Reclaimed vs. Salvaged Wood

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Reclaimed and salvaged are terms that are often used interchangeably when referring to reusing wood.  The truth is they are not the same thing but they do serve a similar purpose.  Reclaimed wood is wood that has been used previously in the construction of buildings. Old barns are a common source of reclaimed wood as are old warehouses, docks, homes and municipal buildings. These structures must be carefully dismantled when intended for reuse.  The wood is then cut up or re-shaped to be used in a new way.  Old flooring becomes a coffee table.  An old support beam becomes a fireplace mantel.  The simple act of re-using the wood is what defines it as ‘reclaimed. There are several reasons for choosing reclaimed wood as a building material.  Often hundreds of years old and exposed to the elements, reclaimed wood has a beautiful unique weathered patina.  It is an extremely stable wood having been air-dried for many years.  People also often like the stories behind reclaimed wood.  Knowing it came from a family barn or a historic building only makes it more interesting.

shutterstock_72186736Unlike reclaimed wood, salvaged wood has not been previously cut into lumber or used for construction. The wood is typically found in its natural state. It could be from trees that are dead, have fallen or need to be removed for some reason.  Trees are often removed to build a highway or new housing. Like reclaimed wood, salvaged wood has a lot of character. The color is often much deeper.  It may have intricate grain patterns, knots and worm tracks.  Centuries of aging causes a wide range of beautiful qualities that just cannot be found in younger tree growth.

In both cases, reclaimed and salvaged wood is ‘old growth’. Since the wood came from old growth forests it is harder, denser and has more character than new growth wood.  They also share the same benefits. Both are extremely durable and will can last for generations.  The wood can be re-finished, converted and re-used in many different ways. Best of all, both prevent new trees from being cut down.

Today there is much interest in using reclaimed and salvaged wood in home renovations and decor.  It is being used as hardwood floors, to make furniture, create feature walls and art. pallet-coffee-tableThe costs for each varies considerably. Reclaimed wood is often less expensive traditional lumber.  Salvaged wood, however can be more expensive.  It must be collected, transported, milled, and is often re-finished before it’s re-sold.  There is also a lot of waste that doesn’t happen with younger woods. Up to 75% of a tree that was fallen or salvaged is often unusable.

Although different, it really doesn’t matter whether you use reclaimed or salvaged wood. Each offers a one-of-a-kind building material.  Both benefit the environment and reduce what goes in a landfill.  The next time you shop for furniture or plan a woodworking project, consider using reclaimed or salvaged wood. Reusing and recycling are trends that are here to stay.

 

 

 

 

 

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Do-It-Yourself Nesting Box

Summer is near, time to enjoy and embrace the natural world! Having a bird house or nesting box is a significant way to create a mutual relationship with nature. bird houseAs we are aware, humans have been increasingly building concrete jungle environments which in turn, is pushing out other species habitats.  By building an alternative and (nearly) natural environment for birds to nest, we are at least making an attempt to co-habitat.

pallet

pallet & pieces

Construction

Construction

Using an old pallet, a little man power, and a few power tools we built this amazing bird house! Once again, pallets are a booger to work with. We were able to get this one apart with a pry-bar and hammer, always use gloves when working with pallets! There is generally an excess of nails, most of which are rusty. After pulling off the best pieces, they were sanded (80 grit) to make the wood slightly safer to work with.

The pieces were cut according to the bird house plan used then glued and nailed appropriately.

I chose not to paint the roof, allowing Scott’s Liquid Gold Cleaner & Preservative to work its magic.

Before & After

Before & After

Nesting boxes have many positive purposes:

1. Attract natural pollinators to your garden.

2. Think wake up call – sweet chirping or obnoxious alarm clock?

3. Create a mutual relationship & co-habitat with the birds of your community. 

4. And well, birds are just fun to watch! Why do you want a bird house in your yard?

bird house

Nesting boxes generally attract birds like wrens, blue birds, chickadees, titmice, wood ducks and wood peckers. Check out choosing the right bird house for your backyard! Thanks Anthony for great instructions!

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

Using your Resources

re·source noun ˈrēˌsôrs

“a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life”

wine rack collage

As we organize this spring, it helps to set an ultimate goal. What are you working so hard to achieve? This could be: to de-clutter – truly going through papers and ‘stuff’ to file or donate, having more space – making use of wall space or cabinetry, or simply cleanliness – getting every nook and cranny. Whatever your goal may be, there are tons of resources at your fingertips! We’ve used a few here to create a multi-purpose organizer.

wine rack before

magazine rackBefore heading out to buy new storage or organizing containers watch for items in the garage, at your parents or grandparents house that may be of use. Especially wooden, because we love wood and there is an array of options to fix, clean and refurbish wood items. This old wine rack came from an ARES Thrift Store for $3.99.

