Reclaimed wood furniture..
Is it really eco friendly?
Reclaimed wood furniture is made from recycled lumber. Recycled lumber is great for the environment. The use of reclaimed wood prevents trees from being cut for lumber.
Recycling lumber also prevents old barns and buildings from going to a land fill...or worse! Becoming the victim of a can of gas and a match!
Reclaimed wood gets a nice patina from having spent its life as part of a barn.
Over many years of use the old barn wood has become darkened by the tannins that naturally occur in wood. Ammonia in the farm environment reacts with the tannins to produce a deep rich color.
It has had many years to dry and season.
This is the best way for lumber to dry.
Woodworkers who make gun-stocks and musical instruments love air dried wood. When wood has time to season properly it is much more stable.
When you get new lumber from a lumber yard it has been dried quickly in an unnatural kiln environment. Kiln drying does stabilize the wood but not as well as if it were air dried over several years.
Antique wood also has a tighter ring or grain pattern than modern lumber. This makes it stronger and more durable. Reclaimed barn lumber originally came from old growth or virgin timber.
Many years ago timbers were cut from forests that had never been cut before. These forests had a very high canopy. Any trees that grew, had to grow straight up to reach the sunlight. The canopy effect results in tree rings or grain growing closer together. All woodworkers know that denser grain makes a more stable board.
Recycling wood from an old barn requires a lot of time and labor. It is more expensive than new lumber. You may think that your can get used lumber cheap. I'm sorry to say, it doesn’t work that way. Recycled building materials cost more to refurbish than freshly harvested lumber costs to produce.
People who decide to recycle their barn are rewarded with the knowledge that their barn lives on in homes across the country. It won’t sit in a landfill to rot.