So, I have this wood I wanna do something with.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Jeranhound, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Jeranhound

    Jeranhound Tele-Meister

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    There's this big ring of wood outside my garage, looks like maybe the previous owner of the place used it for target practice with a bow or something, since it's leaned up against a tree and the bottom was cut to make sure it didn't roll away, got a few shallow gouges in it.

    Now, the thing has probably been out there for a few years in this glorious, rainy Seattle weather, and it's about 6-8 inches thick, I think. Probably from an evergreen of some sort, and about 3 feet wide at its largest point, if I had to guess. Maybe a tad less.

    My thought was to take an axe to it, chop out all the wood rot from the part that's been touching the ground, scrape off the moss that's growing on the underside, and roll it into the garage, since I've got this extra space I'm not using. Any way this wood could be useable for, say, a guitar body? It's definitely gotta be planed, considering it doesn't look like it even came out of its tree plainly, but I think it's from some big ass pine, or at least one of the many types of evergreens that live around here and just fall over on the side of the road all the time.

    Would it be of any use any time soon? Or is this a piece that'd have to sit for years before I could do anything with it? As it is, I could go buy a bow and take up where the last guy left off, but I like guitars more than I think I'd enjoy archery, and even if I have to buy every other bit, I think I'd like to at least take a go at making a guitar body, even if it's nothing pretty.
     
  2. TwangBilly

    TwangBilly Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd clean it up, get it inside and let it sit a year or two, cut it up and see what it looks like. If it's not worth using, at least you'll know. The alternative is letting it rot or making firewood out of it. I'd take the chance, could be an old growth tree with some nice grain.
     
  3. Jim Beam

    Jim Beam Tele-Meister

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    Umm.. pics?
     
  4. Jeranhound

    Jeranhound Tele-Meister

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    Come tomorrow. I've thought about it before, but just went out to really have a look at it an hour or so back, and the sun sets around 4:30 now, so it's a tad dark out.

    And, hey, I've got space to let it sit. There's a 3 foot crawl space under my bedroom, and that juts out into the garage, so I can just slide it there, out of the way.

    edit: One nice thing about it needing time, I'll probably have money to afford power tools by that time. As things are now, I've got some of my dad's stuff here and over in the main house, but of use for any real wood working, there's a couple of chisels, nothing real fine, a rasp or two, and a drill.

    Was looking at band saws earlier, saw Home Depot has a couple in the $150 range, and they've got some $100 routers, but I think that incredibly sharp spinny things aren't the place to cheap out.
     
  5. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Nothin to lose. It won't likely be any time soon, but stored in a dry place for a year or so, with the moss, rot, and bark stripped off, it'll dry out, and if it dries flat, might be worth cutting into a little more to see if there's anything useable inside.
     
  6. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    Letting it sit in it's log form to dry will take forever, and even if it fully dries you may end up with a board with twist. I'd recommend taking a chainsaw and cutting it down to 2" thick boards.

    Home Depot doesn't sell any good Band Saws. They have good routers though. Look at Grizzly.com for good bandsaws.. Stuff along the 14" bandsaws they have will be good for most people.

    New tools are good to own, so you can ensure proper maintenance, but used tools can be good, just keep your eyes open! Start saving 50 dollars a month (fore-go eating if necessary) and you'll have a good saving in two years to buy good tools.
     
  7. Jeranhound

    Jeranhound Tele-Meister

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    I don't think we have a chainsaw, though it's not impossible. Never had much of a need for one, living in the suburbs in San Diego. Also, wish I had the San Diego weather for something like this. Stash this monster in the attic over the summer, it'd sure go a long way toward drying out. But alas, it's 40 degrees out all day here and the sun is just bright enough to make my TV unwatchable when it shines through the door.
     
  8. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    How about pounding wedges to break it up?
     
  9. Jeranhound

    Jeranhound Tele-Meister

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    Would an axe, a hamer, and some chisels work? They're all steel chisels, meant to be beaten on. Just start a crack with the axe, get the chisel in there and try to get it a bit more?

    I've really not done a ton with wood in its natural state. Really, my entire experience with using the axe was getting out the roots of some old bushes we had in the back yard. Lots of time in the sun, in July, using a pry bar, an axe and a shovel. Actually broke the blade on my favorite shovel doing that, if I recall correctly. Just opened a fisure right below the bend for its neck.

    I kinda wish that I had gone up to the larger highschool, rather than the one I did. They had metal shop, they had wood shop. I... had to go to school two days a week. Okay, maybe it was better, not having a 5 day a week school, even if I have to learn how to do all this stuff without a shop instructor. Didn't stop me from knowing most of what I had to learn in Auto shop at the college.
     
  10. orangedrop

    orangedrop Friend of Leo's

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    I take it this is a crosscut slab from a tree, like the end cut off a big log?

    If so, and you want to use it in this dimension it will be all end grain.

    Definitely suitable for a thin veneer top if you use bridge screws long enough to get a good bit into the face grain of the body blank.

    If it is thick enough, perhaps you can mill it into stock and make a three piece body.

    I wonder if you have a big old slab of doug fir.

    That would be nice!
     
  11. Jeranhound

    Jeranhound Tele-Meister

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    It's a slab, yeah. Definitely from down near the stump end, since it's not round enough to be up the other way.
     
  12. Jeranhound

    Jeranhound Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Went out there and, in the bushes, I saw another rather nice piece, reddish and all figured and such. Kicked it, was rotten through. But yeah, that's it, bottom's rotted out for a few inches, but the rest of it seems sturdy enough. Worth salvaging?
     
  13. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That's not guitar wood in my opinion. Guitar bodies aren't usually made from slices of trees going in that direction. I'd turn it into a clock or a table or something else, but that's just me. I'd be concerned with the dimensional stability and seasonal changes it would go through.
     
  14. javacaster97jc

    javacaster97jc Tele-Meister

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    It wont make for structural wood, but you could get several drop tops out of it if there is some good figure to the grain.
     
  15. javacaster97jc

    javacaster97jc Tele-Meister

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    Lot of work though, for iffy results. I agree it could make a cool table.
     
  16. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

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    I agree about that making a cool table too.
     
  17. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you decide to go the table rout, about 30 years ago, Fine Woodworking had a method of work section and they showed how cypress clocks were milled using a router and rail system. Today, that is essentially the same method that a lot of people use as a router planer jig to plane their bodies.

    Here is an updated version for tables:
    http://www.finewoodworking.com/work...-turns-stumps-into-beautiful-side-tables.aspx
     
  18. orangedrop

    orangedrop Friend of Leo's

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    if the grain is spectacular enough that guitar sized sections would really turn heads, 1/4" slices could certainly make nice bound tops.

    For a slab table, we used to use a bowl/tray bit with a 1/2" shank to do the final flattening.

    Have a look at this profile...

    http://www.toolstoday.com/p-4945-bowl-tray-router-bits.aspx

    Once the slab is prepped, R/O sand to 320, do a couple of light coats of shellac and let it season till you get 6-8% moisture content, do a final flattening if you need/want to, fine sand again, seal well with shellac and coat with a good catalysed tung oil varnish, or you can use table top resin if you like the plastic look.

    These also make nice bits for final hollowing of guitar bodies.

    Drill shy of the radius on the bit and using one of these with a template bearing, carve out the last of the depth of the cavities, making a smooth flat bottom with no Forstner pilot point dimples, and a nice radius at the corner.
     
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