One of my favorite questions working in this industry is “Where do you get your reclaimed wood from?” My favorite response is “Everywhere.”
When you think about it, lumber itself is reclaimed. Where does wood come from? Trees. Trees have a purpose, and when logged and turned into lumber, we are re-purposing it into whatever structure we are building, therefore “reclaiming” it. Reclaimed wood is defined as wood retrieved from its original application for purposes of subsequent use. Original application, i.e..Tree. Subsequent use, i.e..Table, Bench, Shelf.
Reclaimed does not always have to refer to rustic. Yes, nail holes and bolt holes, cracks, rough sawn and distressed patina add to the characteristics of the make up of reclaimed. You can find beautiful aged pieces that have natural checking, large knots and age spots that pull it into the reclaimed feel. Off the shelf, planed boards do not have the same feel.
Take a walk in your nearest wooded area. Look around. Nature clears the way for new growth that sustains the resources by clearing out the old and dead, and laying it at our feet. Pick up that fallen branch and look at its beauty. See if you can incorporate it into your design. Guess what? You’ve just reclaimed wood. Amazing isn’t it?