you skip the bread board ends you could resaw the 4th board and use it to veneer glued up pine to create the legs and stretchers. By tennoning the long stretcher and putting it into a mortise, instead of having it lap over the short stretchers, you would hide all the ends. By doing this all the wood in the table would match, it would take the finish the same, and it would save you from having to match "new" wood to "old" wood.
John
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One way to tell is weight. SYP is a heavier than either cypress or Douglas Fir. Also, as Sonny mentioned, sand a bit of it and see if you get the "pine smell." The fir will not smell and the cypress has a much more subtle odor.
Deb
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On Sunday, July 5, 2015 at 12:23:07 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@jimryan.com wrote:

estown Armory in Boston) that I want to make into a dining table like this:

3QwZnR4aFE&usp=sharing

k like Douglas Fir, so it is a bit reddish in tone. The wood is ~14" wide, 2" thick, and ~7 foot long I have 4 of them. The table is planned to be 3 ' x 7'. I plan to to plane each of the boards on both sides so the surface is flat. But the person I am making it for wants that look like in the pic ture above. So I'm not really sure how to treat it when I'm done putting i t together. I also am now sure what to do with the legs, aprons and other pieces below. I'm not sure if I need to search for more reclaimed lumber o r just find some more Douglas Fir at a lumber yard and treat it somehow to make it look old.

Ok, I posted the pics of the end grain. This is really proving to be very educational for me so thanks. I don't think they are Oak, that's one of t he woods I recognize pretty reliably, and this doesn't look like it. Oh, I also had a go with some dark brown Briwax and was very happy with it. So the colors on it are stain, Was over shellac, wax alone.
Jim
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On 07/06/2015 3:38 PM, snipped-for-privacy@jimryan.com wrote: ...

Ay-up, that there's SYP fer shure...
I was certain after a second look it wasn't oak too altho the overall two-hues of the one piece are consistent with the heartwood/sapwood one often sees. But, as noted earlier as soon as looked at a closer look the porosity isn't there and you can clearly also see with the end grain wrong cell structure.
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Glad the dark brown wax is appealing...
When I looked at the original pictures I was thinking it was chestnut... the latest pictures haven't changed that impression. If I could see it in person and smell it I may have a different impression!
John
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On Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:58:22 PM UTC-4, John Grossbohlin wrote:

Yeah, I tried attaching a scent to the picture, but it wouldn't stick...
Now I have to figure out the finish. I like the wax, but it alone won't be a durable enough finish. The stain I put on was a MinWax poly stain, I don't really like the color, but if I got the right one it might be good. Any thoughts?
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On Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:58:22 PM UTC-4, John Grossbohlin wrote:

I've got a couple hybrid American/Japanese chestnut trees in my yard. The catkins are falling now and the burrs will start forming soon. They make a mess and the squirrels love them... I've milled some small boards from storm damaged branches over the years with which I've made some keepsake boxes. The wood has a color and smell that is different from the various oaks and pines I've encountered over the years.
For a rustic piece the wax alone would probably be fine and it would build more character over time... though it does need reapplication based on wear. My former associate Wallace Gusler is a fan of wax and microcrystalline wax is a favorite of preservationists of not only furniture but of things like guns. http://www.shellac.net/wax_art.html
An alternative could be a stain of appropriate color that is wiped off to show the variance in the hardness of the grain and then a separate finish like polyurethane applied over it. I don't think you could get the color affect correct using a combination stain/finish while also getting a film build up.
John
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On Mon, 6 Jul 2015 21:59:16 -0400, "John Grossbohlin"

I didn't see the pictures but from the description (and the source) I also wondered if it might not be "American Chestnut". It's pretty well extinct now but was once one of the most common construction woods in the eastern USA
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On 07/06/2015 8:59 PM, John Grossbohlin wrote: ...

...
I see none of the characteristic open porosity of chestnut...
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On 07/07/2015 7:14 AM, dpb wrote:

Intended to add/ask--I've seen none of the new hybrids milled into lumber but I'd presume they also are open-pored? (Wouldn't seem to qualify as the chestnut part of the equation otherswise :) ).
Are the hybrids also partial to becoming wormy or has the hybridization disturbed that trend, too?
There was quite a lot of chestnut reclaimed from fallen logs in VA during the time we were in Lynchburg (late '60s/thru most '70s) so saw quite a lot of the American chestnut that way. There was one sizable specimen that survived the blight that VA Tech (VPI) foresters were protecting with their lives that got to take a field trip to visit. They went so far as to use the spy-novel expediency of using blindfolds part of the way so visitors couldn't inadvertently or on purpose reveal the location they were so serious of protecting it... :)
I don't know what became of that effort, I ought to see if can track down any of those folks any longer but it's been since in the mid '80s that last knew anything of them.
There's one American elm in splendid isolation here on the farm in far SW KS where there were so few and we were far enough from town that the Dutch elm disease didn't get it. AFAIK there are none surviving in town. It's a tough place for most trees out here, and this has only reached 30-40 ft in 70 or 80 years but it's a gorgeously-shaped specimen. Unfortunately, the American elm isn't self-fertile so while it puts out a zillion seeds every spring, none ever get pollinated to make new ones... :( All we get are a zillion of the Siberian elms every year, a very poor cousin indeed. :(
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On 07/07/2015 8:07 AM, dpb wrote: ...

