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Old October 12th 13, 05:17 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default What species wood cheaply available in San Francisco in the 1920's?

My great-grandfather was a carpenter in Palo Alto California in the
early part of the 20th century (in fact, he was in the 1st graduating
class at Stanford University), but he hurt his back and had to quit. To
keep his hand in he built a small lathe from scrap parts and wood. I
have inherited the head- and tail-stocks, a couple of tools made from
old files, and various attachments such as a sanding disk.

However, the ways and the stocks parted ways sometime in the distant
past. I would like to make a pair of short ways to mount the stocks on,
but I want to keep them period-appropriate, and want to use wood that
was cheaply available in the 1920's. Most of the wood in the bits I
have is redwood, which was cheap and plentiful in the San Francisco
region then. Not now, though! Besides, I live in Seattle, and virgin
redwood compares to tropical hardwoods in availability and price.

I could use Douglas fir (I have a bunch of old growth VG fir salvage),
but was this wood generally available and cheap in San Francisco then?
Or were other types of pine more generally available?

Ironically, I grew up in the Bay Area, but I didn't get into woodworking
until I moved up to Seattle, so I never paid attention to wood when I
was a kid. Should have, though. I do remember that the local lumber
yard carried 4-foot-wide redwood shelving as a stock item.

Thanks for any help you can give.

scritch

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Old October 12th 13, 05:49 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default What species wood cheaply available in San Francisco in the1920's?

On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 09:17:57 -0700, scritch wrote:

Most of the wood in the bits I have is redwood, which was cheap and
plentiful in the San Francisco region then. Not now, though! Besides, I
live in Seattle, and virgin redwood compares to tropical hardwoods in
availability and price.

I could use Douglas fir (I have a bunch of old growth VG fir salvage),
but was this wood generally available and cheap in San Francisco then?
Or were other types of pine more generally available?


I think redwood would be much to soft. Even clamping the tool rest banjo
to it would dent it. Old growth fir would be much better, especially if
you have some that is quarter-sawn.

Ponderosa pine might be more historically accurate (a guess), but if you
want to actually use the lathe, the fir is better.

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Old October 13th 13, 12:37 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default What species wood cheaply available in San Francisco in the1920's?

On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 16:49:29 +0000, Larry Blanchard wrote:

I think redwood would be much to soft.


And to think I complained in another forum about someone using "to"
instead of "too" - shame on me :-).
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Old October 13th 13, 03:15 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default What species wood cheaply available in San Francisco in the 1920's?

On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 09:17:57 -0700, scritch
wrote:
I was told that they took out several oak groves on the San Francisco
Peninsula....
Oak was the preferred wood when strenghth was required....

My great-grandfather was a carpenter in Palo Alto California in the
early part of the 20th century (in fact, he was in the 1st graduating
class at Stanford University), but he hurt his back and had to quit. To
keep his hand in he built a small lathe from scrap parts and wood. I
have inherited the head- and tail-stocks, a couple of tools made from
old files, and various attachments such as a sanding disk.

However, the ways and the stocks parted ways sometime in the distant
past. I would like to make a pair of short ways to mount the stocks on,
but I want to keep them period-appropriate, and want to use wood that
was cheaply available in the 1920's. Most of the wood in the bits I
have is redwood, which was cheap and plentiful in the San Francisco
region then. Not now, though! Besides, I live in Seattle, and virgin
redwood compares to tropical hardwoods in availability and price.

I could use Douglas fir (I have a bunch of old growth VG fir salvage),
but was this wood generally available and cheap in San Francisco then?
Or were other types of pine more generally available?

Ironically, I grew up in the Bay Area, but I didn't get into woodworking
until I moved up to Seattle, so I never paid attention to wood when I
was a kid. Should have, though. I do remember that the local lumber
yard carried 4-foot-wide redwood shelving as a stock item.

Thanks for any help you can give.

scritch

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Old October 13th 13, 03:44 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default What species wood cheaply available in San Francisco in the 1920's?

I'd see if you can find a reclaim wood store - and maybe you can
find some good planks.

Remember Redwood is considered a hard wood. Not rock hard. Most of
old town San Francisco is Redwood in the buildings. After the Great
fire and earthquake, they used Redwood from the San Lorenzo valley
(near Santa Cruz) to rebuild. Massive sawmills shipped northward on barges.

A number of good sources might be on the west bay - Some of the old
wood might have been parts of clipper ships and would be very good.

