Working with Reclaimed timbers

     You may have heard me talking about reclaimed wood lately. Out of the four jobs we currently have in the shop,three of them are using reclaimed wood. So, why the increasing popularity and what exactly is it? All of the pictures in this post are projects that I have recently completed, Enjoy!

[caption id="attachment_251" align="alignnone" width="300"]Reclaimed cabinets in Boston, MA Reclaimed cabinets in Boston, MA[/caption]

What is Reclaimed Wood? Throughout the past century there have been countless homes, buildings, barns, and bridges made out of virgin wood. When these structures come to the end of their working life and are knocked down, this wood is salvaged and recycled for a new purpose. You can see reclaimed wood used in remodeling homes, building cabinets, doors, flooring, and furniture. Its popularity can be attributed to its sustainability, unique character, strength and history.

[caption id="attachment_258" align="alignnone" width="170"]Grainwoodshop_barndoor_chestnut_Boston_woodworking_reclaimed Reclaimed chestnut sliding barn door[/caption]   Reclaimed wood is sustainable: Wood, unlike stone materials like marble and granite, is an environmentally sustainable resource because wood is renewable. Reclaimed wood is even more sustainable because it’s recycling a renewable resource for double the use. Rather than demolishing an old barn or other structure, the boards are carefully taken down, refinished, and resold for an entirely new purpose. This falls in line with the green modeling design idea as home and business owners strive to be more environmentally friendly. [caption id="attachment_259" align="alignnone" width="236"]Grainwoodshop_reclaimed_slidingbarndoor_Boston_woodworking Detail of hardware for the reclaimed chestnut sliding barn door[/caption] Reclaimed wood has a unique appearance: Unlike newly sourced wood, reclaimed wood has been aged and weathered for many decades which contributes to an unsurpassed beauty. This adds a unique character which really shows the color, texture and character of the wood.   [caption id="attachment_254" align="alignnone" width="166"]Reclaimed Chestnut sliding barn door Reclaimed Chestnut sliding barn door[/caption] Reclaimed wood is strong, stable and durable: Thanks to the time reclaimed wood has spent in the elements, it has repeatedly expanded and contracted due to changes in humidity and settled into its final state for a more stable, durable and strong wood plank. Historically, much of the old growth wood in this country was slow growing which means the grain is tighter and the wood is stronger.   [caption id="attachment_260" align="alignnone" width="141"]Reclaimed oak door with glass insert. Reclaimed oak door with glass insert.[/caption] Reclaimed wood has history: Reclaimed wood comes from old structures built during the last century including barns, warehouses, ships, grain elevators, and the like that have survived the rigors of time. When you use reclaimed wood, you are getting a tangible piece of history and also creating a new page in the wood’s history.