Reclaimed Wood Dining Tables

by astonerattnet

Reclaimed wood dining tables will add a touch of rustic charm to any dining room, be it in an antique farm house or contemporary home.

Reclaimed wood dining tables and other furniture is often built from old fallen down barns or salvaged from barns slated to be demolished. Old barns can be a great source of valuable lumber, some from specifies no longer available, like the American Chestnut. Pine and oak would be the most common wood used for building reclaimed wood dining tables.

Why reclaimed wood

When the Europeans first arrived in North America they found a land full of old growth wood.  Trees that are 200 or more years old begin to develop what is called 'heart wood', a harder, denser wood at the center of the tree.  This to help withstand the large weight of the tree, the heart wood no longer carries nutrients to the rest of the tree.  The nutrient is carried by the outer tree.

Many of these trees were harvested and the wood sent back to Europe, where most of the old growth forests had been destroyed generations before.  Not all of the wood from this virgin forest left, though, some of it found it's way into barns, factories and other structures.  Many of these structures, especially factories, are no longer used and have sat empty to years.  Before reclaiming this wood became as economically feasible as it is now, much of the wood from these old structure would find it's way to the landfill.

In the 1970s and a surge in the 1990s it has become much more common for the wood from these barns and factories to get reclaimed and turned into other things like exposed beams, dining tables or other furniture.

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The appeal of reclaimed wood

It is no longer possible to find the old growth lumber that supplied the industrial revolution with much of it's wood needs.  The modern regrown forests may supply adequate new lumber, but to get the tight grains of the heart wood, reclaimed wood is needed.

Reclaimed wood also has the appeal of being more stable than newer wood.  The moisture content of reclaimed wood has had almost a century or more to stabilize.  A dining room table made from reclaimed wood is not going to run the risk of shrinking and cracking as it dries more.

Often reclaimed wooden dining tables will display some of the distressed look that happened to the wood in it's original location.  There may be nail holes or adze marks.

One slight caution with reclaimed wood is that it's never really possible to know what the wood may have been exposed too previously.  It if came from a factory floor, what was used in the factory that may have spilled on it?

Add some warmth with a reclaimed wooden dining table

If you want to add some warmth to the dining room, as well as a beautiful piece of furniture, look for a reclaimed wooden dining table.  It may also be possible to track the reclaimed wood back to it's original source which could add quite an interesting discussion to the diner table talk.

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Updated: 03/21/2012, astonerattnet
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