What to do with 4.5"x16"x16' spruce?

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A neighbor has a garage full of barn salvaged spruce; 25 pieces measuring 4.5" x 16" x 16'. There are some nail holes on the sides and it is filthy; but two passes through my drum sander and it looks pretty good. It is straight and flat.
She will be moving and doesn't want to take it with her. In fact she doesn't want it at all; a boy friend talked her into buying it 20 years ago and then disappeared. She doesn't care what I do with it, she just wants me to get rid of it for her.
I figure it has to have value; geez, I've never even seen wood that size. But who would buy it? Any ideas? (Rochester NY...)
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Thu, Dec 15, 2005, 7:39pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@Yahoo.com (Toller) lacking imagination, asks: A neighbor has a garage full of barn salvaged spruce; 25 pieces measuring 4.5" x 16" x 16'. <snip> Any ideas? (Rochester NY...)
1. Ship it here, as a sacrifice to the Woodworking Gods. You pay shipping.
2. If 1. won't do it, ship it here, and I pay shipping.
3. Make a big chess set.
4. Make a bunch of big pointy sticks.
5. Sit in a corner, and repeat 1,000 times - "Toller, you suck".
JOAT A rolling stone gathers no moss...unless it's a hobby he does on the weekends.
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Toller,
Contact the local lumber monger and strike a deal.
Bob S.

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valuable, but couldn't think of anyone locally who might want them. I expect someone might buy them to cut into 2x4s, but they ought to be worth more than that. Maybe not.
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Toller wrote:

or so? You could go into the guitar top business.
JK
--
James T. Kirby
Center for Applied Coastal Research
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Ever hear of the Spruce Goose? The stuff could be quite valuable to someone who restores antique aircraft. Finding that someone is another problem.
Art

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I was thinking the same thing. "Aircraft grade" is very specific regarding grain slope (1:15). I think they may have specifics on ring density, but I didn't see it in a quick review. With that many pieces that big, there could be a gold mine. Here is an excerpt from FAA's AC43-13 guide for Aircraft Inspection and Repair:
1. Defects Permitted. a. Cross grain. Spiral grain, diagonal grain, or a combination of the two is acceptable providing the grain does not diverge from the longitudinal axis of the material more than specified in column 3. A check of all four faces of the board is necessary to determine the amount of divergence. The direction of free-flowing ink will frequently assist in determining grain direction. b. Wavy, curly, and interlocked grain. Acceptable, if local irregularities do not exceed limitations specified for spiral and diagonal grain. c. Hard knots. Sound, hard knots up to 3/8 inch in maximum diameter are acceptable providing: (1) they are not projecting portions of I-beams, along the edges of rectangular or beveled unrouted beams, or along the edges of flanges of box beams (except in lowly stressed portions); (2) they do not cause grain divergence at the edges of the board or in the flanges of a beam more than specified in column 3; and (3) they are in the center third of the beam and are not closer than 20 inches to another knot or other defect (pertains to 3/8 inch knotssmaller knots may be proportionately closer). Knots greater than 1/4 inch must be used with caution. d. Pin knot clusters. Small clusters are acceptable providing they produce only a small effect on grain direction. e. Pitch pockets. Acceptable in center portion of a beam providing they are at least 14 inches apart when they lie in the same growth ring and do not exceed 1-1/2 inches length by 1/8 inch width by 1/8 inch depth, and providing they are not along the projecting portions of I-beams, along the edges of rectangular or beveled unrouted beams, or along the edges of the flanges of box beams. f. Mineral streaks. Acceptable, providing careful inspection fails to reveal any decay.
Two suppliers worth talking to are www.aircraftspruce.com and www.wicksaircraft.com.
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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wrote:

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Wood Butcher wrote:

Sitka Spruce is the preferred spruce used for aircraft though that is primarily because a lot of testing for aircraft use was done back before WWII when it was cheap and plentiful. Those beams may well be sitka spruce and quite possibly a Luthier (wooden bodied sringed instrument maker) would be interested as spruce is used for the front (srigned) face of violins and such, as well as in guitars.
The "Spruce Goose" was mostly made of birch plywood, BTW.
--

FF


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Strange as it may sound - you might consider EBay. It's absolutely amazing the things people are able to sell there. It sure can't hurt.
Good luck!
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Toller wrote:

Is it qaurter-sawn or flat sawn? Fine grain or coarse grain? Lots of knots or clear?
I'm wondering if there's some wood in there that would be useful for guitar tops....
And where are you located?
--Steve
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The one piece I looked at carefully is diagonal grain (neither flat nor quarter). The grain is very fine. There aren't many knots, so in the whole lot there ought to be large knot free sections. I expect that mixed in the 350lf there must be some flat and some quarter. I doubt a guitar top takes very much lumber....

Rochester NY

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Aircraft wood is (normally) sitka spruce. Considering this is salvage barn wood and is on the east coast, I doubt it it is sitka (which is mostly a NW species).
If it is and it meets FAA requirements that other posters have given, it is exceeding valuable. It it sitka and close to meeting the FAA requirements, it would be very valuable to an amature aircraft builder (homebuilt aircraft are not required to use FAA certified materials, but is it is always a good idea).
If it is sitka, I can probably put you in contact with some builders who love to give you good money for it. I would love to say I'd write you a huge check for it, but I'm afraid shipping it out here to washington state probably just isn't practical.
--
Frank Stutzman Aircraft owner and wood butcher
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wrote:

I doubt many barns in Upstate NY were built with Sitka spruce, but thanks anyhow.
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Try a google search for a builder of Timber Frame Houses in your local area. Wood like that in a timber frame home would look fantastic.
Heavy Beam Wood, which I presume is now stable and dry, at 16 inches wide, would be real nice in a Gothic Revival Church doing a Timber Frame ceiling.
If you live somewhere near a Historical Village site, where show off history trade and crafts, I am sure they would love a donation of barn wood, which you could write off on your taxes. Just think of the Scarf joints they could cut.
Phil
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Toller wrote:

<snip>
What kind of spruce? Spend a few bucks and find out.
If it is the right kind, can be used for airframes and masts for sail boats.
Lew
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On 12/15/2005 2:39 PM Toller mumbled something about the following:

Oh man, that would make some good acoustic guitar tops (and a lot of them. I'ld love to have just a 4 ft long section of something like that.
--
Odinn
RCOS #7 SENS BS ???
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Odinn wrote:

Most guitar tops are re-sawed from split billets - split, to follow the grain and reduce runout. From a lumber-milled beam, it would be more difficult to find sections without objectionable runout, even if quarter-sawn, I would think. But in all that wood, there OUGHT to be some nice top material. You just might have to examine a lot of it to find the good stuff.
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On 12/16/2005 12:24 AM JLarsson mumbled something about the following:

I didn't say it would make perfect guitar tops :) You're lucky if you get any specific type of grain from mass produced guitars (although they do try to use quarter sawn) and usually don't come from splits (usually the practice of only handbuilts).
--
Odinn
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If so, you could sell bowl blanks on Ebay for months..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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