Dos and Don’ts of Salvaging Your Own Reclaimed Wood
Many people want to reclaim their own wood. It is possible to salvage wood from all sorts of different sources, whether it is from a construction company, a lumber yard, or anywhere else. It can provide a sense of Americana and add history to any project that you are working on.
Reclaimed wood already has history associated with it, though you want to make sure that you are following some of the do’s and don’ts so that you get high quality wood and don’t hurt yourself in the process.
DO have a specific project in mind when you obtain the wood. You don’t want to leave it in storage or in the yard for too long as it can deteriorate.
DO find out exactly how you should store the wood until you are ready to use it.
DO remember that wood has its own history, and it can be advantageous to know what this history is prior to rummaging or purchasing it.
DO try to source your reclaimed wood locally. This is going to improve the local economy and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
DO think about how you can use reclaimed wood in new and exciting ways as a way of saving money and adding character.
DO find out exactly what you are getting. Every type of wood has unique character to it, which can include swirls, knots, and various colors.
DO talk to a contractor who is working on a home renovation to let them know what kind of wood you are searching for.
DO think about kiln drying because it can end infestation to avoid bringing termites into a structure.
DON’T try to take the DIY approach with recycling wood because it requires special skills and can be labor-intensive.
DON’T spend a fortune on reclaimed wood because it is getting easier and more affordable to obtain in comparison to new hardwood.
DON’T try to take shortcuts, particularly if you are building anything with structural components.
DON’T obtain any kind of wood unless you know what kind it is and what the condition of it is. Some wood may already be warped or bent, and it may be worth it to leave those pieces behind.
Ultimately, salvaging your own reclaimed wood can be a simple process, though you want to make sure that you know what you are doing. It can be advantageous to bring in a professional so that you know what kind of wood or lumber you are getting and whether you are getting a good deal on it. When it comes to treating the wood, you don’t want to take the DIY approach either. Remember that reclaimed wood has, in some cases, been air drying for 100 years or more and there will be some inconsistencies. Kiln drying can help to prep it that much further.
Take your time with the wood and work with a professional as needed.