While our clients love the look of our products, some may not know just how much effort is needed to source, find, and prepare the reclaimed wood for market. We strive to find the finest wood material for our clients. We take pride in our work and this starts in the field.
Our last trip brought us to Iowa. Iowa and the surrounding states is know for its reclaimed oak. We source our reclaimed wood material from barns and large farm buildings used for storing grain, hay, or straw or for housing livestock.
What makes our reclaimed Oak better?
We source for the right oak with the right as a general rule we consider that when the rings are spaced 1/4″ or more apart that we have lowland oak which is often called southern oak. Actually the species of red oak changes from north to south, so that southern oak consists of different wood species of red oak than northern. There are over 20 species in the U.S. Due to the warmer temperatures southern oak has more sapwood. We have a good risk of getting a grey sap stain (enzymatic stain or fungal stain). The most reddish color will come from cherry bark or southern red oak, but because of the variety of species we will see a variety of colors too both north and south. It is harder to dry the southern oaks, so surface checking can be an issue at times and sometimes these surface cracks go deeply into the wood (called honeycomb sometimes). So you do need to have a supplier that will stand behind his product in case there are quality issues. Also, many of the southern oak species shrink and sweep with moisture changes more than the northern ones. However, with proper and reasonable care southern red oak will be competitive with northern oak lumber.
Southern white oak is often much poorer than northern white, as the southern white oak species seems to be very difficult to dry properly without quality loss than affects secondary manufacturing. One of these white oak species is swamp oak or swamp white oak, mentioned above.
Want to use Oak in your next project? Reach out to us below.