“Reclaiming” Your Woodworking Project

It’s that time of year again – spring is in the air, even if ice is hanging from the phone wires, and many of us are looking to new woodworking projects to get our juices flowing. As for me, I’m looking to do some projects this year using reclaimed wood and reclaimed materials.

“Reclaimed” is a fancy word for recycled. All it means is that I am going to locate some fabulous wood from someone old building or even used wood pallets to use as the basis for some of my outdoor woodworking projects this year. Many outdoor pieces don’t require the use of fancy wood, so in order to do my part to save the environment, I choose to use reclaimed wood wherever I can.

A great wood project using reclaimed wood is a potting bench. As the seed catalogs pour into your mailbox, go out on the hunt for some pallets or barn siding and transform them into the potting bench you or your mate have dreamed of, giving you space for all those precious plants to be started.

Dog houses are another way to use reclaimed wood, especially barn siding. Barn siding is already weathered, so work your best pattern with it, add some sealer and paint and voila! A wood project you can be proud of! Your dog will be happy to have a new residence as well. Don’t forget to add your pooch’s name above the door, it’s a nice personal touch.

If you look carefully through Ted’s Woodworking Plans you will see numerous projects in which reclaimed wood will work up beautifully. Any little landscaping wood project your heart desires or could dream of would be made simply and less expensively using reclaimed wood and hardware.

Consider this: you are at yet another garage sale, when you notice some furniture that is well past being useable as far as looks go. While it may be the stuff refinishers nightmares are made of, perhaps it could be torn apart to make that really great garden bench you’ve been planning in your mind: you know the one – for just over there underneath the shade tree. If the price is right, grab up these misfit pieces, “reclaim” them so to speak, and carry them off to your wood shop to be transformed.

Woodworking isn’t just a matter of choosing truly fabulous wood with just the right grain for that special wood project or show-stopping piece, but it’s the art of seeing a piece of wood and with your mind’s eye turning it into the project of your dreams before you ever make the first cut.

Perhaps you could challenge your wood working buddies to do their, part to help the environment, reclaim some wood for a spring project, and save the trees for that show stopper. Every little bit helps, and you all might shock and amaze each other with what is born of this creative experiment.

Now get out there and build something!