Crafting beautiful reclaimed wood furniture and home decor from reclaimed, recycled, reused and salvaged materials, requires specific focus on a few areas: Materials, Design and Woodworking. Each of these areas requires a very different kind of skill set and willingness to focus on a certain kind of work.
Sourcing Reclaimed wood, and recycled, reused and salvaged materials requires a keen eye, strong relationships with a very diverse slate of people across a wide range of industries and geographies, and a willingness to get really dirty and even risk life and limb in some cases. This kind of work is some of my favorite. Climbing into the tops of barn rafters, digging into old attics and buildings, and even trudging around dumps and burn piles in places a lot of people would prefer not to venture.
Putting pen to paper to draw the concepts that will eventually become works of functional art can only happen if you've failed miserably a lot of times. Looking at a pile of rough, dirty, bent, maligned and damaged material that most would call trash and being able to see a piece of home decor or furniture is no easy task.
At Ohio Valley Reclaimed, woodworking is the part that gets all the love, but it's actually the easiest if we did a good job on the other parts. When the materials and the design sync well, pushing a workpiece across a table saw or clamping miter joints is usually pretty simple. However, the challenge of being able to overcome the knots and bends and warped boards is what makes reclaimed woodworking a unique craft and what results in the beautiful unique qualities that come along with reclaimed wood products.
Getting back to work
Now, I'm going to climb into the top of a rickety old barn near Cincinnati, OH to see if it would be worth salvaging some old beams for reclaimed wood projects.