Reclaiming historic lumber is either passion, or insanity

 

When I return to my shop with salvaged lumber, it takes 3 months of reclaiming in order for that lumber to then be usable once again.  

 

 
Rachel Winner Fine Woodworking Nails

Step One

Nail Removal 

The first step is to painstakingly remove thousands of brittle, rusted nails by hand.  

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Step Two

Jointer

This is the most challenging part of the reclaiming process.  Every surface of the wood must be cleaned, leveled and made smooth.  

 
rachel winner wood planing

Step Three

Planing

All the wood is cut in batches together to ensure continuity in my final woodworking piece.  

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Step Four

Cutting

After the wood is finally ready to use, the art and design process begins.  I consider each section of lumber as if it was a paint color I can only use once.  I study the patterns of the grain and apply rules of design combined with my own aesthetic to lay out the patterns.