Reclaimed/weathered wood näive

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Forum topic by nickbatz posted 08-13-2018 03:48 AM 507 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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395 posts in 691 days

08-13-2018 03:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: pine

Hey, am I right that grey/weathered reclaimed wood only stays that way if you don’t sand it?

What I really want to know is whether there’s any difference between, say, Douglas fir boards you leave outside for a few months and ones you pay a lot of money for from a reclaimed wood dealer. Are the latter greyed all the way through?

Just curious.


6 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile


3081 posts in 2636 days

#1 posted 08-13-2018 03:56 AM

I’m pretty sure the gray doesn’t go very deep. Probably the action of UV, mostly. Of course you can make your own grayed boards, though they won’t have the weathered, beat up look the really old reclaimed boards will.

If you want an antique piece of furniture, you can either fake the aged look (there is now quite a body of literature on how to do this), or you can build it, let the kids work it over for 100 years, and then you really have an antique. Much of the antique look stuff you see now is pretty obviously faked. Is anybody (besides my mom) really fooled by that stuff?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View nickbatz's profile


395 posts in 691 days

#2 posted 08-13-2018 05:00 AM

Oh, I’m with you on not liking faked or faux-distressed anything. And my personal taste is a long way from antique.

I just like the look of the weathered patchwork surfaces on some furniture I saw in a store today. It was smooth, not rough-hewn, and I wondered how that’s done.

Chances are I won’t ever do it – I’m really just curious.

View PeteStaehling's profile


102 posts in 1730 days

#3 posted 08-13-2018 10:52 AM

I like using reclaimed stuff. I do it mostly for the fact that I get species that are mostly long gone. Beautiful American chestnut is one such wood that I like to work with. Bald sinker cypress is another. I also use lots of other salvaged wood species. In all cases I run them through the jointer and planer to take off the weathered or in some cases painted exterior. Sometimes I shallowly plane them to get a smooth surface while leaving some of the discoloration which is often a darkening.

How far the color of weathering goes into the wood varies, but in most cases it isn’t all that deep. There are exceptions though. Much of the Sinker cypress I use has a color change throughout. Some of the chestnut has a color change that goes in a little ways. Some of the darkened chestnut was some of my favorite wood to work with.

Other wood, even wood that was exposed for a very long time still looks like new wood once you run it through the planer. Despite looking unweathered it is often different in that it may be old growth and a no longer readily available species.

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395 posts in 691 days

#4 posted 08-13-2018 06:04 PM

^ Like

View Dakkar's profile


356 posts in 2538 days

#5 posted 08-13-2018 11:57 PM

I’m pretty sure the biggest difference between your backyard weathered wood and the “reclaimed” stuff is the reused variety may have nails in it. I’ve not used such lumber myself, but as I recall Norm Abram used to always run a handheld metal detector over such wood before working it, so if you go that way I’d try to find a detector on eBay or something. Of course, if you use you own, you can skip that step.

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395 posts in 691 days

#6 posted 08-14-2018 12:03 AM

I’ll probably skip both steps, but I am always on the lookout for good wood someone’s throwing away.

The other day I found a 3’ long 6×6 Douglas fir chunk I’ll make into something.

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