...
Well, a search as I suspected uncovered none of the fella's I knew nearly 40 year ago but there's still a program at VPI towards the chestnut as well as the hemlocks (that are falling prey to the woolly adelgid in alarming numbers all thru the Smokys).
No articles I could find mentioned the remaining pure American chestnuts other than as seed and genetic source for current research; nothing about any sizable regrowth ones. It's amazing but even after a hundred years or so since the massacre there are still roots that do spring up shoots for a while until the blight finds them...the one that seemed to have at least sufficient natural resistance to keep it going was about 25 year estimated back then; it would be beginning-to-get-towards-majestic specimen by now if it did survive...
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On Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 12:36:12 PM UTC-5, dpb wrote:




Did you mean: 1) No article(s) about the VA Tech protected chestnut you me ntioned, .... or 2) No articles about any true Am. Chestnut (non-hybrid) st ill surviving?
Though not an article, Wikipedia has a list of "true" survivors. Not sure how old this listing is or if it's still accurate. The individual sites ( highlighted) might have articles for their specimens. https://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/American_chestnut
Being naturalist minded, I wouldn't mind trying to grow some trees, despite their not being readily native to this area. They may not be so readily native, here, because other more dominate southern species of trees "preven ts" them from good/moderate growth, if at all, here. Maybe under protecte d growing conditions, they could grow well enough, here.
I see one nursery won't ship seedlings/saplings to Louisiana, but Louisiana only quarantines the Chinese chestnut.... The seeds aren't quarantined, wh ich I find odd. I'd like to get some non-hybridized Am. Chestnut seeds. Some venues/foundations require I be a member, to get seeds or seedlings.
Any idea how I could get some seeds for the native American Chestnut?
With some of the online outlets/nurseries (descriptions), I'm not sure if I 'd get seeds of the non-hybridized variety. I'd prefer to order/purchase from a reliable source.
Sonny
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On 07/07/2015 6:00 PM, Sonny wrote: ...

Yes; I thought that was clear in context of the (albeit one-sided :) ) conversation...
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On 07/07/2015 6:00 PM, Sonny wrote: ...

...
I'd probably contact VPI or one of the other researchers and see altho it may be a nationwide (or nearly so if not on a state-by-state basis) constraint against shipping the native cultivars in order to minimize blight risk. I've not looked into what there is or is not available to general public.
It's hard to get anything of quality to grow out here; all the eastern/southern trees were adapted to the alkaline pine-forest soils so even the maples and oaks that we transplanted a number of times haven't made it for any length of time when combined with the temperature extremes, low moisture and wind--it's just too tough an environment. Folks have at least some more success in town where things are protected particularly from the direct wind by all the structures as compared to out on the farmstead...
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"Sonny" wrote in message

Check American Chestnut Foundation
http://www.acf.org/
After a local arborist thought my trees were American Chestnut I checked with them to confirm. Upon inspection of sample materials from my trees they determined they were hybrid American/Japanese.
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We have Chestnut on the property, not American variety but Chinese. It does not grow as large as an American would, but the deer and squirrels love the nuts.
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"dpb" wrote in message
On 07/06/2015 8:59 PM, John Grossbohlin wrote: ...

...

I don't think the end cut was terribly revealing of the grain structure... this as it is not very clean. There seemed to be hints of open cell structure in some areas and other areas seemed "smeared" by the blade. It either needed to be cut with say a WWII, planed with a hand plane, or shaved with a sharp chisel to give a better idea of the structure. As I mentioned previously, seeing and smelling the wood in person might change my impressions but it still strikes me as chestnut based on what I've seen of it.
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On 07/08/2015 12:25 PM, John Grossbohlin wrote:

While not pristine, looks clear enough to me there are no ring porous rings but simply the growth rings. Chestnut (like oak, doesn't have that color difference but the late wood rings are separated by the earlywood porous rings, even more pronounced generally than the oaks. The characteristic difference between it and the oaks is that the medullary rays aren't visible with naked eye as are in oak.
<http://web.utk.edu/~mtaylo29/pages/Identifying%20Chestnut.htm
The end grain of OP's isn't going to look anything whatever like this irregardless of how much he polishes it up.
I also go back to the age and purpose and government building and think even by then chestnut wouldn't have been on the low bidder list.
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