We love finding new ways to use old things. And when it comes to wood, the reclaimed kind is one of our favorite custom furniture materials.

What is Reclaimed Wood?

The term “Reclaimed Wood” refers to used lumber that has been “reclaimed” to a new life or application through creative woodworking. It’s original use might have been as floorboards in a home, railway sleepers, old docks, or lumber from a barn. You get the jist.

Once removed from its original site, the process of reclamation typically involves cleaning to remove nails, screws and other foreign objects. It is then re-milled, and/or re-formed to serve the needs of its second life. Old railway sleepers may find new life as a benchtop, floorboards become transformed as bookshelves, the possibilities are endless.

Aside from the environmental benefits of reuse, knowing that your piece of custom furniture came from something old and unused adds a layer of history and memory worthy of being handed down through the generations.

What Makes Reclaimed Wood so Special?

Most reclaimed lumber is solid wood that is many years old. In many cases the aging process makes the wood more stable as moisture (and movement) dissipates over time.

The charming effects of time on wood often bring a host of other unique aesthetic traits such as:

  • Wood grain color, which can darken over time to become more attractive.
  • Marks and scarring from items such as old nails and screws can be amplified in the design to make a strong statement.
  • Weather exposed wood often develops incredible textures and patterns as a result of time and tide.

Reclaimed and Salvaged Woods are Not the Same

People often confuse the terms reclaimed and salvaged. While they may sound similar, in truth they’re not the same. Reclaimed wood requires re-use to justify the term, whereas salvaged wood is used for lumber from a natural state.

Salvaged wood is most often a tree that has died, fallen over, or needed to be felled for one reason or another. We consider ourselves lucky to have access to a lot of both kinds.