Reused and Reclaimed

Yesterday morning, I got a small load of eight or ten 16' long redwood 2 x 6's and a few shorter boards, as well as around five pounds of lag screws and other reclaimed hardware; the end of the haul from StoneCroft Construction's current deck build site.


In the afternoon, my wife and I signed the papers for the HELOCs we'll use for the upcoming conversion/new build project.

Then, we headed down to Motor City, bought two Porsches, and totaled them before remembering to insure them (but I had the lead into the corner!) End of d.i.y. studio build, beginning of d.i.y. car restoration. Kidding, of course.

This morning's task was picking up app. 350 sf of reclaimed Brazilian Cumaru hardwood, a.k.a. Brazilian Teak, a.k.a. Golden Teak, with which I plan to replace our 150 s.f. porch floor, which has seen better days (though I may keep some the wood I pull if it isn't in too bad of a shape and use it for something else... art?)


The Cumaru planks will need plenty of prep: cutting to length, jointing, adding tongue and groove, sanding, and finishing. There are counter-sunk screw holes throughout, but for me, they are evidence that the lifetime of the precious commodity is being extended.

I asked the deck builder who I bought the wood from how much it all would've cost new. He said the market fluctuates between $4 and $8 per linear foot for Cumaru 1 x 6's. To cover our porch, that'd be around 350 linear feet, or $1,400 - $2,800 for new. Were he to build a 150 s.f. deck with the exotic hardwood, he says he'd charge around $40/s.f., or about $6K for my porch. Maybe a bit less since there'd be no new joists.

I now have enough reclaimed Cumaru to cover my porch twice. I'll just do it once, and keep the excess for the new studio. Maybe use it to make a couple sliding garage doors.

The cost of the Cumaru, not including my time, gas, etc.? $300.


Perfect example of why I could use more studio space, above: Just enough room to set the Cumaru load on sawhorses before cross-cutting.

Cumaru's grain pattern is interesting. A local artist friend who knows her Brazilian hardwoods says she thinks Cumaru's a cousin to Peroba, a wood she uses to create amazing sculptures and furniture. Looks gorgeous after it's been sanded. 


I was also told that the wood's so dense and strong - nearly as dense as Ipe's - that it's used on some boardwalks in coastal areas and the code allows joists widely spaced on 3' centers.


The density also eats saw blades for lunch, and, being an exotic, can cause skin sensitization. I'll definitely be wearing a dust mask, as per usual.

Looks like I have my work cut out for me in the reclaimed wood arena yet again.

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