Barn wood table under the Sassafras Tree

Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Projects Barn wood table under the Sassafras Tree

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #16947
    md11toolman
    Participant

    I am currently in southern Arkansas at my girlfriends small cottage farm and she has asked me to make a table from old barn wood. This stuff is pretty rough and 80+yrs old so I brought my DeWalt 13″ planer to help me prep the wood. I am working from the back of my pickup truck and on the top of an old Craftsmen tablesaw inside this very old barn. There is no workbench or Air Conditioning;just a fan and some shade. Today it will be 97F. Oh! this has been fun and educational. Planning the wood (I have to go thru quite a bit to get usable pieces) has taken me back in time a bit as I watch the southern yellow long leaf pine emerge from the rough stock that some would use as firewood. The hardness of the wood and the incredible richness smell of the resin are things I wish I could share with all of my fellow woodworkers. I will post pictures of the process here in a few articles describing this journey.

    Retired airPLANE driver. Learning a new lifestyle in woodworking is fantastic!

    #16951
    Steve Follis
    Participant

    Looking forward to the rest of the story Jeff!

    Memphis, Tennessee

    #16952
    robinhc
    Participant

    Sounds like fun, except for the 97F 🙂

    Robin ... Richmond, Virginia, USA

    #16955
    dborn
    Participant

    That’s an amazing looking piece of wood! Looking forward to watching the progression of this project.

    #16956
    David Gill
    Participant

    Nice one Jeff , keep us posted . Do you have a design in mind for the table.

    Wigan, Lancs. England :

    #16967
    david o’sullivan
    Participant

    that’s my idea of a holiday ,what a great project be careful of the sun enjoy

    "we can learn what to do, by doing" Aristotle

    #16969
    Scott
    Participant

    Thats a great stash, and a cool project. Do you have a metal detector for nails?

    I have a dozen old oak boards (somewhere between 4/4 and 5/4 thick, 11″ wide, 4′ long) that I rescued from a dumpster from my old workplace. They were used for flooring in an old warehouse building. I afraid to use them because of possible hidden nails, vintage floor covering adhesives (asbestos?), and chemicals/pesticides. In my case it is probably not worth the $200 saved.

    I would think that barn wood is most likely safe?

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #16973
    md11toolman
    Participant

    First, let me address some of the questions about this project that I have received so far and maybe anticipate a few more. In no particular order we did not have a plan for the table but rather a concept to use the barn wood. SHE wanted something durable, rectangular, large enough for four people but not to large and relatively simple. We saw a design in a magazine of random slats of wood laid out in an eye-catching pattern and originally thought we could do that. However when I began to mill the wood I was ending up with different thickness pieces as well as different widths. I might mill off the outside rough weathered material to discover a niece rich pine color wood underneath and then another pass would take me into worm wood. Virtually all of the pieces had some amount of twist and bow in them. I had to rip a lot of wider boards to get something I could use on the table. I decided to lay out the pieces on some plywood to get something attractive and functional. Remember, this is barn wood and is going to sit outside or maybe inside the barn in winter. I cut and hand planned all of the edges to create relatively smooth joints and then glued the whole thing up with a good quality woodworkers yellow glue.
    When milling this kind of wood you must watch for old metal in it but in this case we had already removed most of the nails and staples from the rough wood. Only once during the milling process did I have to stop the machine when I saw a piece of something imbedded deep in the wood that was only exposed after a couple of passes. I have seen magnets used to detect metal but did not have any to use out here in the backwoods. This is truly a remote, heavily forested location teeming with wildlife. To combat the heat I wear a Tilley hat, a cloth bandanna around my forehead and a wet cloth around my neck. I drink a lot of water during the day and then supplement that with some very fine Yingling around 5 pm!

    Retired airPLANE driver. Learning a new lifestyle in woodworking is fantastic!

    #16979
    Philip Adams
    Participant

    Looks like it’s coming together nicely. Great re-use of materials!

    I work alongside Paul to plan and produce the videos for Woodworking Masterclasses

    #16991
    Sprymine
    Participant

    Looks really nice Jeff. I can smell that pine through the Internet.

    #16999
    Mexiquite
    Participant

    Keep the updates coming. Looking good.

    #17010
    md11toolman
    Participant

    I have a metal stand that I thought would suffice to hold my table up so last night I mounted the table to it and it works perfectly. I added three plywood support pieces to the bottom of the table with screws and lots of glue and then I screwed the table legs to the center of the assembly. See picture.
    Even though I had the power thickness planer I was surprised at the amount of actual hand planing needed to properly bring this project together. Fortuanely I brought from home two of my go to planes; a old Craftsman(identical to a Stanley 4 1/2) and a Stanley 4 1/2 extra wide that i picked up thru a custom restore. Each have a Hoch blade which I sharpened using my EZE lap stones and stropped. Very very sharp and a blessing they were as I put them to task. Boy, it’s fun to plane barn wood and see that color and detail come out. Using these planes I was able to create a nice edging detail to the table and that gave it a finished look. See photo.
    My next posting will show the final result and resting place for the project. Stay tuned and thanks for all of the positive feedback I have received!

    Retired airPLANE driver. Learning a new lifestyle in woodworking is fantastic!

    #17014
    md11toolman
    Participant

    This is the barn from which the barn wood came from. Several years ago some of the interior space was remodeled into storage rooms and SHE very wisely kept the old wood.

    I have never had Sassafras Tea but I think you need a Sassafras Tree and here it is alongside the barn. It’s more than 50 years old.
    Something new happened today as we were having breakfast. There are 4 very old (60+) pecan trees in the backyard and we are having a drought. Thus a large branch cracked and came down today. I spent a bit of time trimming it up for transport back to my home and shop since I do not have everything I need here. What shall I do with this good fortune? PECAN. Paul told me once that it is difficult wood to work.

    But finally today I was able apply some coats of Poly to the table and show it to its new home. See my next post.

    Retired airPLANE driver. Learning a new lifestyle in woodworking is fantastic!

    #17018
    Steve Follis
    Participant

    Very nice job Jeff! Congratulations!

    In the pictures, that Barn looks like it is set in perfect 72 degree weather.

    Memphis, Tennessee

    #17020
    md11toolman
    Participant

    This project took me all week to accomplish and I can honestly say I learned a tremendous amount about working with wood. The working conditions (heat, humidity, barn dust, bugs, reptiles) were miserable but I couldn’t wait to get out there each day. Hopefully my next project will be from my more comfortable garage. I have made a number of mistakes with this project and would definitely do it different next time but I think the piece will stand for a number of years and provide some inspiration when needed.
    So here it is…..I really do think the Cabernet helps bring out the richness of the pine color. Don’t you?

    Retired airPLANE driver. Learning a new lifestyle in woodworking is fantastic!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.