From raw weathered wood to a warm finish, the creation of a Reclaimed Oak Table and set of Chairs
It isn’t often that someone can talk me into working “all reclaimed,” I am usually able to persuade clients to do some portion of the project out of new stock. It can be difficult to work with antique lumber, there is a lot of culling out pieces with dry-rot, or pieces with splits too deep to support the overall structure. It is hard on my equipment and there are too many surprises as the project develops. I almost always recommend new lumber for table tops, chair seats and bench tops, but this time I relented.
I agreed to go all reclaimed if I could mill far enough into the wood to make it flat and square. This takes off some of that silvery aged wood, which is unfortunate, but in the case of this Oak it revealed a new set of interesting characteristics. First off: color! The color of the mixture of white and red oak was spectacular, much richer and deeper than new wood. Also, the splits cracks and knots had a darker tint to them. There were also black streaks from the steel nails reacting with the tannins in the wood, also beautiful. The voids that were deep and sharp were tied together with “dutchmen,” inlays specially shaped to be decorative and to stabilize cracks.
There is a busy, rough, truthfulness to the grain in this set. In spite of cracks and wild grain, the feel of it is very soft. Overall a satisfying project. Interestingly, I think that this look goes well with almost any color scheme and is applicable to many styles, from modern to rustic.