Why Reclaimed Wood

There are many reasons to reclaim wood, including the profound environmental impact, and we’re happy people are seeing green. For our star woodworker (J Neufeld) here at Wood Anchor, it was all about quality.

15 years ago he worked with a restoration company for heritage buildings in Victoria, BC, where he learned all about reclaiming wood. He loved working with old growth wood and if you talk to him, he’s passionate about the different grains and swirls of old wood that give it character and strength.

He also loves the stories it has to tell. “New wood” is largely from fast-growing forests where fertilizers have been used to increase productivity. Reclaimed wood is generally from naturally growing forests where trees have had to struggle to survive. Old growth timber is harder, denser (with tighter growth rings), and more stable than wood from young trees.

The best quality wood comes from large trees, which is scarce (and rightly so) in new wood. If you have an old growth reclaimed piece of oak and a new piece of oak, you’ll very likely see the difference in look as well as density.

Where do you find the wood you reclaim?

We’re always looking for new sources of reclaimed wood. Whether it’s a hardwood floor that needs to be removed, old beams, or trees destined for a landfill. We want to reuse wood to the best of it’s ability in a responsible, sustainable way.

We remove wood from old buildings that are being torn down, traincars where the wood is destined for the garbage, old churches, local trees that are being cut down and wasted… anywhere really. We reclaim any type of high quality and reusable wood.

Why is kiln dried wood important?

Wood being kiln dried is important because wood contracts and expands depending on moisture content. When wood is dried to 6-10%, it has contracted to it’s smallest state.

Wood should be used for projects in its dry state so that when the wood expands with increased humidity, there is no warping of boards or gaps between the wood. It gets more complicated then that as different types of wood respond differently to moisture, etc…you need to understand wood and allow it freedom to do what it’s going to do to have a successful woodworking project that lasts a lifetime.

What is LEED accreditation?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system built on a point system. It is a voluntary national standard for building efficient, sustainable buildings.

The main focus of LEED buildings at this time are water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. LEED is the standard for green building in Canada and other countries around the world. Using LEED standards benefits our environment, long term energy costs, and are currently eligible for tax incentives.

Some jurisdictions are using LEED for building codes and standards. Our products are 100% recycled and are eligible for LEED points. You can even get extra points if you are local and within 500 miles of Winnipeg! Check out the LEED website.

What is FSC accreditation?

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organization that brings people together to find solutions which promote responsible stewardship of the world’s forests.

You can read more about forest stewardship and certification at the Forest Stewardship Council website.

What does responsibly harvested or landfill diverted mean to us?

“Responsibly Harvested” is a broad term that is used to describe how a timber stand is harvested. Our responsibly harvested wood is most often (probably 99%) from trees destined for a landfill.

These trees are usually cut down for the purpose of development or because they are diseased. We also work with a local sawyer who uses landfill diverted trees and practices selection silviculture. “Selection silviculture” is the practice of removing mature timber or thinning to improve the health of the timber stand for the purpose of regeneration.

Trees are selected by the single tree selection method which means that scattered individual trees at their peak are selected and marked and harvested.