Making the Old New Again: Part 1

Focus Demolition talks salvage and how they make the most unique furniture pieces out of scrap wood!

salvage perth

What is the process to turn scrap wood into stunning furniture?

The right pieces of salvaged wood can create stunning one-off furniture pieces with a bit of knowledge and some thorough preparation. The old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is what allows us to create sturdy, good-looking furniture from discarded wood – material that would otherwise become unnecessary land fill.

There are a few things we look for in the salvage yard; the overall condition of the wood is obviously important but there are other factors that make for usable materials. Some types of wood are easily salvageable and suitable for a range of projects, and it’s important to consider how much treatment the wood will need to be able to be repurposed.

Is the wood in a good condition?

Not all wood is salvageable – but the scrap yard can show up some great finds, even if at first glance the piece doesn’t look usable. We make sure the material has been looked after and treated during its first life so it will last when we give it a second life.

Here are some things we look out for:

Warping and cracking

Warping and cracking can reduce the strength of the wood, and it won’t match up with other pieces in the project.

Bug infestations

Signs of bug infestations include small holes, droppings, or wood that sounds hollow.

Damage from the elements

Outdoor damage might be hidden under layers of paint so we have to check thoroughly.

What type of wood is it?

Depending on its condition, almost all varieties of wood can be salvaged however some are easier to repurpose than others. In general, solid wood is a better find at scrap yards as they are stronger and have a longer second life as furniture.

The best types of wood to use for salvaged furniture are:

·      Mahogany

·      Cherry

·      Walnut

·      Teak

·      Oak

·      Ash

·      Maple

All of these wood varieties are fantastic finds if they are in good condition. They are ideal to be reused as furniture – Walnut, Cherry, and Mahogany give a lovely dark finish. Maple has a bright smooth texture and the lighter varieties like Oak, Ash, and Teak are incredibly versatile.

Treating the wood

The next step after sourcing the right materials is to treat the wood, getting it ready to be made into furniture. For starters, we remove nails, studs, and staples from the wood and sand down the surfaces to remove paint and splinters. In some cases, the top layer has to be removed if it was damaged by wind or rain. Doing so can often reveal the excellent quality of the wood below.

Each wood prefers a different sort of treatment once it has been sanded smooth. Before it can be made into beautiful furniture the wood should be treated as required with any unusable parts cut away.

When the wood is ready we move on to the really exciting part – starting to design and build stunning one-off furniture! Look out for next month’s blog where we delve further into this.


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