From Barn to Lumber: What’s the Reclaimed Wood Process?

From Barn to Lumber: What’s the Reclaimed Wood Process?
Ask anyone what the most gorgeous type of wood is; there’s a good chance they’ll say antique lumber. Reclaimed lumber is like fine wine when it comes to building materials, with mesmerizing characteristics that can only form with time and age. However, as this type of wood becomes more popular, you may wonder what the reclaimed wood process is like—how do we turn old barns into usable lumber? Here’s how it works.

The De-Nailing Process

Because companies recycle reclaimed wood from old barns, the first step is the de-nailing process. As the name suggests, de-nailing is when workers remove all the old nails and other foreign metal objects from the wood. They use a metal detector to ensure they do not overlook any metal objects. Our team at Benedict Antique Lumber has years of experience that ensures a best practice for doing as little harm to the wood as possible when removing nails and other metal debris.

Kiln-Drying the Wood

The next step in the reclaimed wood process is to place the antique wood into powerful kilns to reach the wood’s ideal equilibrium moisture content (EMC). The EMC refers to the wood’s moisture content and perfectly balancing its environment’s relative humidity to reinforce the board. Once reinforced, the lumber can withstand shrinking or warping when put to use. This reinforcing process is especially critical for boards that are taken from one location and placed into a whole new environment.
Because of the wood’s exposure to nature and the elements for a long period, it’s only natural that it may have a few hitchhikers in the form of bugs and larvae. Therefore, the kiln’s purpose is two-fold: to help the wood reach EMC and ensure the board is pest-free.

Recrafting the Wood

Finally, the wood reaches the hands of our expert craftsmen, who wield the tools and skills necessary to reshape the boards while preserving their unique histories. These talented team members turn seemingly old and rundown antique lumber into something beautiful and one-of-a-kind, creating timbers, doors, paneling, and so much more. If you can dream it, they can help you make it happen.
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