Speaking of scrap...

Since my recent discovery of planes I have been looking at wood a little differently. I've been planing down the mangiest specimens in my scrap pile for practice and have noticed that the wood underneath the dirt, raised grain and oxidation looks pretty good.
Armed with that knowledge, and running out of really damaged scrap to practice on, I've started to raid another source: the 50 (or more) year-old remnants of a kitchen installer/plumber whose building my Dad bought in the late '60s. There's not a lot of great stuff there; the guy wasn't a cabinet maker, after all. Most of it is narrower material, including some oak 2x2 (ish) of random lengths.
But there is also a fair amount of what must have been real utility-grade stock; stuff the plumber would make shelving out of for his various fittings. There are 1x6 pine boards of various lengths. It's pretty dirty, but what I've looked at appears to be less warped than what you might find at HD.
I've seen furniture that is allegedly made from salvaged or antique pine, some of which looks pretty nice. I took a piece home and planed down one face (for practice, of course). Even dry it had a richer color, tending toward orange, than wood you might buy now. I wiped on a coat of Waterlox, which intensified the color.
I think this has possibilities. I'm sure I could cobble together enough of this material for a coffee table, for instance. I'm curious, is the difference I'm seeing due to age (even though I've planed off the outer layer), or is it more likely that the wood was different to begin with back in the '60s, or even '50s, when it was sold?
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In typed:

All are possiblties. Aged pine simply takes on that color actually. Personally I wouldn't lke it, but what I'd like is not relevant; if you like it, go for it. This is one of those cases where I'd say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. BTW, the color changes arean't really "layer" related; they're more like a gradent and get different as you go deeper into the surface of the wood.
Good luck, Twayne`
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On 11/14/2011 8:24 AM, Twayne wrote:

Thanks for the advice, especially the "gradient" part.
Greg Guarino
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On 11/13/2011 10:52 PM, Greg Guarino wrote: ...

...
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I routinely salvage almost everything; no matter how ugly even old fencing has become on the outer surfaces assuming it hasn't actually rotted through and through the interior will still be essentially pristine.
It is as another said a combination of slow oxidation and what was originally. A lot of the color also will relate as to what varieties of pine it is--SYP is much more golden than the white pines.
As for the "alleged", above, why use that? They salvage logs from where they've been lost in transport or fell naturally that are far older than the above and the interiors are still essentially as new.
It's really quite pleasant to take an old chunk that looks like he** and run it through the planer and come out w/ a nice piece. I do more architectural stuff any more and create mouldings etc., from old tubaX framing material, fencing, etc., to match old profiles. It's far less expensive than to try to find clear stock of any species.
--
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Yes, wood was much better in the 50s and 60s, even more so in the 40s. I was checking out some of the lumber in my father-in-law's cottage basement. Much of it was local cedar wood, however, compared to any cedar one would find today, the growth rings were very tight. I would estimate that they were about 75 to 100 rings to the inch, so tight they were hard to see, where today's wood would be about 4 rings per inch.
Wood like this is beautiful, and came from virgin forests.
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