How To Work With Salvaged Wood

Woodworking has been popular with a lot of people in the past years. For one, many people started woodworking as a hobby. But, because of the fulfillment, it has brought their lives, a simple pastime grew into a more serious work or business. 

Most woodworkers use salvaged wood. This type of wood refers to the lumber previously used in barns, floors, and old buildings on the brink of demolition. The idea behind ‘reclaiming’ is to give new life and look to the salvaged wood—for example, a piece of reclaimed lumber once a floor in a farmhouse is turned into a wooden wall panel. It’s in this way that old pieces of wood are repurposed. 

If you want to start woodworking, you could begin with salvaged wood. Here’s an article that could help you for this purpose: 

1. Pre-Cleaning 

Because reclaimed pieces of wood are used and bruised timber, they’re often dirty. That’s why cleaning is one of the first things you should do once you get a hold of salvaged wood. Even if you’re just planning to make round tables or complex wooden panels, it’s always a must that you start with clean wood.

2. Kiln-Drying Or Air-Drying 

If you’re buying old timber from shops, they’ll likely put the salvaged wood in a kiln or a moisture-removing oven. However, pieces of wood that have undergone kiln-drying are more expensive because of the time and effort they required. 

In some cases, air-drying has been the option for some shops. In this process, pieces of wood undergo drying outside until their moisture evaporates entirely. 

You may do your own drying of reclaimed wood. This is an affordable way to remove its moisture. But, if you’re thinking of speeding up the drying process, you may look for shops that offer kiln-drying services for quicker results. 

3. Power Washing 

This refers to the spraying of water through a pressure washer. This process removes mud, grime, and dirt from the surfaces of the wood. If you really want a super clean surface, you may use heated water to remove the hardened mud and dirt. 

4. Steam Cleaning

Cleaning your wood is preferable if you desire to remove bugs living inside the salvaged wood. You may choose between a steam vapor machine that doesn’t dampen the wood much or the typical steam cleaner that may need more drying time. 

If you choose the steaming process that would get the wood wet, you might repeat the earlier steps as the salvaged wood should be completely dry before one works on it. 

5. Wire Brushing And De-nailing 

This process removes the stubborn dirt that may be too hard to detach. De-nailing, on the other hand, eliminates nails or pins tacked on the wood. This is an important process as non-removal of the nails may cause injury, or damage the woodworking equipment and tools.

6. Sanding 

Start using sandpaper first. Sand the rougher surfaces until they become even with the cleaner sides. For the sewn portions, you have the option to retain or sand them. Some woodworkers opt to keep the sewn parts as they think it gives a more authentic and aesthetic appeal.  

After the initial sanding, you may use the finer sandpaper types—#120-150 grit. When every wooden face is even, you can work with #220 grit sandpaper to have the most refined texture. 

7. Weatherproofing And Sealing 

Most woodworkers choose to seal the salvaged wood to keep its clean look for a longer time. In addition, sealing makes the wood more water-resistant, if not waterproof. Further, it slows than its aging or natural wear and tear.  

To achieve weatherproof wood, you may use tung or linseed oil on its surfaces. Then, apply a polyurethane coating, lacquer, varnish, or any ready-to-use stain. You could also apply a sealant mixture of three-part gum turpentine and one-part linseed oil for a better finish. Let the wood dry up to 24 hours after application. 

Finishing Touches 

Wooden themes for interior and exterior home designs have earned their reputation among home builders. Aside from this, many prefer wooden furniture because of its classic and natural appearance. That’s why a lot of businesses have started looking for a lot of salvaged wood. Typically, this kind of wood comes from farmhouses, barns, and buildings facing urban demolition. While finding high-quality salvaged timber may be challenging, using it is really advantageous.  

If you want an easy way to obtain a salvaged wood, you could always go to a wooden log store. After buying some, you may apply what insights you might have gained in this article. This way, you’ll have the kind of wood that’ll stand the test of time, just like salvaged wood. 



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