Recycling Timber

I’m a big fan of recycling timber.

Not specifically for that distressed look (although timber that still reflects some of its history is not necessarily a bad thing), nor as a cost-saving measure.

I really hate seeing perfectly good things getting thrown away, and timber has such a longevity, it will often easily outlast its first, second, even third use.  There are plenty of examples of antique furniture showing that timber can last hundreds of years – really is an amazing product when you think about it, and how it is produced.

My own example is some timber that was being thrown away at work, destined for landfill.

timber-6 timber-7

They were old ceilings, made from Tassie Oak and 90x35mm, and around 1800 long.  Whole corridors of them.  They are about 40 years old, and were nailed in groups between 3 and 6, and by looks, all nailed together by hand.  (Not surprising given the age, but the amount of work involved!!)

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They were dirty on top, stained by water and time, and a varnish on the bottom and sides.  Many, I suspect, would have discarded it, or turned it into firewood.  But with a little imagination, the quality of the timber can still be seen, and easily extracted.  It is perfectly dry – 40 years inside will do that!  It is exceptionally straight.  After taking them apart, removing any fittings, fixtures and nails, this (and another few stacks like it) are all sitting in my wood store, ready for use.  Or should I say, reuse!

This dirty, dusty, stained, unwanted and unloved timber is finding new homes in my projects.  It is good to work with, and finishes very nicely.  And best of all, is being appreciated for what it is and not propping up landfill.  The fact that some of my projects have the occasional odd hole in a funny place does not cause any issues – it only goes to show the timber has lived a previous life.

3 Responses

  1. Lucky bugger. I always hear about stories like this but I never seem to be in the right place at the right time.

  2. So jealous of your wood victory. I always thought that wood would be great to use to make things. 🙂

  3. I have a bit of tas oak floorboard as well that I re-use as much as I can but I find it’s so old and dry that I get a fair bit of tearout when routing etc. How do I get around that?

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