please help ID this wood

Here you'll find a wide range of discussions on old-house topics.

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

Post Reply
shod
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:52 pm
Contact:

please help ID this wood

Post by shod »

This is the wood used in my original porch spindles. its over 100 years old. I used my table saw to remove 1/4" of the outside of 2 of them to reveal the grain....

pictures at http://public.fotki.com/shod/porch/


Whats the general opinion of using hemlock for exterior applications how does it compare to poplar or cypress at almost 50% more $$?

BobG
Posts: 1349
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2003 1:37 am
Location: Shelbyville (Mayberry) , KY
Contact:

Post by BobG »

looks alot like redwood to me
Square, Plumb, or Level ... Pick two.
Our Home: 3,550sf 1891 Queen Anne / Victorian Eclectic
http://www.1160main.com/webdoc7.htm
visit my blog and make a comment
Image

lrkrgrrl
Posts: 4733
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:50 am
Location: Northeast

Post by lrkrgrrl »

For exterior purposes, cypress beats poplar, in my understanding. Poplar being more of an interior wood. I don't remember much about hemlock.

Your baulasters could be humble yellow pine. The old slow growth yellow pine was prized for building because of it's stability, even when relatively "green." Although a "soft" wood, it has a weight (or mass) close to that of maple, making it a "hard" lumber although a "softwood" tree,* and kept painted the old growth white and yellow pine hold up pretty well.

*This would be why my half yellow pine and half maple floor doesn't have any problems where it meets despite years of painful abuse.

shod
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:52 pm
Contact:

Post by shod »

do they have any value? I dont plan to reuse them b/c they are too short to meet code here...

I posted an ad in craigslist's free section and got 40 email before removing the ad so im thinking this may be worth something

Don M
Posts: 6965
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:35 am
Location: Boiling Springs, PA

Post by Don M »

They look like a tight grained fir or pine to me. If they are in as good condition as the ones you show they should be worth something; too bad you can't reuse them. Don
1840 Limestone Farmhouse
Image

shod
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:52 pm
Contact:

Post by shod »

is there an efficient way to remove pain from many of those? i ran the ones in the picture through my table saw which made them 1/2" skinnier in width and depth...

lrkrgrrl
Posts: 4733
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:50 am
Location: Northeast

Post by lrkrgrrl »

Personally, I'd keep them, just give the dang things a new coat of paint, and put a pipe and screen rail behind it. I hate the "new" railings on old houses. They are usually way flimsy and weak, and completely out of proportion. Historic properties around here use a rail and mesh set up in black that disappears behind the original railings.

They could be dip-stripped, but that can be expensive (and I will repeat dip-stripping does not necessarily use the lye baths that raise grain and leave residue behind. Ask your pro.)

Do you have a local salvage place???

The Gingerbread Man
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:15 am
Location: Placerville, CA, USA
Contact:

Post by The Gingerbread Man »

It is my understanding that if you have elements of your house that are historical (grandfathered in) you do not have to bring those elements up to current codes and standards unless you are replacing them. If you are repairing them you should be able to use what was there. If I am wrong someone else needs to jump in. Try just cutting off enough, say half a blade width. or. run them thru a planer. I'm not sure if they have much value. We have alot of this type of material (not the same wood) that has buried itself in a corner until someone remembers and finds a us efor them. Most likley it becomes a BTU donor.

Texas_Ranger
Posts: 2355
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 6:42 am
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
Contact:

Post by Texas_Ranger »

To my knowledge, poplar is about the softest and most lightweight wood shy of balsa. My dad used poplar plywood for building boxes to go in the back of our van and it's incredible! The wood gets dings and scratches daily, the screws ripped out fairly soon,... no, poplar doesn't impress me at all.
Cypress sounds like average construction grade wood.
The bad thing with electricity : it almost always works.

http://whatapigsty.blogspot.com

Post Reply