The Story of Reclaimed Wood


The true beauty and distinctiveness of reclaimed wood comes from its history and the process it undergoes to ultimately become a treasured creation for your home. Every piece of this unique product has its own story. Reclaimed wood is essentially “recycled” wood that was harvested decades ago, used in construction, and salvaged when the structure was torn down. Not all old wooden structures can be salvaged and used again, for example, a building that once housed potentially harmful fertilizers or chemicals is not safe to repurpose. Therefore, it is important for consumers to know where their reclaimed wood originated and to verify that it was properly inspected before being sold again. Much of the prime reclaimed wood dates back to the 1800’s and is salvaged from barns located in the Midwest and East coast areas. These types of barns include pole barns, tobacco barns, threshing sheds, small sheds, stables, and carriage houses.

The quality and strength of the wood is unlike any that is used in furniture construction today. The trees used in construction a century ago had time to mature in a cleaner, more natural environment creating denser, sturdier, healthier timber. The wood is just as strong now as it was when first harvested. Reclaimed wood comes in numerous varieties, each with its own unique look including American Beech, Black Walnut, Red Oak, White Oak, Brown Oak, Douglas Fir, Maple, White Pine, Yellow Pine, American Chestnut, and Heart Pine. Some of these woods are quite rare, for example, the Old Growth American Chestnut is now extinct, which gives the consumer the opportunity to have a truly one-of-a-kind piece.

Reclaimed wood must go through a careful, yet rigorous process before it is ready to be repurposed into something new. Once a structure has been inspected and the wood deemed safe for use again, it must be carefully deconstructed by hand one piece at a time to ensure that the wood is not damaged. Artisans thoroughly examine the wood for nails or pieces of metal, which must be removed by hand. Then the wood is dried in a kiln to ensure that it is sterile and safe to be used again. Once the wood is ready to be sold, clients are able to view and select the actual pieces to be used in their finished product. From here, the wood is cut, sanded, stained, and hand crafted into a truly custom piece including tables, benches, flooring, wall paneling, mantels, beams, and shelving. The sky is the limit! This process of giving old wood new life is not only beautiful; it is a key component to conserving our natural resources.

Reclaimed Wood Crafts is Southern California’s premier reclaimed wood furniture, flooring, and home design company that specializes in working with its clients to create one-of-a-kind, sustainable furniture and home décor pieces. RWC provides a process in which old timbers are harvested and reused to make beautiful custom furniture. By repurposing for modern use, they give this wood a new life, which contributes to conservation in the lumber industry. Reclaimed wood presents consumers with an opportunity to upgrade their home or business with a product that is not only useful and beautiful, but also one with a history. What kind of story would you like your treasured piece to tell?

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