Preparing Reclaimed Wood for Use
A reclaimed wood project can help you to introduce a more eco-friendly aesthetic to your restaurant or home. There is a lot that goes into preparing reclaimed wood so that it can be used. It doesn’t matter whether the wood is being used for a table, chairs, paneling, or something else – once it is collected from its original location, it needs to be prepared sufficiently so that it lasts.
Finding the Wood
Knowing where to find the wood is one of the most important steps. This can be an old barn, an older home that is being torn down, or various other structures. Whether you collect the wood on your own or you work with a contractor, it’s important to know what kind of wood you are getting, such as redwood, oak, cedar, and so on. Knowing quality prior to receiving it can also be advantageous.
Once you receive the salvaged material, you may have to start two piles – one to keep and one to toss. Wood that is significantly cracked, rotted, or is too short/small to do anything with should be discarded. Often, you want to look for beams and trusses as these are going to provide you with larger pieces that you can do more with.
Cleaning the Wood
You will need to clean the wood. This includes removing any nails or screws. This will require a visual inspection. As you inspect, you will also want to discard wood that has any rot or cracks.
The wood should also be sanded on all sides. One pass is generally enough, and this will help you to find any metal that you may have missed.
Cutting the Wood
It’s a good idea to cut the ends of the boards, especially if they are not even. This will make it easier to feed the wood through the planer later on.
Drying the Wood
The final step before being able to use the wood is to dry it. Even though the wood may have been in place for more than 100 years, you may be surprised to find out that it is not as dry as you would think. Kiln drying is the most efficient way of drying the wood so that you can rely on it lasting a long time.
These are all important steps when you are preparing reclaimed wood to use, regardless of what your project may be. Working with a company that understands the process can ensure that you get quality products without having to do any of the work on your own.