When most people think of reclaimed wood furniture they think of a rustic piece of furniture that looks like it would fit right at home in a log cabin. Much of the commercially available reclaimed wood furniture is just that, a simple piece fashioned from plain planks of reclaimed wood from an old barn or mill. To the true craftsman, creating furniture from reclaimed woodis an art. The vast array of available species and characteristics of reclaimed wood allow for endless possibilities.
The Art in Reclaimed Wood Furniture
The artisan will spend hours searching a piece of wood with specific characteristics for a specific spot in the final product. He will consider the woods age, size, shape, color, wood grain, and imperfections. he best craftsmen will combine dissimilar pieces to create a contrast that is visually appealing. They will take a material that has a naturally rustic feel and put a modern twist on it to produce a piece of furniture that is fit for an art museum.
Whether you are looking for a piece of furniture for your log cabin, 5th Ave. modern apartment in New York City, or a piece of art for your dining room, a piece of reclaimed wood furniture will make a perfect addition to your home.
Shopping for and purchasing furniture such as a table, bed, chairs, shelves, desk or cabinet may seem like a simple task, but when searching for a piece of reclaimed wood furniture there are important things to consider.
- Authenticity – Always verify that the piece of furniture is constructed of reclaimed wood furniture. Companies that specialize in this type of furniture will often provide a certificate of authenticity which will indicate where the wood came from. The recent explosion of sustainability and green living has led to companies and individuals looking to make a quick dollar by claiming their furniture is created entirely from reclaimed wood. Many times the wood used is new wood that has been aged to look reclaimed. Other times, only the most visible part of the piece is constructed of reclaimed wood, such as the top of a table or doors on a cabinet. Always look for a company with a long history of success and a large amount of references.
- Quality – Although reclaimed wood has “stood the test of time” not all reclaimed wood is created equal. Unlike new wood, reclaimed wood often contains defects that are kept to add unique character to the furniture. It is important that the manufacturer consider the final locations of these defects so they do not impact the structural stability. A good craftsman will arrange the wood such that the imperfections have minimal impact on the structural stability. If there is potential for these imperfections to compromise the piece, he will remove and replace them with a reinforced wood patch. Another important difference between new wood and reclaimed wood is the potential for the wood to have been internally compromised by the presence of pests such as termites. Always verify the wood has been tested for pests, especially in furniture containing very large pieces of wood where affects may not be present on the exterior.
Taking the time to consider these aspects of shopping for reclaimed wood furniture and doing all of the research possible will result in purchasing a piece that will have benefits for years to come.
Every year, 40 million acres of forests are being cut down to manufacture wood furniture. Deforestation leads to an increase in greenhouse gasses causing global warming and reduced habitat for some of the earth’s most endangered living species. One way to reduce these environmental impacts of deforestation is by furnishing your home or office reclaimed wood furniture. Reclaimed wood furniture is created with wood salvaged from old structures, not wood recently cut from living forests.
Affordable reclaimed wood furniture
Deforestation and global warming are the two most obvious environmental consequences of furniture manufacturing using new wood. The manufacturing process for new wood furniture requires heavy equipment for logging, transportation of raw materials, processing of the raw materials at a sawmill, and transportation of the sawed lumber to the furniture manufacturing plants. This equipment requires a large amount of energy to operate, most of which is derived from fossil fuels.These processes reduce the world’s supply of fossil fuels and produce greenhouse gasses, also leading to global warming.
Since reclaimed wood furniture is manufactured from used wood which was cut and processed long ago, it requires much less energy to create the final product. Additionally, most manufacturers of this type of furniture are small companies that acquire much of their wood stock from local sources, minimizing energy needed for transportation. Reusing old wood also prevents it from ending up in a landfill or being disposed of in an otherwise environmentally unfriendly way. Reclaimed wood furniture is environmentally friendly and one of the most sustainable furniture types available.
Whether you are looking for a cheap substitute, adding antique appeal to your home or office, or are concerned about the environment, reclaimed wood furniture offers a great alternative to other types of furniture.
Reclaimed wood furniture is furniture created with wood salvaged from old structures, not wood recently cut from living trees. Barnwood furniture is one of the most popular types of reclaimed wood furniture. Barnwood is wood salvaged from old barns. Other common sources of reclaimed wood are old textile mills, warehouses, silos, other long standing structures, and even old furniture. Common wood species used include oak, elm, hickory, cherry, maple, pine, chestnut, redwood, exotic woods such as teak and mahogany, and many others. Many manufacturers will even take custom orders using a specific wood type if it is available. Furniture types available include tables, beds, chairs, desks, bookshelves, home and office accents, and flooring.
There are many benefits to reclaimed wood furniture. This furniture type is very cost effective, has unique character, antique appeal, durability, and is environmentally friendly. Reclaimed wood furniture uses recycled materials which are generally cheaper than new materials. Additionally, many manufacturers and retailers do most of their business online, which saves the money required to set up a retail facility and employ a large staff, allowing them to offer their products at a lower cost.
Reclaimed wood offers characteristics not found in new wood. Much of the antique appeal associated with this type of furniture comes from the age of the wood. Other unique characteristics include, nail holes, worm holes, knots, variation in the wood grain, and other imperfections usually discarded in the manufacture of new wood furniture. The best timber for furniture making typically comes from old growth trees, which are very hard to find today. Old growth trees offer strength, robustness, and durability not found in new wood. Timber used in the past for the construction of large structures used only the biggest and best trees of the highest quality. By using wood reclaimed from these old structures, the furniture is sure to be much more robust and durable than furniture created from new and smaller trees. Reclaimed wood has already stood the test of time.
Reclaimed wood furniture is considered by many as the most eco friendly furniture. Harvesting of new trees in the excessive amounts required by large furniture manufacturers leads to deforestation. Side effects of deforestation include increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, global warming, and reduced habitat for some of the world’s most endangered species. Since recycled wood is used exclusively, forests are saved and the energy required to harvest and process new wood is conserved.
Reclaimed wood furniture offers an abundance of benefits over most all other furniture types, from unique characteristics and antique appeal to robustness and durability. Due to the typically low costs of creating this furniture, anybody can enjoy the benefits of this environmentally friendly option.