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Dinning Table Project: Part 2

November 8, 2011

My first task, after roughly sketching a plan (see below), was to find the lumber. Not as easy as you might think.

I went to Lowes, but that was a waist of time. There was not a bit of rough cut lumber, and I figured there wouldn’t be, but there wasn’t any untreated 4 x 4 either. Every piece of lumber above the 2″ thickness scale was pressure treated, and unless I wanted to poison my family or any guest, I would need to seek out an alternative.

So I asked the guy wearing an apron. Never trust guys wearing aprons. He didn’t have a clue, though he did mention trying another place across town. Well, they didn’t have anything either except $5.60 per linear foot douglas fir. I needed 24 feet. That’s $134 just for the 4 x 4. I don’t think so.

So I returned home, after several hours of driving all over Greenville NC, and drove across the street to Mr. Worthington’s house. Now I live on Worthington Rd., and as you may surmise, his family farmed this entire area. Mr. Worthington is, in our nearest estimation, in his late 80’s or maybe even 90. He’s got to be close. He is very active. Mr. Worthington mows his pasture every other week, and what is embarrassing is that his yard looks 20 times better than my yard and he tends it himself.

Well, I wandered over and asked if he had any old lumber laying around. In his very strong and unclear NC accent, he says, “Yeah, I g’t some o’er thair. Com’n o’er an let’s take a look.” That’s as close as I can get.

We walked over, and he had a pile of rough cut lumber that was cut by a home mill 30 to 40 years ago, and was used on their old tobacco barns. It was beautiful, but covered in dirt and mouse droppings.

After bringing a few select pieces home, I started planning. I discovered very quickly that I pulled a real 2 x 8 x 13′ piece of solid oak. That piece alone is worth a pretty penny. I offered to pay, but Mr. Worthington insisted that I take whatever I needed for free. I will certainly give him and the misses a gift card to their favorite restaurant or something.

The beauty of this “rustic” lumber is that no two pieces are the same. This will create a unique table, but it requires a lot of work, or at least a willingness to settle for imperfections.

My goal is to finish before Thanksgiving.


From → The Farm

One Comment
  1. You had me at the terms, “rough cut”; project looks both like a lot of fun and a lot of work, which are related.

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