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Reclaimed Douglas Fir: Original patina or resawn?

November 16, 2011 by | Nicole | There have been 0 comments

Reclaimed Douglas fir is well-seasoned wood recycled for a new purpose. Reclaimed flooring, wall and ceiling accent beams, and mantel pieces are just a few ways to repurpose reclaimed fir.

Reclaimed fir is sustainable, dense, and boasts a beauty like no other – it’s a good-looking wood.

So, should you go with original patina or resawn reclaimed Douglas fir? The answer largely depends on its end-use. Read on to learn more.

Hand Hewn Douglas Fir Beams

Reclaimed Douglas fir in original patina are hand hewn beams that come as is. These beams are handpicked from hundred-year-old deconstructed sites – think abandoned barns, warehouses, and commercial buildings. Note: AltruFir handpicks its reclaimed fir beams from large scale deconstruction projects in the Northwest.

Original patina Douglas fir beams are not resawn, meaning their weathered surfaces are not shaved. In fact, bolt holes, nails, and checks are common characteristics of reclaimed fir beams, which may be a small price to pay if you’re looking for original patina.

Wood patina takes years, decades, or centuries to develop – the richer honey-hued the fir, the older it is. Because reclaimed fir beams are rough to the touch, they’re referred to as rough hewn wood. Sand blasting or professional scraping of the beam’s surface reveals its original patina, increasing its value and enhancing its appearance. Original patina fir beams are a popular choice in antique and old-world inspired designs.

Reclaimed Douglas fir that is resawn are hand hewn beams that come cleaned-up. These beams are also handpicked from bygone buildings. The difference is that all sides of a resawn beam have been sawn off, producing a look identical to new wood.

Resawn beams reveal a cleaner surface which is helpful when you need to match timber. Resawing reclaimed beams is also handy when exact timber dimensions are needed for a project or when reclaimed beams will be paired with existing timbers on a site. Resawn beams are a great choice for a contemporary aesthetic too.

Whether you opt for the original patina or the cleaner resawn reclaimed fir, people value both varieties for their high quality and history, with or without the shave.

- Nicole Morales

This post was posted in All Entries, History and Interest and was tagged with reclaimed douglas fir, douglas fir beams, recycled beams, reclaimed beams

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