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Where does it come from?
Most of our reclaimed wood comes from commercial and industrial buildings built between the turn of the century and the early thirties. This was a time when the railroads were shipping materials inexpensively across the country, the old growth forests were still being cut with vengeance, and the steel “I” beam had not yet become the standard for heavy construction. Today as these buildings start to fall to the wreckers, the structural timbers can often be salvaged and resawn to be used again.
What is it?
The majority of the material that we work with is Douglas-Fir and Long Leaf Southern Yellow Pine (often referred to as Heart Pine). These two species had the structural qualities and grew to the sizes that were required for use as major supportive members in large buildings. These same qualities continue to make them attractive today. Other reclaimed species include Redwood, Hemlock, Cypress, Chestnut, and Oak.
What are the advantages?
- Environmental Responsibility
Moisture contents in reclaimed timbers generally run in the mid to low teens. This means minimal movement. Joints stay tight, and bowing, splitting and twisting after installation are almost nonexistent. Board stock is then kiln dried down to levels appropriate for flooring, trim or cabinet work.
Heart Pine has a wide range of colours and grain patterns that dramatically accent a timber frame, flooring cabinetry, or trim work. Douglas-fir with its consistent grain and light colour offers subtlety and allows a slightly more subdued design element. The character of both of these woods is enhanced by the signs of previous use evident in most reclaimed material.
We all know the strain that our forests are under these days, particularly the old growth reserves. The use of reclaimed material is a choice that we can make to reduce the impact on our woodlands.
Many clients enjoy the fact that they will be using wood that has had another life. One of the great attractions of reclaimed woodwork is the chance to incorporate a sense of history into a project, while giving new life to a disappearing natural resource.