Reclaiming America.

Some of the most beautiful lumber I have ever seen was felled over a hundred years ago and was put into an attic.  Unfortunately, it wasn't for sale and if I had taken it, the building I was in would have collapsed.  The lumber stood as massive beams in an old mill I was invited to inspect.  Wood that is nearly impossible to get anymore often resides as forests of structural members in old buildings now.  It is for this reason (among many) that I love reclaimed lumber.

It breaks my heart when I see a demolition site with piles of old growth timber heaped in dumpsters with all the other demolition waste.  Fortunately for those of us obsessed with wood who enjoy beautiful lumber, some folks have made a profession out of working with demolition contractors and building owners to salvage lumber from old buildings.  One such company out of Cambridge, Massachusetts is doing just that.  Longleaf Lumber reclaims lumber and mills the salvaged wood into all kinds of beautiful architectural goodies.  They also have a soft place in their hart (see what I did there?) for woodworkers.  In addition to inventorying lumber for woodworkers in their showroom, they have started a friendly competition amongst wood fanatics.  The contest is called "This Is the End Grain."  Once a month they will post a photo of end grain lumber on their facebook page and accept guesses as to the type of wood.  They'll randomly select a winner from all the correct guesses, and it seems that prizes will be "reclaimed, wooden, and gorgeous."  Maybe in the spirit of eliminating some of my competition I shouldn't have posted this here!

In all seriousness, however, I really respect what the folks at Longleaf Lumber are doing.  Getting people talking about, and using reclaimed lumber helps connect us to our past and gets people thinking about conservation.  Just think, many of the timbers they are salvaging were growing while the pilgrims were sitting down to the very first Thanksgiving.

Here are some videos I found which are about Longleaf Lumber and the work they are doing.

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