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Salvage your own hardwood lumber and save big bucks

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Don?t discount the discards

From trash to treasure

Tune in your wood-seeking radar, and it's hard to not see salvageable lumber. However, be prepared to swallow some pride and roll up the shirtsleeves.

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Comments (15)
ariesbergsma wrote:

I have been collecting wood for years I have ash, maple, spalted maple, walnut, sycamore, cherry, locust, oak, chestnut, all from old barns that I tore down or trees that have fallen I ask and most people are happy to get rid of it

11/21/2013 12:04:34 PM Report Abuse
saltlake59 wrote:

I've found many dining tables at Thrift Stores for anywhere from $20 to $40. Sounds like a lot, but if you are careful, you can find Ash and Oak tables. The Thrift Stores just want to move them out because they are big and take lots of space. If you make them an offer, they just might take it! Make sure you know if it's wood or veneer, some veneers are very good these days!

11/21/2013 10:00:02 AM Report Abuse
heffner2642 wrote:

I pick up any good lumber left behind at foreclosed homes. Most of it is structural/ dimensional lumber, but what the is free and can be used for all kinds of projects and property repairs. What I like the best is "if it is free, then it is for me!" I also use it in securing property where damaged doors and windows are the always the by product of evictions and foreclosures. easylock

3/30/2013 10:38:47 PM Report Abuse
nealmhr wrote:

My wife & I live in a 3200+ sq. ft house. ALL that lumber was salvaged from right here on the farm. My 40' x 44' workshops, my 36' x 48' barn, & two Habitat for Humanity houses came from a lumber company that wanted to clean up all the crooks & bents, & THAT cost me $600.00! In fact I started that Habitat just to get rid of all that lumber.

3/16/2013 06:17:31 AM Report Abuse
kwhit1902111 wrote:

I used to go out on the night before garbage day around my neck of the woods. But, I haven done that for 4 years now. But, I did do it for almost 8 years. The reason why I stopped was I have soooo much wood I don't have anymore room to store it. In my back yard alone 34,ooo board feet of assorted hardwood, stacked ricked, tarped & covered with it's own metal roof covering it. In my shop, I my small shop I got about another 1,000'.

3/15/2013 04:57:52 PM Report Abuse
TXwoodrat wrote:

I have a neighbor who built his horses stalls out of 2" x 6" tongue and groved white pine, beautiful wood, the scrap went in his burn pile. I got it just in time. I trimed off the tongue and groved areas and now I have more than 100 ft. of knot free pine. The smallest piece is 2 ft. long. Love found wood.

3/14/2013 02:41:33 PM Report Abuse
tmogle wrote:

Using 'found' wood is great, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, if the wood has been exposed to the elements, make sure that you clean off all of the dirt and grime before running it through you planer. I learned the hard way, and now if the board is dirty, I use an angle grinder and wire brush it. Second, check for hidden metal - then check again. It's hard to believe how much damage something as innocuous as a staple can cause; and a nail can really ruin your day.

3/14/2013 01:21:54 PM Report Abuse
gordonbelindsay wrote:

I live in an area that the houses have been build some 70 years ago, and when renovations are being done, I search the bumpsters as most of the wood is slow grown pine sometime with a little woodworm but that all adds to the delight of working with savlaged wood. At least it is all stable.

9/14/2012 01:32:17 PM Report Abuse
fredlee19471 wrote:

Ah, remember, a LOT of these pallets that are being referred to are made of OAK> A VERY HARD WOOD and they are usually by the time they show up as 'free', are very aged making them even harder to cut, drill or nail. Just a word of advice

9/13/2012 09:30:07 PM Report Abuse
periviere wrote:

Kraigslist alway has tons of free pallots and solid wood furniture in their free sections

9/13/2012 04:49:52 PM Report Abuse
tommandkay wrote:

I have been using "recycled" wood for many years. If someone is tossing out an old dresser, I'll be there checking the wood. If someone throws out a bookshelf, I'll be there. Recently when an unfinished furniture store went out of business, I was there volunteering to take their scrap off their hands. I'd hate to tell you guys how many projects, from clocks to furniture I have made using someone's discarded wood. And what little I don't use works great in a campfire.

9/13/2012 03:24:50 PM Report Abuse
Just Makin' Sawdust wrote:

check out the local glass shops. great structual dimensions in lengths up to as big as the panes they have transported. usually free.

9/13/2012 02:02:17 PM Report Abuse
dyeckel62 wrote:

I always keep a couple cordless tools in my truck. That way when I see a piece of furniture or what not at curbside, I don't have to take the whole thing. I can strip off what I want right there. Drawer tracks, handles, hinges. Unless the owner complains. Then I just haul it home and give it to my trash man when I've gotten what I want. I have enough inventory now, and no more room, I have to pass things by.

9/13/2012 01:03:34 PM Report Abuse
grandpadon471011385 wrote:

When using pallets also remember to look for chemicals on the wood. Also some lumber stores throw away wood that comes around other lumber. My favorite store sells the warped lumber really cheap. You can cut at the bow or warp and have a straight piece. Another idea is auto parts have a piece of 1/8" plywood which makes good drawer bottom or a box bottom.

9/13/2012 12:49:02 PM Report Abuse
tartanlizard wrote:

You could always try Freecycle, people post furniture they are giving away regularly.

9/13/2012 12:35:56 PM Report Abuse

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