We all know teak for its good looks but there are many more benefits that come with teak. Architects and designers love the versatility of this wood. The history behind teak draws us to it to make us appreciate it even more.
Unfortunately, the huge popularity that teak wood enjoyed also led to its over-exploitation as a natural resource. The situation became so acute that it almost became extinct in some countries. Teak wood found its way onto the list of endangered species in the world.
Today, governments have done a lot to restore the cultivation and trading of this precious natural resource. But it remains one of the most highly regulated woods in the world. In this light, people seek alternatives to naturally occurring teak. One of the most viable alternatives to virgin teak wood is reclaimed teak.
In this post, we discuss the various aspects of reclaimed teak. Before we go into the finer details, let’s determine what reclaimed teak is.
- What is reclaimed teak?
- How Reclaimed Teak is Obtained
- Where to Find Reclaimed Teak
- The Beauty of Reclaimed Teak Furniture
- Different Sources of Reclaimed Teak
- Benefits of Reclaimed Teak
What is reclaimed teak?
Reclaimed teak is wood that we obtain without ever cutting a tree. Of course, the wood originally came from a tree, but it comes from old furniture and dilapidated structures that are slated for demolition. Some companies locate extremely good quality reclaimed teak from old structures.
How Reclaimed Teak is Obtained
Reclaimed teak is wood that involves no tree cutting to procure it. Companies that deal in reclaimed teak store the wood in a zero-waste facility. The wood is treated to get rid of any volatile organic compounds (VOC) or any other chemicals that may leech into the environment.
The teak that such companies obtain was harvested 200 to 300 years ago to build homes. The surface of the wood develops a patina by years of exposure to sun and moisture. It creates an impressive appearance, with a silky and smooth surface.
Where to Find Reclaimed Teak
The primary source of reclaimed teak is Indonesia. You can find companies that use old-growth wood salvaged from demolition sites. After cleaning the wood of toxins, it is washed, dried and shipped to various locations in Indonesia and across the world as well.
So, if you cannot go to Indonesia, you can get reclaimed teak from near to where you live. A quick internet search should give you the names of sellers of reclaimed teak. Today, the activity of reclaiming teak has caught on in many countries. As a result, we can get reclaimed teak at almost all places in the world.
The Beauty of Reclaimed Teak Furniture
With the easy availability of reclaimed teak wood today, you can make some attractive furniture out of it. This type of furniture will have a special appeal to those who use it and know its true value.
Reclaimed teak furniture exhibits rich colors, and the homey, leather-like scent that it emits is unlike any other variety of wood. The natural oil content is still likely to be sufficient to offer sufficient protection to the wood. It prevents the wood from swelling, shrinking or warping as well as protecting it from insect attack and wood rot.
Different Sources of Reclaimed Teak
Although you can buy it from traders as we mentioned above, you can get reclaimed teak from many other sources. Here are a few ways that you can procure reclaimed teak:
Teak is the type of wood that improves in quality and appearance as it ages, rather like vintage wine. Antique furniture is something that gets passed down in a family for generations. You could be looking at furniture that is hundreds of years old when you see furniture made of reclaimed teak.
Antique furniture has a special appeal appreciated by experts and laypeople alike. You may be fortunate enough to inherit some, or if you have the budget, you can buy it from antique dealers. Whatever your source, you will end up with furniture made of some very fine teak wood.
You can develop a keen eye for spotting structures made of aged teak wood. If you spot an old house that is up for demolition, you could take a look at the wooden structures and furniture.
When the demolition is going on, you might get some wood from the site at a bargain rate. The tendency is to sell the wood at scrap rates. They may even throw in a few pieces of furniture free of cost if you take a lot of timber from them. The value of such furniture could be priceless after restoration.
There are scrap yards that specialize in used wood. You will find such places as a wonderland for getting different varieties of wood for your various projects. The wood is usually sold by weight at a fixed rate.
This means that you could pay the same rate for a piece of cheap plywood and that you pay for a plank or beam of aged teak. You need to develop your eye for spotting teak wood that has potential for restoration. It may result in a good bargain purchase for getting some quality reclaimed teak.
Keep your eyes glued to the newspapers. The government sells depreciated furniture among other items from time to time and advertise the sale in the newspaper. You may have to pay a non-refundable deposit amount. But it could be worth that initial expenditure if you can identify some genuine, good quality teak that you could restore to its former glory.
A garage sale is a source of antique, old items. We tend to regard a garage sale as a place that offers many useless items. If you have developed a keen eye for antique furniture and old wood, there is a possibility of finding some old, even antique furniture and other wooden items that you can buy at a bargain price.
Benefits of Reclaimed Teak
Here are a few of the primary benefits of reclaimed teak:
A Piece of History
Reclaimed teak comes from old houses, bridges and even railroad tracks in some places. By using this type of wood, you are adding history and character to your wooden items and structures.
The appearance of aged, ancient teak is second to none in the world of woodworking. The nature of reclaimed teak is such that it will look good in either a modern or rustic environment. It will always stand out, especially if you have done a good job in restoring it.
Reclaimed teak needs less maintenance than new wood. Having been exposed to the vagaries of nature for decades, the wood develops a natural resilience. It means that you need to spend less effort applying varnish and sealers.
The only maintenance that such wood may require is washing with soap and water and applying a bit of furniture wax, once the wood is dry.
Exposure to years of rain and sun also fortifies the strength of the reclaimed teak. You may find it difficult to work on this variety of teak because the wood has increased in hardness. It can result in tools getting blunt faster while working with the wood. But that is also an indication that the wood is strong, and will be extra-durable.
Reclaimed teak has a class of its own. By choosing to use reclaimed teak for your woodworking projects, you are making an environmentally friendly decision. You also get wood that is strong and durable. There will be no likelihood for the wood to rot, warp, or crack easily.
And finally, you might get some classy-looking wood at a bargain rate, if you look in the right places. When you plan your next woodworking project, use reclaimed teak to make a difference.