If you’re thinking about doing renovations in your home or starting your next project that need wood, consider using reclaimed lumber.
Why use reclaimed lumber? Well, there are many species of tree that were once abundant in the world that are nearly extinct and not available for commercial use like American chestnut. Using reclaimed wood allows you to incorporate these woods into your project.
Where Can I Find Reclaimed Lumber?
There are many sources where you can find reclaimed lumber.
For large pieces of reclaimed wood, source from old barns, warehouses, and factories. Large pieces allow more flexibility in the size of project you’re undertaking. You’ll typically find oak, chestnut, and pine from these old buildings.
For smaller pieces, look for lumber from old railway sleepers, wine barrels, beer casks, and fences. These pieces will typically have unique patterns and deep colors.
Shipping palettes are another great source of reclaimed lumber, but check to see if the palettes have been treated with anything. If you want to use a palette to grow a garden, you will want untreated wood.
Benefits of Reclaimed Lumber
We already mentioned you can more easily find rare types of wood from reclaimed wood supplies. Rare woods make great statement pieces in the kitchen or dining room.
There’s also the added benefit of not putting stress on the environment. Because reclaimed lumber has already been felled and processed, you aren’t adding to the demand of virgin lumber which needs to be felled, transported, and processed. Also, you’re protecting forests by using reclaimed lumber.
Reclaimed wood from nearly 100 years ago means there’s a better chance it was derived from mature trees. Mature trees are much stronger and last much longer than the virgin wood we get today. There is such a high demand for timber that lumber companies are felling trees that are far too young to be as strong as wood from fully mature trees.
And, of course, you’ll get significantly more character (and possibly a great story) out of using reclaimed wood.
While some people adore the character that comes with reclaimed wood, others do not. Reclaimed wood tends to have different scratches, nail holes, and other marks which isn’t agreeable to those who want a uniform table or floor.