Reclaimed lumber


I’m looking for reclaimed lumber that has a “story”. In other words, I need to know the origin of the material. Preferably the material will come from an old structure such as a gym, bowling alley, etc. A huge bonus would be lumber from an old brewery.

Artisan Woodworks of Texas-

12 Replies

I know what you mean. Provenance. It puts history into things. I built a little foot stool with bits and pieces I stole from a broken up old sewing machine case that was headed for the fire box. Beautiful figured wood. Not burned.

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

This seems to be harder and harder to come by, you almost have to know someone in the demolition business as such materials aren’t simply discarded any more due to their sustained value in future projects.

Yeah, but brew-lumber….how cool is that?

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

Very true. Case in point, I recently bought some shiplap that came out of a house built in the early 1920s. The stuff cost me over $4 a square foot. I hate to think how money I threw in the trash over the years on remodels.

Artisan Woodworks of Texas-

Last year I got 2 loads of barn beams from a barn that blew down. I have resawed some and it looks like fir.

Did you have to pay for the beams, or was it something someone just wanted gone? I’ve gotten wood from people whom I’ve helped, as a barter of sorts in exchange for my labor.

“Last year I got 2 loads of barn beams from a barn that blew down. I have resawed some and it looks like fir.”
I did the same thing with beams given to me.
I built a table with one of them.
The wood is Douglas Fir, it is mostly clear and absolutely beautiful.
Aged wood looks like nothing else.


I was born and raised in the land of the Douglas Fir… British Columbia. It is a fine, if a bit soft, wood and it looks lovely in any situation. I had a flat in an old warehouse in Vancouver that had two huge, 24 × 24 inch, old growth DF posts and matching beams holding it up. Just gorgeous.

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

I have access to loads of old barn wood here in Wisconsin. Lots of tamarack beams and white pine siding. I do not use it, but it can be had. I buy and sell lumber as part of my furniture business. I know this will not help the guys from overseas. Sorry. bob

Before I got into woodworking, unfortunately for me, my dad tore down the oldest barn on the farm, which was blown off the foundation after it was no longer packed with hay every year. He made a deal with the local Mennonites to tear it down in exchange for taking what they wanted. Well, I guess he didn’t negotiate very well because they took only the largest beans and columns and left a big mess instead of hauling everything away. Even the trash they left behind would have been valuable by today’s standards. I wish I could have got my hands on some of that trash. 150 years worth of hauling hay and climbing all over left most every surface in a short of worn, polished state. Something to behold. I have no idea what kind of lumber it was but being in upstate NY, it was probably hardwood and likely oak and maple.

Losing fingers since 1969

Bob, if you come across any wood from structures that have a different “history” keep me in mind. My client likes the wood to have a “guy” story, a building or structure guys would find interesting. The last project we did for him used gymnasium flooring for the tables.

We are starting the process of identifying the material for another project and I will be trying to obtain the wood in the next few weeks. Let me know if you hear of anything.

Artisan Woodworks of Texas-

Hello Bill. I do have access to lots of old barn lumber. Not sure if that is something you might want. I do sell figured lumber from Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan.

I do not work reclaimed stuff as my equipment is set up for figured wood. My custom work is all figured stuff as well.
A lot of the barn stuff is boards from the outside and inside of the barn. Siding and flooring. I believe its mostly 1" thick siding and the barn flooring may be up to 2" thick. If you think you might want something like that, let me know. I can talk to the guy who has it. bob