When I started building things, there was this mystique around using reclaimed wood.  Mention “long leaf pine” around a texan and they get this starry eyed look and the accent gets turned up to 11.  There are so many up sides to using reclaimed material…

1. sustainability

2. it looks great.

3. patina!!  you just can’t manufacture a 100+ year old look and color.

4. connection with the past…

As I’ve been asked at times to work with a variety of reclaimed woods, I’ve noticed a few other characteristics.  Its not all romance.  At at times, the warm fuzzy feeling you get while practicing sustainability gives way to frustration.  Here’s the other side of this list…


2. Patina!  It can be incredibly difficult to layout or match.

3. reclaimed wood at times is incredibly difficult to work with, and much of the time there are many, many additional steps.


But its both of these lists that make working with reclaimed material so rewarding.  It can be a unique and difficult challenge, but also a unique beauty.  Yes, de-nailing for hours doesn’t feel like fine woodworking, but the discoloring around the nails provide an amazing look I can’t conjure up without 100 years of weather and weight.  I still LOVE working with domestic hardwoods, but I’ll always try to take a reclaimed wood challenge here and there.  I’ll de-nail and de-nail and de-nail to make something beautiful out of something broken and dismantled.