Scrap wood?


Currently rehabing a house (about 70 yrs old), and I just tore out the cellar steps. The boards are oak and 2x8 (actual size) and about 40" long. They are rough sawn. Over the years I have thrown many boards such as these away, but since I am now starting to get into woodworking I am wondering if these boards are worth saving?
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Locutus wrote:

You throw away clear (in stairs that old they were almost always clear) oak 2x8s? Why?
The stuff is dry, stable and you'll still have plenty of size after you clean it up. There are also usually few nails, and in known locations, with stair treads - you won't be risking your blades and bits.
R
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In the past I have thrown boards such as these away because they are hard to work with (akward size (true 2x's), hard to cut, hard to get a nail/screw through)....

Yes they are clear, just two nails at each end. However, I do not have access to a planer or jointer, though I do plan on buying these tools at some point, just not sure when. So in the meantime I would just have to store them. I was also worried about them the being hard on blades since they are so old?
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That's not a major concern, IMO. Lots of folks work with wood that is tough on blades. Like charlie b said, evaluate the boards for grain and decide if they're worth your time. If not, perhaps there's a high school shop or local WW'rs club that might be interested?
--
Talking about art is like dancing about architecture - Frank Zappa

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Locutus wrote:

Well, if aged oak is too tough, there's always basswood. ;)

Blades are resharpenable consumables. They're not supposed to last forever. Don't go out of your way to abuse them, but don't fear wood. You said the wood was rough sawn, but didn't mention if there's a finish on them. If it's unfinished oak, and you know where the nails were, there's little risk and a big upside.
A typical set of stairs has ~12 steps to the basement, maybe more - in other words you have at least 50 board feet of oak. Go price that against the price of a blade.
R
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Against a couple of blade sharpenings, perhaps more, given that there has been 70 years of dirt ground into the porous oak by passing feet.
Then there are the 70 cycles that a wood already infamous for its brittle and splintery nature has used to become more so.
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to
That's the beauty of hardwood. It's hard.

Go out and get a hand plane in the meantime. You'll be absolutely impressed at what a few swipes with a good sharp plane will do to a scraggly old hunk of wood.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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You can get by without a planer or jointer. I found an old oil-stained, dirt infested, paint-spilled shelf in my garage. The board didn't look like pine so I took the belt sander to it.
Now it is a beautiful cherry hall table in my house.
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Locutus wrote:

Hardwood that thick, even 40" long is worth at least checking out. Sand or plane the undersides (the top will have ground in dirt, sand and other stuff that'll dull the hell out of anything sharp) and dampen with alcohol to see what the grain looks like. If any of them are quarter sawn definitely keep them. You can find someone with a drum sander to clean up the grungy face if the other side looks promising.
charlie b
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On Sun, 05 Mar 2006 23:08:47 -0500, Locutus opined:

They are completely worthless. They are possibly toxic, too. Probably full of noxious fungi. Send them to me and I'll dispose of them for you, for free.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"
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wrote:

Get a metal detector (Wizard Wand) to check for any stray nails before you use the wood. Old wood that shows no decay is good.
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