Reclaimed Wood – Info to Know

7 Min.

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Not all reclaimed wood products are created equal. While you can purchase reclaimed flooring planks from many different places, not all those places have taken the time to ensure that the wood that you receive is the very best it can be.

Jewitt Farms Hopkinton low rez 022Jewett Farms + Co. source all our reclaimed wood, from flooring planks to barnboard and beams, from companies that love timber as much as we do and who have teams of craftsmen who are trained to see the intrinsic beauty in vintage structures that have outlived their usefulness. They travel the country seeking out wooden buildings that are no longer used or are scheduled for demolition, then they get to work removing all salvageable siding, flooring, and beams.

But finding the wood is only the beginning, it’s back at the shop that the work really begins. It is the inspection, defecting and manufacturing processes that are truly the key to a quality product. We work with companies that focus their energy 100% on antique and reclaimed wood, they spend a lot of time on many steps (up to 20!) to ensure that the final product is truly high quality. Here are a few key areas to consider on your search for the perfect reclaimed wood materials.

Jewitt Farms Boxford low rez 020De-nailing is the first manufacturing step, all nails should be removed by hand, along with any other metal that may be found in the wood. This first level of inspection allows a thorough evaluation of each piece of wood to confirm it is in the best shape possible. For example, wood with mold, excessive cracks, or unsound checking should be discarded.

Wood materials are kiln-dried before they are milled. Kilns are essentially large ovens that allow control of temperature, airflow, and humidity. There are many different types of kilns, but the best is a dehumidification kiln because it is more energy efficient and effective. Dehumidification kilns use a heat pump system that recycles the heat it produces. The heated air (which reaches an optimal temperature of 160 degrees) is circulated over the lumber with fans, allowing the water contained in the wood to evaporate and make the wood’s moisture content level a consistent 6 % – 8%. The wood is also kiln-dried to stabilize it and guarantee defects such as insects or mold are eliminated.

Photo-Feb-16-1-52-29-PM-620x386Milling to Order. Once an order has been placed, state of the art technologies and machinery are used to precisely mill the wide plank flooring and other reclaimed wood materials. The molding process mills the wood to precise width and length specifications. Molded products are accurate within 10,000th of an inch. Craftsmen inspect the wood throughout the milling process to ensure all products meet quality standards.

Finally, products are packaged and prepared for shipping. This process should also be done by hand which allows for an inspection of orders one final time before leaving the facility. This is a careful process, after all that hard work the last thing anyone wants is damage during shipping!

Incorporating reclaimed wood into your design brings character and a sense of history that can’t be found anywhere else. But, as with any antique material, there are potential pitfalls if the quality of the material is lacking. Know your wood source, ask questions about how the wood is processed and evaluated and make sure that the reclaimed wood coming into your home is ready and prepped for its second life.

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