Even though we’re in the business of selling outdoor lumber in Central Texas, Timbertown Austin is all about using reclaimed wood when it makes sense. If you’re building a deck you need strong, stable soft or hardwood lumber, but for other projects reclaimed wood can be a great option. Here are a few project ideas as well as suggestions on which woods work best.
Make a Mailbox
Every house needs a mailbox. It’s just a rectangular storage container, but it’s where invites to events, hand written letters and all your other important non-electronic correspondence gets dropped off. First decide if you want to do a mailbox that will hang on the wall outside your front door, or one that will go on a post out in the yard. A hanging mailbox is simpler but neither option is overly complicated.
Best Reclaimed Woods to Use: Unless your mailbox is underneath a porch it’s going to be out in all the elements. A rot resistant wood like redwood or cedar is an excellent choice.
Raised Planter Bed
A raised planter bed is an easy way to section off part of the yard for flowers, herbs and/or veggies. It’s also one of the easiest wood projects under the sun. See our raised garden bed guide for details on how it build it and where to place it.
Best Reclaimed Woods to Use: There’s going to be a lot of ground contact so opt for pressure treated pine or cedar for this project.
Even a simple headboard can bring focus to the largest piece of furniture in a bedroom and give it a finished look. Headboards are super easy to make, however, if you want to get fancy, a jig saw can be used to cut it into an intricate shape. If you’re going for a rough, rustic look leave the wood boards as is, but if not a few layers of paint will help refresh the wood and tie the headboard into the existing décor.
Best Reclaimed Woods to Use: Since this is indoors and isn’t structural just about any wood will work. But you may want to reserve reclaimed hardwoods for a headboard that’s going in the master suite.
Quote Signs and Name Plates
A great project to do with the kids and if you are short on reclaimed wood is a quote or name sign. All you have to do is decorate the wood with a little paint (or found objects if you have other upcycle pieces) and attach picture hanging hardware to the back.
Best Reclaimed Woods to Use: If indoors any wood can be used. If outdoors opt for a weather resistant wood like cedar or redwood lumber.
A Few Extra Tips
- Always remove all nails and screws before beginning a project.
- Be careful when using treated wood. Back in the day chromated copper arsenate (CCA) was used to treat wood to keep it from rotting. This is no longer used because the chemical is a human carcinogen. Look for a stamp to indicated what treatment was used. The wood may also have a green tint if CCA is present.
- Don’t use reclaimed wood for structural projects – stick to decorative ideas when using reclaimed wood.
- If the wood has been sitting outside in the elements make sure it’s completely clean and dry before you begin the project.
Once you choose your reclaimed wood project come to by the Timbertown Austin lumberyard to look through our “scrap pile”. You’ll find tons of high priced woods that were previously cut and are now offered at a deeply discounted rates.
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