|If you are looking for the mellow patina
of antique wood in your home, companies that
specialize in recycling old wood may be a
source for the millwork, flooring, stairs,
fire place mantles, beams, kitchen counters,
cabinets or even furniture that you wish
to install. These companies get their wood
from buildings that are being demolished
or by rescuing timbers that sank in rivers
and bays many years ago. You can buy this
wood either in its original condition or
after it has been sawn and/or milled into
lumber ready for construction. The antique
woods that are available include heart pine,
Douglas fir, cypress, oak, hemlock, chestnut,
and elm. You can buy antique wood from companies
that store it in large warehouses or you
can order it by sending them your specifications.
If you are thinking of purchasing
wood, consider the following:
- Look for companies that properly store and
kiln dry their wood before milling it to
avoid shrinking and buckling after installation.
The wood should also have been treated for
bugs before it is shipped.
- Make sure that the wood has been inspected
for defects that can impair its structural
integrity. Precise milling and trimming of
waste will prevent wood that is too narrow
or thin from being included in your purchase.
- Check to see if the company has enough of
the antique wood you want for your project.
Lots of wood will vary according to the source,
and it will often be difficult for the company
to get more of the same. The age, conditions
it was exposed to, and density of the wood
will affect any finish that is applied to
it, making matches from different sources
sometimes almost impossible.
Antique wood can be used to
looks, from the rustic feel of
old barn siding
to the refined finishes of formal
19th century houses. If you are
an old building and want an accurate historic
feeling, you should research what woods would
have been originally used.
Remember that choosing antique wood does
not involve cutting down new trees but is
instead an environmentally good use for timber
that might otherwise be disposed of.