+ Do you cut wood rounds?

No... it's not as easy as it sounds!

Dealing with cracking as the wood dries, the fact that a tree is actually a cone as opposed to a cylinder, plus the fact that we don't actually get a lot of salvaged trees, means we don't often have wood rounds. I do have a source or two that I can recommend, however... send me an email!

+ I love the silver grey driftwood colour! How is it made?

This silver grey driftwood colour is one of the most popular reclaimed wood features right now! And everyone wants to know how they can get this colour in to their own projects.

This silver grey colour (like the colour of a piece of driftwood) is the beginning of the breakdown of the surface of the wood, caused by sunshine and wind and water. It is not a durable surface… without significant protection, it will wear off if it is used in a location like a floor or a desk. It is fantastic as a feature wall or display:

"But wait", some will say, "I can put a durable wood finish on the surface and it won't matter if the grey colour is durable or not!". However, this surface will change colour if it has a sealer or wood finish applied, from a silver grey to a dark slate grey. It will be protected, but it won't look the same.

If you want a silver grey surface but it needs to be durable or it needs to have a finish applied, you can work with several different stains or wood finishes, but this is a creative project and everyone's version will be different. There are many different ways to accomplish this, and many different finishes. It is only limited by your imagination! Some internet searches for driftwood, weathered, or silver grey wood finish techniques might be a good start. And if anyone ever discovers a way to replicate that silver grey colour using a stain, it will be worth a fortune.

+ Can you match my narrow vertical grain fir flooring?

Sadly, no.

I get asked this question a lot. I would love to be able to offer some kind of service where we could provide historically accurate cuts of wood, but we're not there yet. Anyone out there willing to take on this sort of project, please let me know!

+ What is an antique patina?

"Patina" refers to the change in texture and/or colour on the surface of wood as a result of age, wear, and exposure to natural elements, or damage. Often when "reclaimed" wood is requested, the feature that is desired is this altered surface appearance that indicates age.

For example:

  • The surface of Douglas fir, when left inside a building for a long time, will turn brown, usually a warm, medium brown, but the colour can range anywhere from a barely perceptible light tan all the way through to a dark chocolate brown, depending on the environment.

  • Wood that is exposed to the elements (rain, sun, etc) will turn a silver grey colour over time. On the west coast where there is significant moisture, this weathered colour is difficult to acquire without significant decay in the wood. We work very hard to acquire silver grey wood from this area and elsewhere, when this colour is desired!

  • When a timber is cut, saw marks are often left on the surface of the wood. In wood cut subsequent to the introduction of the bandsaw (around 1930-1940) these are usually the straight marks of a bandsaw blade, but prior to that the curved marks of a circular saw blade may be present. The majority of the wood on the coast was cut with a sawmill, but on some of the timbers used to build structures in the earlier half of the last century, the marks of an adze may indicate a hand-hewn beam.

+ Can you tell me where my piece of wood came from?

Sometimes we can trace the history of a piece of wood you bought from us after the fact, but if you want to know the origin of the wood, it’s best to ask us to track that before you purchase it! You can look up some of the stories on our website, or ask us for details.

+ Why is a 2x4 not 2"x4"?

Lumber is initially cut to the listed dimensions. A 4"x8" timber is cut to 4"x8"... this is the rough cut size. This is often too rough (and in the case of new lumber, also too wet) for most applications.

The wood can then be surfaced... sanded or planed to produce a smoother surface, which is more appropriate for most interior uses. This removes about 1/8" of material, which means your end result is about 1/4" smaller each way. A piece of wood that started out cut to 4" x 8" will still be called a 4x8, but it will actually be slightly smaller... closer to 3.75"x7.75", because it is actually a surfaced 4"x8".

At WRT, we can cut to whatever size you require. If you want a piece of wood that is a full 4" thick after surfacing, we can rough-cut a piece that is 4.25" thick so that it will be 4" after surfacing.

+ Can you send me a photo of reclaimed wood?

We are asked often to send photos of the reclaimed wood we have. And while we do our best to get photos that are somewhat representative of the material that is here, photos can be deceiving as well. Don't rely on photos for colour selection!

Stop by and have a look in person; we are always happy to show you around and help you find the right colours.

+ What is a gluelam?

Gluelam (glued-laminated timber) is a structural timber product manufactured by gluing together individual pieces of dimension lumber under controlled conditions. The attributes of this wood product account for its frequent use as an attractive architectural and structural building material.

+ What is the difference between lumber and timber?

Lumber or Timber is a term used to describe wood, either standing or that has been processed for use—from the time trees are felled, to its end product as a material suitable for industrial use—as structural material for construction or wood pulp for paper production. In the U.K. and Australia, "timber" is a term also used for sawn wood products (that is, boards), whereas generally in the United States and Canada, the product of timber cut into boards is referred to as lumber. In the United States and Canada sawn wood products of five inches diameter or greater (4½″ nominal size) are sometimes called "timbers".