I sanded it quite a bit,  using 80 grit. I’ve recently been taught the importance of sanding completely before staining anything wood. It’s important to get all the way down past the previously stained parts so that the new stain will take well. I chose a white wash stain out of pure curiosity. I have seen many people do it and needed to see for myself how it works and looks.  I simply followed the instructions on the can and viola! We now have an elegant and rustic; wine rack, towel rack, magazine holder, or anything else you fit rack!

Of course, I followed up with a Scott’s Liquid Gold Cleaner and Preservative test! liquid gold testThis lighter wood took to Liquid Gold very well so I chose not to finish it with a clear coat.

My challenge for you, is to think outside the box to achieve your spring organizing goals. Below are some additional resources you may want to use to help you get started! towel rack with Liquid Gold

resource definition

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

Do-it-Yourself this Weekend!

book5With Spring creeping upon us, it is time to begin our annual organizing fiasco! I challenge you all not to throw away but reuse, re-purpose and recycle while you organize!earth heart

I stumbled upon this amazing idea, but realized I was lacking in old, antique looking literature. I had heard of this awesome antique store, Tables to Teacups, decided this was the perfect time to investigate. It was a great success! Grandma’s house is always a good place to begin these projects as well.

The How To: You’ll need a drill, L-brackets, ruler, and screws. booksYou will use 3 L-brackets per ‘book shelf.’ One bracket will need to be slightly smaller than the other two brackets. One set of brackets will be placed below the books, and the other (smaller) bracket will go on top of the book(s). Measure your books and start drilling (two sets of hands makes this much more manageable)! I also used a level at this point for my perfectionist side. Lastly, the smaller bracket is placed on the inside, bottom of the second (top) book – this pressed the books together enough so they didn’t move around.

Shelving

This makes a pretty solid shelf but ultimately, you won’t want to place anything heavy on these. I must say it felt wonderful when my friends made notice of the new addition to my house and they loved it.

I did this differently than the folks from which I found the idea: Thanks Kristin for a fun and easy project!

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

Who’s getting ready for playoffs?

If you’re hosting the parties this season – don’t break the bank to make your party festive.
Bronco table

Pick any old table from your home, garage, grandmas place or your local Goodwill. By unanimous decision, I had to pick the Bronco’s (Go Denver – cough cough!) I can’t say everyone in the building was on-board but majority rules.

Touchdown!

Touchdown!

The hardest part of re-vamping this table was making sure I did the reverse stencil properly. Simply print the imagine you’d like, cut it out and practice on a piece of cardboard. It helps to find an image in the reverse color (white to black). This may ensure you cut the right pieces out. Also, if you’re using spray paint I suggest printing on paper with one adhesive side. This will make for better lines and a simpler process (less mistakes). You could also use an adhesive spray (found at a hobby store). My table needed a little sanding first (150 grit may have been too much). necessities
Before table2

In this process I learned something about Scott’s Liquid Gold Cleaner and Preservative. At least for this wood, Liquid Gold had created a scratch resistant surface. How I found out: I had used Liquid Gold on only half of the table the week prior (before and after photos). When I began sanding the table by hand, rather than sander it was quite responsive to the sand paper on the half that did not have Liquid Gold. When I got to the other half which had Liquid Gold, the sand paper hardly touched the table – I was in awe. After cleaning one half of the table with Liquid Gold, it had moisturized it enough to become scratch-resistant. I did eventually sand that half of the table, but my arm was very tired!

Enjoy the rest of regular season and Happy Holidays from everyone at Scott’s Liquid Gold!

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

A New Kind of Picture Frame

A fun, easy and inexpensive holiday gift idea. Using old picture frames and chalkboard paint you can create this cute mini-board.

So many ways to use!

The How To: You may use old picture frames or find some at your local thrift store ($1-3), how I found these. Once you’re ready, you’ll need to sand (only slightly) whatever backing is on the frame (~220 grit), one of mine is a Plexiglas like material and the other is a soft wood… the chalkboard paint to pretty versatile. After sanding, wipe it off with a damp towel (let dry) and spray 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint ($6) – this will need to dry for approximately 24 hours.

In progress

In the meantime you could put two holes in the top; I used a drill and decent sized drill bit to ensure I could get my yarn through. This is not necessary as there are many ways to hang these – design to your liking. You may also want to paint or re-stain the frame you choose. You can get quite creative with the frame and yarn or string you’re hanging it with.

This can be done under $10 a piece quite easily and it gives your gift a personal touch. Don’t forget to get some chalk as well if you’re giving as a gift.

Happy crafting!

The necessities

Places to use these: The kitchen for a grocery list, bathroom for funny quotes, on the kid’s bedroom door for reminders, or in the office for inspiration! These are excellent for co-workers!

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!