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What is Reclaimed Furniture?

what is reclaimed wood

What is Reclaimed timber and where does it come from?

Reclaimed timber is wood which has been salvaged for re-use in another form. Typically salvaged from old warehouses, factories and barns which have fallen into disrepair and have been demolished, the roof beams, roof trusses, joists and floor boards are all reclaimed where possible.

At Vintage and Reclaimed, we’ve also been known to reclaim wood from more unusual sources such as old coal mines, railway tracks, malt kilns, whisky barrels and even old fishing boats!

So how do you turn a roof beam into a bookcase?

Once removed from site to our workshops, the timber is firstly “de-nailed”. This is an extremely labour intensive and time-consuming process which is carried out entirely by hand. It involves finding - sometimes with the aid of a small metal detector - and removing any nails, bolts and screws from the wood.

The timber is then “milled” through a large rip-saw to cut the wood down to an appropriate and usable size before being cut and sawn by hand into the various component parts required to assemble the furniture.

So why is reclaimed wood better?

what is reclaimed timber - photos of reclaimed wood

It's better for our planet

Using old, reclaimed timber has many wonderful advantages over that of new wood. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly there’s the obvious ecological and environmental benefit of recycling and re-using natural materials which may otherwise be burned or become land-fill. 

It's stronger and more stable

Having had decades, or even centuries in some cases, to become fully seasoned, reclaimed wood tends to be stronger and more stable than new wood.  It's also more dense than new wood and this means that whilst it's undoubtedly harder to work with when making the furniture, the wood itself is much more robust and resilient and this is also true of the finished product.

Bags of character and buckets of charm

Then there’s the character of old, reclaimed wood to consider. The effects of time simply can’t be replicated at will. The colour and hue of old wood is simply wonderful. A coat or two of natural beeswax, applied by hand, highlights the beauty of the grain and produces a glorious antique patina which can’t be faked. Shakes in the timber, old nail holes, grain pattern variations and evidence of the timber’s “previous life” make each and every piece unique and contribute to the character and appeal of reclaimed, old wood furniture.  

Romance, history and a story to tell

Finally, there’s the question of a little romance. We all love a little romance. (Yes, even those of us who say we don't!) Knowing that your table or your bookcase was around, in a different form, in the nineteenth or even eighteenth century certainly adds a touch of romance and intrigue. It gives your furniture a history and a story to tell and where possible, we'll even let you know precisely where the timber used for your furniture was sourced from.

Responsibly sourced

At Vintage and Reclaimed we take great pride in using only timber which is reclaimed in Britain. We don't buy imported wood as we can't be certain of its origin and the additional transport has an environmental impact too. We’re also careful to ensure that the reclaimed timber we use is genuine and that it's been responsibly sourced. As such, we only buy our timber from licensed and authorised demolition contractors or timber suppliers. How much we pay varies depending on the type of wood, the condition, thickness, length and so on but above all, we're guided by quality rather than price.

More Information

If you’d like any more information about reclaimed wood, please feel free to contact us at any time.