Old Oak: Real Old

A few months ago my co-worker informed me of some old beams from his 1850s house. It was one of the first 10 homes built here in our community. He brought me in a sample and I knew right away: white oak…old white oak. We did some experimenting on ways to cut it into smaller parts for a Lindberry Cart he wanted as a coffee table. He ended up aging some cedar boards from the home center instead but I did get a chance to use another friends kick ass Laguna HD16  bandsaw in the process. It made short work of resawing a 3′ long section I brought along. So choice.

These beams where part of the original structure to his house (sill plate maybe?). He removed them 10 years ago when he put on a two story addition. He knew they were worth saving but he had to cut them in half because he simply couldn’t move them as they were. They’ve been in his garage ever since. We moved them to his yard a few weeks ago since he’s tearing down the garage. He has no use from them and says they’re mine for the taking. Free of charge.

I’m not exactly sure what to do with them but I’ll be cleaning them up with some friends and resawing them into smaller boards.  I need another project, and more wood to store, like I need a hole in the head but I don’t want to pass this up.

What should I do with them? Should I saw them into smaller boards? Should I fumigate them before bringing them in? Would them make a good top for a Roubo? Any thoughts are appreciated.


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
This entry was posted in NCCW, Shop Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Old Oak: Real Old

  1. billlattpa says:

    My company’s warehouse was built circa 1880. It has huge 16×16 oak beams in the basement. Recently we had to have one removed and the contractor asked if I wanted half of it but I had no way to get it home and more importantly, nowhere to keep it. Needless to say I was disappointed.


  2. billlattpa says:

    To be clear, it was one long beam which was sawn in two with a chain saw


  3. forbeskm says:

    Very nice, I am sure you will find something to build with them. I see no problem band sawing them up if you need. Rescuing them from rotting in the yard is enough preservation 🙂


    • Yeah, I really need to get on them. They are covered with a tarp but I don’t want them sitting on the ground that long. I hope to rescue them in the next month or so. Thanks for the comment Mike.


  4. That’s a tough one. Maybe the base for a pedestal table? A mantle? I’d end up cutting them in to manageable pieces since I don’t have a place store timbers like that.


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