The new look of wood.
Once upon a time, in a land very close to home, there was an abundance of trees. They came in a variety of sizes and shapes and big trees were easy to find. It was early discovered that these big trees were a great source of lumber or wood and were a natural for building strong and sturdy homes, barns and even factories. So the big trees were cut down and the wood was used to support this country’s most popular structures of the last century. But so many of these trees were cut down for a source of wood that one day there were no big trees left. And thus the reclaimed wood industry was born.
Now those old barns and factories are being torn down and the remaining wood is now reclaimed to build new homes and often the tables and chairs that furnish them. Old barns serve as a primary source for reclaimed wood products. Barns constructed up through the early part of the 19th century were typically built using whatever trees were right there on the property. They often contain a mixed blend of oak, chestnut and other woods including poplar, hickory and pine. And wood beam sizes were limited to what could be moved by man and horse.
Reclaimed wood is popular for many reasons, its unique appearance, its contribution to building green and its strength, stability and durability. Reclaimed wood beams can be cut into wider planks than new lumber and is more stable because it has been exposed to changes in humidity over an extended period of time. Reclaimed wood is not only high in demand but it can also be high in price. Unlike new lumber, reclaimed wood has expenses related to dismantling, sorting, and preparing the wood. Sometimes, reclaimed wood will even have pieces of metal embedded in it like broken off nails, so a broken planing blade can be a common occurrence.
Longleaf pine is a common species for reclaimed wood as it was used to build most of our factories and warehouses during the Industrial Revolution. It was slow growing taking 200 to 400 years to mature tall and straight with a natural ability to resist mold and insects. But more importantly, pine was abundant and it grew in forests that spanned over 140,000 square miles! So next time you go shopping for that new pine wood accent table, think how long it took to grow that new lumber and switch to reclaimed wood tables. Go green.
Industrial iron and wood tables
Three tables in one
Made with reclaimed wood