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Reclaimed Wood Species

The following list includes all the Reclaimed Wood Species used in the vintage wood / reclaimed timber business. The images are showing finished product, not the unprocessed reclaimed product.

Ash

Ash


Ash is a light brown to blonde specie of wood in appearance. The grains, texture and density are very similar to oak. By looking at the end grain of Ash you can see a distinct difference from Oak. Ash lumber also has a unique smell when freshly cut and has produced wider boards and beams due to the size of the trees. Stain and other finishes can be easily applied allowing for a customized look. Reclaimed Ash lumber pricing is on the lower end of cost in the reclaimed wood market.


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Cherry

Cherry


Cherry appears light pinkish in the heartwood and blonde in the sap content. Being a fruit tree cherry has a distinct color and smell and should be easier to identify. Reclaimed cherry is of the most rare domestic hardwoods in the market due to the size of the trees so the pricing and availability can be an issue for some projects. Cherry is easy to work with and will slowly darken after being cut providing a beautifully rich color.


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Chestnut

Chestnut


The appearance of reclaimed Chestnut has been very popular over the years and is a standard look in the reclaimed wood industry. Chestnut was a commonly found specie in the eastern region of the U.S. until the early 1900’s where that was a blight killing all of the standing trees. Chestnut trees were significant in growth and provided beautiful large beams and wide boards which have made great looking reclaimed flooring and various other products for many years. Pricing of reclaimed chestnut is high due to the ease in workability, dimensions and availability only in the eastern region of the U.S.


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Cypress

Cypress


Cypress is a softwood light blonde to yellow color in the heartwood and almost white in color in the sapwood. Cypress trees were significant in growth and could yield high volumes and larger dimensions of lumber. Being easy to work, resistant to decay and very durable Cypress was used in many ways as the U.S. was being built. Cypress has a sour smell when being milled and the pricing is the mid ranges of the softwoods. Reclaimed Cypress is commonly found in the southern region of the US and is also a specie that can be found in river recovery.


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Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir


Douglas Fir is a common softwood specie found throughout the U.S. Reclaimed Douglas Fir is salmon to pinkish color in the heartwood and can be a light yellow to blonde is the sapwood. Due to the size that Douglas Fir trees grow, this specie has produced high volumes of large beams and boards for many years. Douglas Fir has a distinct smell when milled and pricing can be very reasonable in many reclaimed wood products.


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Elm

Elm


Elm is another specie that was affected by a blight called Dutch Elm disease that has wiped out millions of trees worldwide. Elm is a lighter white to brown color that appears very unique. The end grain of Elm is very distinct and Elm can be challenging to work with when milling although the wood is very durable. Reclaimed Elm beams and boards usually have checking and a bit of a twist but can be milled producing unique looking products. The smell of Elm can be a natural dirty smell when milling but is fairly odorless after being kiln dried. The pricing of Elm is reasonable and can be higher in a finished milled product due to grading.


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Heart Pine

Heart Pine


Long leaf yellow pine is referred to as Heart Pine which has a beautiful, warm yellow to light red color. Heart pine trees were very large yielding high volumes of large beams and boards used to build in the Industrial Age. When looking for pine wood one can come across the term heart pine which is an age specific classification of pine heartwood. The pine heart is often darker more dense and thusly more stable and the heart of first growth trees circa the 1600’s were richly colored and extremely dense as those trees represented a stand of longleaf pine that we over 300 years old on average. What is commonly referred to as the second-cut in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s can yield heart pine which is decidedly less dense than the first-cut heart pines. The “true” heart pine available today is reclaimed or recycled from those original species harvested centuries ago. This specific specie of pine is insect resistant, incredibly hard and very durable. The smell of Heart Pine pine is sweet and strong when milling. Reclaimed Heart Pine pricing is reasonable but as a finished product can change due to a variety of grades that are sold.


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Hickory

Hickory


The medium brown to a lighter yellow color tones of Hickory provide a warm feel for a wood product. The density of Hickory can be challenging when milling and waste can be an issue from Hickory being susceptible to insect attack. Hickory trees are not as big yielding smaller beams and boards and smell of Hickory is real sweet when milling. The end grain is distinct with pores in between the end grains. The pricing of reclaimed Hickory is lower and more reasonable and can be higher in a finished product due to yield, dimensions and waste.


