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Old Barn Reclaimed Wood Co. is the #1 source for Mill Direct Antique Wood Products.  We ship internationally via common freight carriers directly from our saw mills to your door step. We provide reclaimed wood flooring, reclaimed beams, reclaimed wood paneling, reclaimed lumber, barn wood, and reclaimed wood furniture.  Whether you are reviving a 19th Century Colonial Home or building a rustic retreat in the mountains there is nothing that compares to the appeal, durability, and character of antique wood.  We provide a wide range of reclaimed wood species including Antique Oak, Heart Pine, Wormy Chestnut, Rustic Hickory, Rock Elm, Heart Cypress, Pecky Cypress, Tank Redwood, Douglas Fir, and more.  Feel free to contact us with questions about your project.

  

Reclaimed Wood History and Advantages

Aside from the obvious environmental implications, the benefits of using reclaimed wood are virtually limitless.  Generally speaking, reclaimed lumber and flooring is higher quality than new or "green" lumber.  Here is the story:

When the explorers and pioneers first visited North America, the timberland looked much different than it does today.  At that time the forests were chock-full of massive old growth timber.  The trees in most cases were several hundred, and sometimes thousands, of years old.  When trees reach full maturity and growth is uninhibited by de-forestation and disease, an interesting phenomenon emerges in the tree's chemical composition.

The Life and Extinction of Heart Wood When a tree reaches a certain height and mass a significant amount of strength is required to with stand ordinary wind and weather conditions to maintain its life function.  The adjustments the trees make are two-fold.  First, the root structure of the tree expands outwards, sometimes reaching lateral expansion more than ten times the distance from the trunk to the outside of the canopy or "drip-line". 

Secondly, large, mature trees begins to develop "Heart Wood".  Heart wood is the dense, dark wood in the center of a tree.  The heart wood no longer participates in the life function of the tree, meaning it does not transfer water and nutrients from the soil to the branches and leaves.  Thus heart wood is much dryer and more stable than the outer rings or "sap wood".  Additionally, heart wood is very fragrant and possesses outstanding rich color that can't be found in less mature trees.  Unfortunately, the original "Ax Men" figured out the business opportunity exporting the virgin timber presented, and the rest is history.

The Early North American Timber Industry The exporting of timber was one of the great staples of trade in North America during the 19th Century.  Founded upon European demand, it fostered economic development throughout the United States and Canada.  It encouraged the building of towns and villages, the opening of roads, and exploration.

Wood entered 19th century trade in many forms.  Large masts cut from the finest trees for the Royal Navy were the most valuable commercial product of the North American Forests; however, square timber and sawn lumber were the major wood staples.  Lumber is the the product of sawmills was prepared mostly as planks and boards.  Square timber, known as "ton timber", were baulks or "sticks of wood hewn square with axes and shipped to England where they were often resawn.  Strict specifications governed the market.

The square timber industry developed rapidly to meet the enormous demand from Britain, which was at war with Napoleonic France and was also undergoing industrialization.  Although small quantities of White Oak, Rock Elm, Ash, Chestnut, and Hickory were squared, Longleaf Pine or "Heart Pine" as it is know today, was the major industrial species.

The History of Heart Pine:

Vast forests of Longleaf Pine or "Heart Pine" were once present along the southeastern Atlantic coast and Gulf Coast of North America.  These forests were once the source of resin, turpentine, and timber.  Before European settlement Longleaf Pine forest dominated as much as 90,000,000 acres stretching from Virginia south to Florida and west to Texas.  With the industrial Revolution in full force by the late 19th century, these virgin timber stands were among the most sought after timber trees in the country.  Most commonly, the heart pine timber was used in post and beams construction for factories, mills and warehouses, throughout the United States.  By 1900 virtually all of the Virgin Pine forests had been cut over and usually replaced with faster growing, softer Loblolly Pine and Slash Pine.

Heart Pine Today The only reliable source for the richly colored, dense heart pine is the "Industrial Forest".  As American manufacturing is becoming virtually obsolete due to international outsourcing, so too are the industrial sites that put it on the map. The large heart pine timbers that were used to construct the factories and mills of the industrial Revolution are now reclaimed and resawn into beautiful antique heart pine flooring, exposed beams, paneling, and reclaimed wood furniture. 

The Reclaimed Wood Business Beginning in the 1970's people began to understand the history and quality of reclaimed lumber.  Reclaimed Lumber is wood that has been taken for re-use.  Most often, this is timber from wood beams and decking is taken from long-standing idle buildings such as old barns, factories and and warehouses.  Reclaimed and antique lumber is highly desired by architects and designers for its history, quality and character.  Reclaimed wood is popular as flooring, siding, paneling, cabinet lumber, and furniture.

In some cases, reclaiming lumber is the only source for certain species of wood.  For example, the American Chestnut.  Beginning in 1904, a Chestnut blight spread across the United States killing BILLIONS of American Chestnut Trees.  Wormy Chestnut is a popular flooring and paneling option for many architects and designers because of its beautiful grain and large color range.  The source of chestnut today is primarily reclaimed barn wood.

The Growing Popularity of Barn Wood:  Barns serve as one of the most common sources for reclaimed wood in the United States.  Barns constructed up through the early part of the 19th century were typically built using whatever trees were on site.  They often contain a Antique Oak, Hickory, Chestnut, Elm, and Douglas Fir.  Barn boards and beams were either sawn or hand hewn using an axe or squared with an adze.  Hand hewn beams are often used by architects, designers and homeowners for their vintage yet sophisticated look.  Oak Beams are the most abundant hand hewn beams, and are typically available in sizes up to 12x12.

In closing, there are virtually limitless uses for reclaimed wood.  Flooring, beams, furniture, siding, and paneling are the most abundant uses for reclaimed timber.  Vintage wood provides a look that is simply unmatched by new lumber.  Beautiful color, stability,  durability, hardness, texture and fragrance are all characteristics of reclaimed wood.

 


 

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