My favorite part of salvaging reclaimed wood is watching the demolition
of a old home or building...can't get the little boy out of me. Most of the
homes throughout southern California are built with Douglas Fir. Homes
and commercial buildings built before the 1940's were generally constructed
from old growth 2" thick rough sewn lumber as well as much thicker wood
for ceiling trusses as well as other structural supports and sub floors.
This single family residence in Brentwood California, built in 1926
is being demolished to make way for a grand estate. Not only do we recycle
old wood but doors, windows and hardware will all be re-purposed. It's
amazing how little goes to waste if there is enough time to salvage
everything before the construction begins.
This property had lots of amazing 2" x 14" wide boards which we used to
make a 16ft long dining table.
The material we select has to be free of any paint or stain and usually is part of
the sub floor or ceiling joists.
The crew pulls out anything that is metal or copper that can be sold for
scrap -- it's amazing how much there is in one home.
Time to sort and select. Usually the reclaimed wood comes in 3/4" thickness
up to 3" thickness and most of the boards are 4" to 14" wide.
Clean and ready to load onto the flatbed.
Delivered to our factory... 1 1/2 " to 6" thick reclaimed wood up to
22ft long. The next part of handling this salvaged wood is removing all the nails,
staples and little cement pebbles that get stuck in the wood. We use a
metal detector to check our work because one nail can destroy the carbide
cutting blades on the table saws and these blades are expensive!
The end result. A reclaimed wood dining trestle table we made from
this demolition site. When old growth fir is re milled the amazing beauty of old
growth vertical grain fir is revealed. One of the characteristics of this material
is how hard it is, much different quality than the new rapid growth lumber you find in a Home Depot these days.
For this dining table we applied a toluene free wax finish and lots of buffing. Solid, resilient, and reclaimed.