Turning a stack of timbers into new floors reveals the unique beauty of recycled wood.
The oldest trees, woodworkers say, yield the best wood. Two, three or
more centuries of growth not only produces towering trunks but also makes
their core -- the heartwood -- dense, hard and very desirable. Most of
the ancient trees, mature and ready for harvesting, were felled long ago
and milled into miles of beams and boards. Fortunately, however, that
doesn't mean the wood has disappeared completely and forever. Indeed,
an entire industry has sprung up around the reclamation and recycling
of old logs and massive timbers.
One of the most popular and sought-after species, heart pine, has remarkable
density and hardness plus a beautiful color and grain that make it a great
choice for flooring. So recyclers search for logs left at old logging
sites and on river bottoms - some logs were so heavy they sank -
or they dismantle old barns and other buildings for their bounty of timbers.
Once recovered, the pine is sawn and planed into smooth planks, ready
for installation as an elegant new floor.
the owner of this newly constructed house saw how beautiful heart pine
could be, he ordered hundreds of square feet from a local recycler, who
turned a stack of timbers salvaged from an old warehouse into long floorboards.
Once they were nailed in place and sanded perfectly smooth, they received
three coats of new Minwax®
Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane Floors in a semi-gloss sheen.
This recent addition to the Minwax® line offers
a 25 percent faster dry time with no sanding between coats, allowing a
floor to be top coated in a day. Besides its convenience and superior
protection, the polyurethane enhanced the pine's natural warmth
and rich beauty.
To complement the floor, the owner searched for reproduction kit chairs
and tables and found exactly what he wanted in pieces made of maple. He
chose dining, side and coffee tables that were all made of curly maple,
whose rippling, iridescent grain is nothing short of exquisite. He also
found maple Windsor chair kits that were just right for both the dining
and living rooms.
Before assembly, the kits received a coat of Minwax®
Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Then the bases of the dining and
coffee tables were stained with Minwax®
Wood Finish™ Ebony, creating a nice contrast with the
curly maple tops. Some of the chairs were stained with a new color in
Wood Finish™ line, English Chestnut, and the rest left
unstained. After assembly, the tables and chairs were top coated with
Fast-Drying Polyurethane in a semi-gloss sheen, while the curly
maple side table received two coats of Minwax®
Wipe-On Polyin a gloss sheen. When all was done, the "old"
floors and "antique" furnishings made perfect partners inside
a brand-new home.
Who sells recycled wood? Look for advertisements in the back of home-improvement
and woodworking magazines, where you'll find offers for oak, walnut,
mahogany and other species along with heart pine. Ask for samples so you
can not only see what the raw wood looks like but also test it with different
stains and clear finish.