Heavy weathered planks
- You might want to look for a sawmill that will sell you some unkilned
lumber. It won't be old, but you'll get the same kind of end-checking
and a bit of warp, which seems to be a large part of the look you are
going for. If you go with oak, gas it with ammonia and oil it and
you're there dude. This stuff is often used for fence and risers on
the sides of dump truck beds.
That being said, when they did heavy stuff like this, it was usually
from split stock (like quarter sawn, though not sawn, hence the name)
so it tended not to warp or check very much. Also, while I wouldn't
want to have to do it with just hand tools (except for the bragging
rights), they could make a board every bit as smooth as the most
skilled person on this mailing list and would if they thought it was
worth their while.
- A while ago my Dad happened upon a barn being taken down in Kentucky by some Amish. He bought a load of the planking from it. Turns out it was chestnut. The barn was built over 100 years ago. He's enjoying making stuff out of it now. I have a couple of nice scroll frames out of it.Uadahlrich