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Wood score

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  • Wood score

    We stopped at this roadside lumber yard (for lack of a better word) on the way back from the beach yesterday. I've been wanting to build a free-standing bar topped with the local wood and this place had lots of slabs. With the kids in th back, I told the guy I'd be back tomorrow.

    This place is literally on the side of the highway. There were about 6 guys working on this massive slab table with a Nakashima-esque base. The top was two boards easily 6'x8' and at least 4" thick. Half of them were working in flipflops

    My Spanish is so-so but my wife helped. When I asked the one guy yesterday how much one of the slabs was (8' x 22" x 2"), I couldn't believe the ridiculously low number I was hearing. My wife confirmed.

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    There's this IKEA commercial where this wife is running out the store yelling at her husband to start the car because she got a steal. That was me today. The only annoying thing is you can't disable the hatch open alarm on this car. For the price I paid, I was willing to live with it.

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    Here it is. A slab of conacaste wood. It's known by other names in Central America. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterolobium_cyclocarpum
    This is the underside of the slab and there are some long cracks but I will be cutting about 2' off to make a 6' top. This slab is 22" wide, over 8' long, and about 6/4. I could have gotten an 8/4 board for the same price but this one was more finished. They don't really abide by the 1"/year rule here. They start working with the boards almost as soon as they're cut. I'm going to treat the board with borax in case there are any bugs but it's going to be months before I'm close to a finished bar.

    All this for $76 and the guy loaded it for me!

  • #2
    WOW! I would go back and see if anymore could follow me home! NICE! I think I would mount it on the wall and just look at it!
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


    • atgcpaul
      atgcpaul commented
      Editing a comment
      It's a 45 minute round trip so I will be back. I'm already scheming on how I can get these to a "finished" state so I can get them packed into our shipping crates when we plan to come back to the US.

      There are several places that sell this wood including individuals on FB marketplace, but they are in the city while this place was more rural. The city places are more in line with what you'd pay for a slab of this size in the US so that seems overpriced for this economy. On the other hand, these guys might not know how to price their work, or they're more accustomed to selling finished furniture than rough slabs.

  • #3
    Wow, quite a find. Are you not worried about the haphazard drying applied? Have you considered painting or sealing the ends to prevent more checking/splitting?
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions


    • atgcpaul
      atgcpaul commented
      Editing a comment
      Not so much, but I have some oil based paint I can paint onto the ends. Speaking with another seller of these slabs, it seems common practice to start working this wood not too long after it's been cut.

    • LCHIEN
      LCHIEN commented
      Editing a comment
      I thought it was common practice to seal the end of logs in paint or wax to prevent the rapid exodus of moisture from the end pores which causes splitting/checking. When the ends are sealed the moisture can only exit from the side at the same rate as along the whole length thus preventing checking due to uneven drying. Of course, that probably is done more for logs than boards, but it seems like it should work, too.
      Last edited by LCHIEN; 01-20-2021, 01:06 PM.

  • #4
    Wow, that's really a steal!

    Can't wait to see how you finish it - that should really pop when done.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    - Aristotle


    • #5
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      I guess I shouldn't be surprised but after a couple weeks sitting on saw horses in the garage, I noticed a small beetle on the board and then I noticed all these holes in the sap wood with little mounds of sawdust around them like anthills. I've treated the wood with borax and today I wrapped the board in black plastic bags and have it sitting on my car's roof rack in full sun. I need the wood to reach 135F for at least 30min to kill the bugs and any larvae. I have an IR thermometer so I'll check it this evening before the sun goes away. Die bugs, die!


      • #6
        This is a 2' section of board that's out on the balcony. Cookin'!

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        • #7
          Beautiful slab! Great score!
          just another brick in the wall...