I picked up, back in 2004 or so, a metric crapload (a whole lot, Jeff) of
Douglas fir beams, 4" x 14" and 4" x 18", from 5' to 16' long. So far it's
made one workbench (step forward, Brian Ward), is making another (step
forward Paul Gardner), our fireplace mantle, some exposed structural work
in our house, and a couple chunks have gone to a bass builder/rebuilder
friend of mine. These were apparently floor joists from an old (pre-1906)
San Francisco warehouse that had been torn down. So reclaiming old wood
even happens out here, where we've only been around not quite 200 years.
We here in Santa Cruz also have a local company (Ventana Surfboards,
ing beautiful boards, real works of art,
from reclaimed wood. I haven't looked lately, but a couple years ago they
were touting the source(s) of their boards' wood as a selling point...the
historical, heart connection to the place from which the wood had been
used. Not a bad idea, but what would Todd Hughes say about "paying for the
And, in fact, it's not just wood. Our boardwalk just took down its Ferris
wheel, and one of our local blacksmiths snagged a number of pieces of what
they were otherwise going to haul off to scrap metal recycling. Its
covering of lead paint is going to present him with a problem, but after
solving that he'll make something magical out of the pieces. And no doubt
he'll bring their origin into the equation, either from a design, or
marketing, standpoint, or both.
It's a big old world out there...(re)using what we've got is the only way
we're going to continue to be able to make.