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Maple

Maple


Maple wood is broadly classified into two groups, Hard Maple which includes, Sugar Maple and Black Maple and Soft Maple including Red, Silver and Bigleaf Maples. A majority of Maple lumber is milled in Mid Atlantic and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Some Hard Maple wood has highly decorative wood grain including flame maple, quilt maple, birdseye maple and burl wood. These grain conditions occur randomly in individual Hardwood Maple trees and can often only be seen after the tree / wood has been sawn.The sapwood of Hard Maples is partially sought after due to its color variations which can range from nearly white to cream color representing reddish or deep golden tones. Hard Maple wood is sought after due to its shock resistance and overall density. Hard Maple is commonly used for bowling alley lanes, basketball gym floors, butcher blocks and workbenches. Reclaimed Hard Maple wood is moderately priced and is prized for its density. Soft Maples have some of the same qualities as Hardwood Maples however the heartwood of Softwood maples is often lighter in color than Hardwood Maples and does not posses the same density as the hardwood maples. Softwood maples are often used for railroad crossties, boxes, pallets and crates and also not as desired in the reclaimed wood market.


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Oak

Oak


Oak is one of the most common species that grows throughout the country. Due to the durability and availability of Oak the species is used in many products from railroad ties to high end furniture. You can easily tell Oak by the rays in the end grains and its large pores in between the growth rings. Oak can be found with a rift-sawed, quarter sawed or plain sawed grain pattern each holding a different value. When using reclaimed oak you will find a variety of grain patterns as well as a mixture of White Oak and Red Oak. The smell of Red Oak is pungent where the White oak can smell very sweet. Oak is reasonability priced and a great choice for many products with its ability to easily take stains and finish as well as its strength and durability.


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Pine

Pine


There are many different types of Pine with each possessing its own unique set of characteristics. To go further into their descriptions it is helpful to place Pines into two categories, Soft Pines and Hard Pines. For this specie overview let’s look at Soft Pines first. The Soft Pines generally include Sugar Pine, Western and Eastern White Pine. The wood characteristics of these Soft Pines include low density and an even grain. The Hard Pines include a group of Pines which are most commonly found in the southern United States; these include Longleaf, Shortleaf, Slash and Loblolly Pines. The wood characteristics of these southern species include some of the highest densities among pine and a very uneven grain. Put side by side lumber from these hard pines is practically identical.


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Poplar

Poplar


This widely available wood in the United States. The heartwood can vary from a yellowish brown to an olive green and will tend to darken when exposed to light, often turning brown. The sapwood is white and can be streaked with with slightly darker lines. Poplar wood has excellent strength and dimensional stability and is resilient to both decay and insects. This wood is easy to machine and bore and holds paints and stains substantially better than other hardwoods which lends it to being used for furniture, cabinets, musical instruments and trim work. A large volume of reclaimed Poplar can be found in the midwestern region of the U.S. mainly in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.


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Red Oak

Red Oak


Possibly the most sought after hardwood in the United States, a ubiquitous site in many homes. There are several species which are included in this category; Black Oak, Pin Oak, Shumard Oak, Southern Red Oak, Water Oak, Willow Oak. Often times vinyl or imitation wood surfaces are printed to look like Red Oak. This wood is hard, strong and often priced well due to its availability. The Heartwood is light to medium brown with a reddish tint. The sapwood ranges in color from nearly white to light brown and is sometimes not easy to distinguish from heartwood. Like most oaks, Red Oaks are available in both quartersawn (where wood grain is emphasized) and flatsawn cuts. Not to be confused with the White Oak, the Red Oak does have pores in the heartwood which allow water to penetrate therefore is is not ideal for marine uses. Northern Red Oak is preferred in tuning and flooring applications whereas Southern Red Oak is easier to mill due to its softer texture which can sometimes lead to tearout and splintering. After drying Red Oak properly, it is known to be one of the most stable wood types holding its shape at large cuts or dimensions.


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Redwood

Redwood


The Redwood tree is also known by the names Sequoia, Coast Redwood and California Redwood. The heartwood on these trees ranges from pinkish brown to a darker reddish brown and the sapwood has a lighter golden to a yellow hue. Redwood lumber is soft and lightweight, stable along with being very insect and decay resistant. Redwood trees are generally listed a vulnerable but not endangered. The wood is sought after for construction, decking and exterior trim.


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Walnut

Walnut


Most often referred to as Black Walnut is highly available and highly sought after. The wood is sometimes classified as a premium domestic hardwood. The heartwood can vary in color from a pale brown to a darker chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. The sapwood is pale yellow-gray to nearly white. Generally the wood is easy to work with with planer tearout causing problems sometimes with irregular or figured grain. Overall the wood is decay resistant, stable when dried and shock resistant and is a favorite for furniture, cabinetry and veneer.


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White Oak

White Oak


There are several species included in this category of oak; Bur Oak, Chestnut Oak, Overcup Oak, Post Oak and Swamp White Oak. White Oak posses a unique quality in that their pores are filled or plugged making them ideal for watercraft construction. Generally White Oak is durable but has medium stability particularly with flat sawn boards. These species are relatively abundant and are used for cabinetry, flooring, cooperage / barrels and veneer.


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