Reclaimed Lumber and Salvage
*This page has been updated from it’s original publication on April 29, 2016
Reclaimed lumber and salvage are perfect building materials for projects like cabinetry, flooring, furniture, architectural details, and more. From seed to sawdust, every tree product can be reused, recycled, or repurposed. Old wood welcomes the eye with warmth, draws the mind’s attention with detail, and captivates the soul with history and mystery. It is authentic, and so are the people that use it.
Reclaimed lumber and architectural salvage is the antithesis of the sterile, throw-away culture promoted by big box stores. The very nature of salvage ensures that each rescued timber is one-of-a-kind, with its own unique properties, its own story to tell, its own life to live.
Longleaf pine is a common species of reclaimed wood. The warehouses and factories of America’s Industrial Revolution were most often constructed of old-growth heart pine timbers. The slow-growing trees were tall and straight and dense enough to repel insects and mold. Many of Jacksonville’s older buildings are constructed of heart pine.
Today’s heart pine hardly compares. It is harvested from much younger post-industrial era trees whose growth has suffered from air pollution. Today’s heart pine also contains much less heart material than is typically found in reclaimed heart pine. Fresh cut pine is also much less stable than reclaimed pine, as it has not yet experienced cycles of humidity change. Old wood is stable, but a new piece of pine is liable to twist and turn severely before it settles into a stable shape.
Old growth heart pine is available at the Eco Relics architectural salvage warehouse, from beam-sized timbers to cut-offs (yes, we save those, too!), and everything in between. Our pine is locally sourced in and around Jacksonville, often from renovations of landmark buildings, and always discount priced to sell.
Barns are another common source for reclaimed lumber. Often constructed from the closest suitable trees, a single old barn can contain many species of wood, including oak, pine, hickory, poplar, and chestnut.
Chestnut is a particularly rare sight these days, following the Chestnut blight beginning in 1904. Pre-blight chestnut is identified by a lack of worm tracks inside the wood.
Northeast Florida isn’t exactly barn country, but we do our best to keep a variety of barn wood on the shelf at the Eco Relics architectural salvage warehouse. From barn doors to beams and siding, our deconstruction team delivers century-old barn wood and many other kinds of reclaimed lumber and salvage timbers to our warehouse at 106 Stockton Street, Jacksonville, Florida, 32204. It is open to the public and home to the city’s most dedicated wood preservationists. Help us keep dead wood alive!