Using Salvaged Lath

Let's talk about lath, shall we?

One might think that all salvaged lath is equal, and it is if you keep it in its original rough state. If you plane and sand it down, however, you quickly learn that there is more and less desirable lath to be had.

Here are two pieces of planed lath both salvaged from the same renovation site in my neighborhood. The top piece has a nice closed grain that is pretty and elegant. The lower piece is the same type of wood but is open grained, which makes it look podunk.

For you nerds out there, the type of grain you get is the result of how the wood was milled, the slab cut resulting in the ugly grain. Quarter sawn resulting in the nicer wood. Technically speaking you will still get some pieces that look like quarter sawn in a plain sawn (slab cut) mill job but not too many. If you talked about any of this shit at HD they would stare at you blankly, btw. Source.

So far I've only sorted through one of the bundles and it seems as though about half of it is the good kind with the pretty grain. I'm really hoping I have enough and don't need to scavenge for more. I look kinda crazy doing that.

So after I sort, I remove all the stray nails so they don't chip the blades of my precious planer.

Here she is. It's what makes this project doable. You just put the wood in one side and it comes out all planed and smooth on the other. Magic. Can't wait to plane!


Vel Criste said...

Is this machine actually yours or do you rent it? Wow, never knew that underneath is a huge difference! Really interesting to know and excited to see how you would use these laths>

C a i t l i n said...

I own it! It's from back in the day when I was designing/building furniture. -Caitlin