Stability is important, and reclaimed wood may be more stable than new stuff due to the long time it had has had to dry, and the fact that “back in the day,” wood was often harvested from old growth trees with tighter grain 🙈 However, since there’s no telling how long reclaimed wood has been exposed to poor treatment, the elements or other poor conditions, you must make sure that the wood isn’t rotten or otherwise ruined 🔥 Check for soft parts, rotting or moldy patches, or bits that look like they’ve got sawdust on them, which could indicate the presence of wood-eating insects. Lumber that shows signs of rot should be discarded. If the outside is sound, most likely the inside will be as well.
How It Works: Transforming Old WoodTurning the side of an old barn into high-quality flooring is not a simple process. Reclaimed wood must be checked for quality, sometimes by taking a core sample to determine its age and character. As the old structure is carefully dismantled, unsound wood is discarded. Solid wood is usually inventoried with information about its history, then examined by hand or metal detectors to reveal nails or other metal lodged in the wood. These fragments must be removed before the wood can be reworked. Paint is also removed before the wood is sawn into finished boards that are straight with a uniform thickness. (edited by Samuel Moore from Alexandria, Egypt on January 25, 2020)
Prior to the late 1900s wood was used as the main element in almost all of the structures that were built throughout the United States. From houses to large office buildings and warehouses, wood was used throughout as support for the structure itself. One of the main larger buildings that wood was used as the primary building material were barns and farm structures. As the agriculture industry took off throughout the U.S. There was a huge surge in the construction of barns and thus there is now a large surplus of wood ready to be reclaimed as those buildings begin to fall into disrepair and new metal barns are being built. (we appreciate Eula Burrows for the heads up).
Alise McCormack from housebeautiful.com provides us with additional information. This upcycled kitchen by Dirty Girl Construction is a good example of how reclaimed wood can be used to create a cool new look (you can see it in the island shelves and the side panels of the cabinets) but the wood used in this particular build came from the original structure of the home. So, what do you do when you don’t have wood to reuse from your own renovation project? You have to find it elsewhere. The good news is, it may seem like a challenge, but it’s surprisingly easy—there are actually several places you can search for reclaimed lumber online, not to mention, more local dealers and options by you than you might realize. (last emended 71 days ago by Tyshon Brenner from Panzhihua, China)