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What to do with "junk" wood

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What to do with "junk" wood

Postby Matthew Lau » Sat May 26, 2012 11:24 pm

I bought a bunch of offcuts at EarthSource today.
About half of it was deemed junk by a knowledgeable woodworker (a guy who used to process wood): three different types of Philippine mahogany analogs with lots of runout, white with mineral deposits, etc...apparently, it's the junk wood used to keep cargo from rolling around. The young Earthsource dude thought that it was true Mahogany.

What should I do with it?

I originally thought that I had a huge deal for wood for a ukelele.
Should I junk it instead of ruining my blades?

On a plus note, I also snagged a few shorts of quartersawn Port Orford Cedar, a thickly burled little stick of walnut, and a small peice of jatoba to play with.


ps. Soon afterwards, the wood expert showed me a real prime chunk of walnut that's been air dried for over 27 years. I bought it at under $10 a bf. Hopefully, you'll see in an instrument sometime soon.

pps. The wood beam that I bought earlier was perfectly quartersawn redwood. It's got about 20 rings/inch.
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Re: What to do with "junk" wood

Postby Matthew Lau » Sun May 27, 2012 1:40 am

FWIW, I think that the woodworker guy called it "dunnage."
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Re: What to do with "junk" wood

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun May 27, 2012 10:17 am

If you bought it thinking it was a true mahogany I can understand your disappointment. Philippine mahogany is a number of different species and is widely used for many things. If it was dunnage it might not be the best quality, but then I've seen some pretty nice wood come out of shipping crates. If it's not suitable for building instruments you might still find other uses for it.
I've used red meranti (a type of Philippine mahogany) for guitar necks, and although a bit coarse textured, it worked fine.
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Re: What to do with "junk" wood

Postby Matthew Lau » Mon May 28, 2012 2:37 am

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Re: What to do with "junk" wood

Postby Mark Day » Tue May 29, 2012 10:14 am

"dunnage" refers to packing material. I'm a reformed warehouse worker. It's anything from the paper used to stuff a box, to flat sheets placed on top of pallets to protect the goods.
I would think some of those whatever mahogany pieces could be used for neck/tail blocks? If nothing else, you could slice them up for lining.

BTW, I checked out Earthsource's website. Man I wish I lived close enough to go shopping there!
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Re: What to do with "junk" wood

Postby Micah Covington » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:11 pm

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Re: What to do with "junk" wood

Postby loyd ferrier » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:15 pm

dunnage also refers to the wood used in shipping heavy products , ranging from pre-cast concrete to steel.
Where I work, we get all types of dunnage. from soft pines to oak and walnut. most of these are 6" x 6" center/core cuts . I have salvaged several pieces of oak and walnut. I had thought of making necks out of a couple pieces. If you try to use these, be carefull, many may have nails or metal staples in them. others may have been compressed, causing uneven hardness. Also most will not be cured.
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Re: What to do with "junk" wood

Postby Matthew Lau » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:18 am

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Re: What to do with "junk" wood

Postby Dana Emery » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:03 pm

Piano shipping crates can provide prime dunnage; some decades ago Steinway used 2x6 quilted maple inside the crate of a grand; not so horrendous considering the 30k price tag.

if you are patient, you might find other sources of good wood cheap. En-route to a used lawnmower I passed a sign advertising slabwood. I called the number and discovered an amish sawyer offering green rough-sawn maple cherry and oak. Gonna get a new workbench from him some day, quatersawn at less than a dollar/bdft.

Keep your eyes open folks, its out there in dumpsters and sometimes event the side of the road.
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Re: What to do with "junk" wood

Postby J.R. Holiday » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:23 am

I used to work at a cabinet shop. Everytime the wood supply truck came, the individual stacks of wood were always separated with rough cut white oak beams, approx 2" x 3" x 48". These things were usually very mangled and splintery, but they were tough, tough, tough!

I make a couple of pretty rough wooden mallets out of this stuff, well the heads anyway. I used quarter-sawn maple for the handle of one. These were just for rough work around the shop, nothing special, but they have held up.

A few times me and the shop boss would rip down these planks on the tablesaw into more usable sections, like maybe 1/2" thick. This way I could stack them to dry them out (whoever said they are not kiln dried is right, usually they have lots of cracks as well).

I still have a couple sections of this white oak out in the garage. I think I might try to slice them down into side / back blanks, as I have always wanted to make a little white oak parlor guitar.
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