Martin


On 10/12/2013 9:15 PM, Mac Davis wrote:
On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 09:17:57 -0700, scritch
wrote:
I was told that they took out several oak groves on the San Francisco
Peninsula....
Oak was the preferred wood when strenghth was required....

My great-grandfather was a carpenter in Palo Alto California in the
early part of the 20th century (in fact, he was in the 1st graduating
class at Stanford University), but he hurt his back and had to quit. To
keep his hand in he built a small lathe from scrap parts and wood. I
have inherited the head- and tail-stocks, a couple of tools made from
old files, and various attachments such as a sanding disk.

However, the ways and the stocks parted ways sometime in the distant
past. I would like to make a pair of short ways to mount the stocks on,
but I want to keep them period-appropriate, and want to use wood that
was cheaply available in the 1920's. Most of the wood in the bits I
have is redwood, which was cheap and plentiful in the San Francisco
region then. Not now, though! Besides, I live in Seattle, and virgin
redwood compares to tropical hardwoods in availability and price.

I could use Douglas fir (I have a bunch of old growth VG fir salvage),
but was this wood generally available and cheap in San Francisco then?
Or were other types of pine more generally available?

Ironically, I grew up in the Bay Area, but I didn't get into woodworking
until I moved up to Seattle, so I never paid attention to wood when I
was a kid. Should have, though. I do remember that the local lumber
yard carried 4-foot-wide redwood shelving as a stock item.

Thanks for any help you can give.

scritch



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Old October 13th 13, 05:30 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default What species wood cheaply available in San Francisco in the 1920's?

On 10/12/2013 7:44 PM, Martin Eastburn wrote:
I'd see if you can find a reclaim wood store - and maybe you can
find some good planks.

Remember Redwood is considered a hard wood. Not rock hard. Most of
old town San Francisco is Redwood in the buildings. After the Great
fire and earthquake, they used Redwood from the San Lorenzo valley
(near Santa Cruz) to rebuild. Massive sawmills shipped northward on
barges.

A number of good sources might be on the west bay - Some of the old
wood might have been parts of clipper ships and would be very good.

Martin


Redwood is brittle. Monterey Cyprus is available in the area and is
strong. look for what is native.

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Old October 14th 13, 05:02 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default What species wood cheaply available in San Francisco in the 1920's?

I'd rather turn Redwood than Fir anytime. Fir is a great building
wood - strong beams. But the wood is 'stringy' and in short sections
doesn't hold up.

I would never call Redwood Brittle. The wood is moist and holds
moisture for a very long time. Shrinkage is nominal.

Madrone is a good turning wood - a bit tough to use in large sections.
There is to much energy stored in the blocks - and they are normally
twisted and bent.

I used to live in the mountains with acreage of coastal Redwood.
I had sections of Madrone and Holly. I had a large holly cut down
by the electric company (PG&E) and left where it lie. I was able to
get some of the trunk and turned a number of 'cups' from 2 to 6" tall.
I had a nice desk set to hold the paper clips etc of life.

I have furniture that is over 50 years old that lasted. I'm rebuilding
some it it this winter - the legs sitting in the ground were eaten up.

Martin

On 10/13/2013 11:30 AM, . wrote:
On 10/12/2013 7:44 PM, Martin Eastburn wrote:
I'd see if you can find a reclaim wood store - and maybe you can
find some good planks.

Remember Redwood is considered a hard wood. Not rock hard. Most of
old town San Francisco is Redwood in the buildings. After the Great
fire and earthquake, they used Redwood from the San Lorenzo valley
(near Santa Cruz) to rebuild. Massive sawmills shipped northward on
barges.

A number of good sources might be on the west bay - Some of the old
wood might have been parts of clipper ships and would be very good.

Martin


Redwood is brittle. Monterey Cyprus is available in the area and is
strong. look for what is native.

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Old October 20th 13, 03:42 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default What species wood cheaply available in San Francisco in the 1920's?

On 10/12/2013 7:15 PM, Mac Davis wrote:
On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 09:17:57 -0700, scritch
wrote:
I was told that they took out several oak groves on the San Francisco
Peninsula....
Oak was the preferred wood when strenghth was required....


Thanks all for the advice.

And as far as the oak, there is oak and there is oak. Most of the oak
in the Bay Area is the local version of "live" oak, and while hard, is
almost impossible to make lumber out of. It twists, cups, splits,
checks, etc. Better for firewood.

I would have tried to get some reclaimed redwood (4 x 10 x 12 feet!)
from my brother, but the guy who was storing it at my brother's house
took it back to make a floor for a tree house. What a waste. At least
I got one piece last year to make a two pieces of furniture from.

scritch




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