I am sure you have been hearing the words 'reclaimed wood' a lot lately. What exactly does that mean and what makes it so special? Hopefully I can shed some light on the subject.
Reclaimed wood means that it has been used for other purposes, but it is not junk by any means. Before a building is torn down, someone takes all the reusable parts such as the hardware and wood. Most of the wood comes from the floor boards, beams or siding. Because the wood was harvested decades ago, it is stronger, denser and of much better quality than what is produced today. Before World War II, mature trees that had been growing slowly for hundreds of years were used in construction. Because they grew naturally, their growth rings are much tighter, making the wood stronger. Today, trees are farmed specifically to meet demand, which means they are grown faster. This makes for bigger growth rings, thus less durable. The trees from past grew larger and wider, allowing for wider beams and planks.
Reclaimed wood has characteristics that you cannot find in new materials. The grains, knots and general patina that comes with age and use, are impossible to find in lumber yards today. The shelves that I sell are made from reclaimed White Oak. You can see all the variations in the wood. They really are quite beautiful (and heavy!).
Reclaimed wood has many other positive benefits. Because it is being reused, it stays out of landfills. This helps the environment, gives the wood a new life and someone the satisfaction of having such a beautiful piece of wood in their lives. Because reclaimed wood has to be retrieved from scheduled demolition, It puts people to work. Highly talented craftsmen who enjoy working with wood, hunt down buildings that are going to be torn down and get as much of the wood as possible. They use it to create new products such as counter/bar tops, tables, mirror frames, home accessories, doors, just about anything. Pura Vida is lucky to have two highly skilled craftsmen who provide reclaimed product for the store, John Dickey and Adam Brandt.