Reclaimed Lumber Load #1

As a visual artist, I often use material whose more prosaic, utilitarian usefulness has ended and it'd otherwise be hauled to the dump or, if it isn't finished with anything toxic, burned in a wood stove. Most often it's redwood decking that's been demoed by a homeowner, a fix-and-flipper, or, most commonly, a deck builder. (Below, my son Peter is helping me demo a handicap ramp.) 

One of my go-to reclaimed redwood suppliers has been deck builder Philip Purdy of StoneCroft Construction, whose excellent work translates to a typically long list of upcoming deck builds. Such as at present - he has about fifteen jobs coming down the pike, and most of them require that an existing deck, often redwood, is removed first.

While the amount of wood from a typical deck will last me many months, prior to my upcoming studio build I'm hoping to collect much more - enough to completely frame and side an app. 1000 sf building. That'll require many decks' worth of lumber.

While most deck builders, I've found, expedite their demos by cutting boards in between joists, to avoid having to pull the hardware, the resulting 16" chunks aren't something I can use. Thankfully, Purdy prefers to remove the boards intact, and I'm super glad he does, because, when possible, he'll allow me to come grab as much of it as I desire. Saves him disposal fees, saves me money, and I suppose even saves the environment. Plus, his clients like knowing that their wood is being used as fodder for sculpture.

It usually starts by hauling a load of used redwood lumber to my studio and then removing nails, screws, overly water-damaged areas, etc., and then running the wood through a succession of machines to prepare it for gluing up and carving.

For the framing portion of the studio build, though, where the wood will be hidden between sheetrock and exterior sheathing and siding, the aesthetics won't matter. As long as the wood isn't bowed, it won't need to undergo many of the typical steps. The wood that'll end up as siding is another matter.

Finally, another shout-out to Larry DelNore for gifting me the flatbed trailer in the photos today. All it needed was new wiring (thanks, YouTube) and a title, via a somewhat lengthy "Bond in Lieu of Title" process. But, many trips to the DMV later, I have title in hand. I put the trailer through its paces last week to retrieve lumber load #1 for the new build. Thanks to the trailer's length, I'm able to haul 16' long boards - before, when it was just the pickup's 6' long bed, I was relegated to around 8'. Furthermore, the increased capacity means way fewer trips. Thanks, Larry!

Not all of the wood will be usable, but most of it will, and I estimate I've already saved around $350 - 400, not including my time (and fuel for the truck).

In closing,

I assume some of you reading this are doing so for the same reasons I was watching a lot of YouTube videos recently: to get information from others who've undertaken projects like the one we've just begun to. If you have any questions or comments related to the build project, please make use of the comments section below, and I'll do my best to respond. And please share this with anyone you think might be interested!


Popular Posts