Reclaiming Old Wood

The popularity of reclaimed wood has grown dramatically in the past few years. It has shown up in designer homes, high-end retail stores and restaurants throughout the US. Here in Minnesota, we are finding that homeowners like it for its warmth, subtle casualness and it sense of rustic outdoors.

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A misconception with getting your hands on reclaimed wood is that it is easy to just take it from an old barn or church. While this is one of the many ways it is obtained, there are some important processes and treatments to the wood that need to happen before it is installed in a home.

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We decided to visit our friends at Manomin Resawn Timbers in Hugo, Minnesota to see first-hand how this all works. Their showroom and processing facility is just north of the Twin Cities and is worth visiting if you are thinking about adding any reclaimed wood to your home or cabin.

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The slowest part of the process is de-nailing. After the supplier does the initial surface de-nailing, they carefully remove all nails and metal from the boards and timbers. This is done by hand, and with metal detecting equipment.

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The second phase is to dry out the wood and get the moisture content down to 6-9%. The lumber is placed into powerful kilns until it’s reached its equilibrium moisture content (EMC). EMC is a balance of the moisture content (MC) of the wood and the relative humidity (RH) of its environment. This process helps keep the board true and stable under seasonable changes to the environmental condition. This is particularly important to prevent shrinkage that can compromise the quality of the installation and the floors years later.

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When kiln drying, they heat treat the wood to destroy any bugs and larvae in the wood – before they become unwelcomed visitors in your home. We learned that this is one of the most important steps, and not all wood companies perform this procedure.

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The final step is the molding and milling of the wood pieces to add tongue and grooves. It takes the right tools and the right person using them to make an antique board absolutely flat, straight and square. They use special saws, planers, joiners, molders, specialty tools and mostly, their experience and judgment to create the beginnings of one-of-a-kind boards that will make your project uniquely yours.

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We learned a lot more about reclaimed wood that we didn’t know before the tour, and we enjoyed meeting all the people at Manomin Resawn Timbers who make the process complete. We will now look at all the flooring, paneling, mantels, timbers, doors and furniture differently when we install this into our custom homes.

Here are some projects where we use reclaimed wood from Manomin Resawn Timber.

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To learn more about Manomin Resawn Timbers, click here to visit their site or you can reach Sara at 651-464-1771. She can answer your questions and give you a tour of their showroom and facility.

If you would like to reach Great Neighborhood Homes to meet and talk about building your custom home, call Scott Busyn at 952-807-8765 or scott@greatneighborhoodhomes.com. Click here to visit our website.

http://greatneighborhoodhomesblog.com/reclaiming-old-wood/

2016-11-30T11:23:02+00:00