For decades or centuries, farmers, builders and craftsmen depend on wood as the primary material for the construction of buildings and structures, furniture-making and other woodworking projects because of its density and strength. In the early days, the material was plentiful and inexpensive. Today, population growth stimulates the demand for more wood products. This heated demand continues to accelerate the need for new wood and contributes the over-harvesting of forest land. By using reclaimed wood, material salvaged from older building and structures, including homes, factories, and warehouses, you choose a green material solution that adds warmth, value and a bit of history to your home.
Vintage Wood: Popularity and Benefits
Recycling vintage wood has major appeal with architects, designers, contractors, and homeowners. Sourced from virgin old growth hardwood and softwood forests, the material has air dried and weathered naturally. The rustic good looks, durability and strength of the material make the variety of repurposed wood projects seem limitless. Made from the tallest, straightest, and largest trees in the forest, you would have a hard time finding this quality of wood in today’s lumber market. Reclaimed wood has an amazing variety of textures, patterns and grades of materials. From an environmental standpoint, repurposed wood lessens the waste sent to overflowing landfills and preserves our national resources.
Types of Reclaimed Wood
Repurposed wood come in an amazing variety of textures, patterns, tones, grades of materials and other characteristics. The varied species and maturity of wood, makes your reclaimed wood ideas possible. The different kinds of vintage wood include:
- Oak – Oak has a humble but elegant appearance. Known for its strength, oak has a warm tone and is probably the most requested reclaimed wood in the world.
- Chestnut – Chestnut comes in colors ranging from a luxurious tan to dark chocolate.
- Maple – Reveled for its strength and beauty, many woodcrafter chose maple because of the varied fine grain patterns, which makes it suitable for furniture, flooring and fine woodworking.
- Eastern White Pine - This wood has a wide width, tight subtle grains and small dark knots and a honey-brown color.
- Birch – Fine furniture manufacturers and cabinet makers value this reclaimed wood, which is native to the Appalachian mountain out to Michigan and Minnesota.
Other types of reclaimed wood include Hickory, Beech, Walnut Cypress, Poplar, Ash Cherry, and Barn wood. To find reclaim wood, search online, reclaimed lumber dealers, architectural salvage yards and demolition sites.
Choose reclaimed wood carefully. Look for pieces that have not been painted. Older wood provides a greener choice because wood salvaged from modern buildings have a higher probability of treatment or finished with lead paint or an oil-based product. Avoid wood with signs of insects, rot, mold and mildew. You should expect reclaimed wood to have original saw marks, nail holes, sound cracks, checking and wormholes. Make sure that you remove nails, staples and other metal from the wood before you begin working. Some recycled wood will not need any work, and you only have to seal it.
Reclaimed Wood Applications
If you are thinking about an addition or home remodel, look for ways to incorporate the use of reclaimed wood in your project for beams, trusses, flooring, staircases or other components. You can also use vintage wood for all kinds of easy DIY woodworking projects, including:
- DIY Wood Cutting Board
- Bedside Table
- Circle Wood Shelf
- Plant Hanger
- Wood Wall Art
- X-Brace Bench
- Wooden Bookends
- Easy Birdhouse
- Headboard and Bedframe
- Fireplace Mantel
With the right tools, a little know-how, time and patience, you will soon finish your reclaimed wood project and enjoy the results for years. For help with your repair, maintenance and improvement project, request service from the Mr. Handyman near you or call (877) 256-3376.