“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”
This common phrase might just be a simple proverb to some, but here at Knuckles Up Woodwork, it is an important motto we try to operate by. Our professional woodworkers take a considerable amount of pride in their utilization of reclaimed wood, and their long history of reclaimed wood projects.
We seek out this “trash”, and we work tirelessly on whatever custom project you require, to make it your own personal “treasure.” Keep reading to see why our team here in Three Rivers loves working with reclaimed wood so much!
What is “Reclaimed” Wood?
When you throw a cardboard box that’s in good condition into the recycling bin, there is a good chance that when that box is processed, it is simply turned into a different kind of cardboard and used for the same purpose as before.
Reclaimed wood follows a similar model — when an older structure is demolished or falls into disrepair, there is a large amount of aged lumber left over that is still usable. The “virgin” or new wood that was used to initially build the structure has air-dried and toughened over the years of use, and it is still incredibly useful for a large variety of woodworking projects.
Wood from old barns, more commonly known as “barn wood”, is the most used and recognizable, but this wood can come from a number of sources, like old factories, retired ships, wine casks, stock farms and more, and it generally has a visible amount of history ingrained in it due to its age. We get our various types of reclaimed wood from local sources in the Three Rivers area, including oak, red pine, cypress, mesquite, and yellow longleaf pine.
Why Do We Use Reclaimed Wood?
Other than the obvious reasons — like the unique and rustic beauty of the wood, or the rich and visible history of divots and knots — reclaimed wood has some extraordinary characteristics that make it an ideal material for expert woodworkers like ours here at Knuckles Up Woodwork.
First of all, the age of reclaimed wood gives it different structural properties. Reclaimed wood is “old-growth”, meaning it came from trees that slowly matured over decades and even centuries, and the wood is stronger with denser fibers because of it. This “old-growth” lumber has been exposed to a lot of air and humidity changes through its life supporting a warehouse roof or a barn wall.
Like an aged whiskey forming its taste and character as it sits in a barrel, this exposure over time has caused the wood to expand, contract, and dry out thoroughly, which makes it much less likely to cup or warp. Reclaimed wood is very dimensionally stable, which makes it great to use for our handcrafted furniture or custom woodwork.
Better for the Planet
Reclaimed wood is also the best option for the environment, as it limits the emissions that come with logging for new wood and it recycles the usable wood that is piling up in our landfills. The cumulative energy required to cultivate and produce new lumber was found to require roughly 11 to 13 times more energy than what’s required to cultivate and produce reclaimed lumber.
Additionally, in 2015 landfills received 11.1 million tons of wood, a surprising amount of which could have been repurposed or reclaimed for other uses. Using reclaimed wood reduces unnecessary waste to and punishment of our Earth, while still maintaining an incredible level of quality for use in projects.
Maybe the biggest reason we like to use reclaimed wood is that it just looks so darn cool. Each piece has an intriguing history of existence, a history that you can literally see on the wood itself, like nail and bolt holes, knots or checks, and staining. It has a surpassing quality and durability from simply the time it has existed on the earth, which translates to the distinctive appearance of each piece.
Any reclaimed wood furniture or cabinetry we work on is a one-of-a-kind piece because the wood doesn’t come off a cookie-cutter assembly line, and neither do our expert woodworkers. The rustic and weathered character of reclaimed wood is an elegant choice for custom woodwork, and it creates a homely ambiance wherever and however it is used.
We love to work with such beautiful and industrious materials like reclaimed wood. Creating the reclaimed wood furniture and custom woodwork projects that our customers seek out is our passion. Let us share that passion with you, and come check out the amazing service we can provide for you here in Three Rivers.