The Tiny House: Planing Your Reclaimed Lumber

There is something to be said for revisiting experiences. No matter how much progression the tiny house movement makes there are still some fundamental lessons to be learned. One of those lessons is how to properly salvage wood. There is some misconception in just pilfering wood from an old barn and tacking it right up as an interior wall. That very wood has typically been exposed to the elements including mold, mildew, animal effluvium, and the like. It needs to be cared for including a round of planing.

Over at Tiny r(E)volution we covered the process as it happened in our build. No time like the present to revisit that classic and see how a light round of planing can turn leftover lumber into its own work of art! To watch the video just hover over the image below and click on the red, centrally located, standard YouTube play button.

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By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Sue - May 13, 2015 Reply

As a construction worker asked me…. how about any nails in the wood, or what about the possibility of bugs?

    Andrew M. Odom - May 13, 2015 Reply

    Great point Sue and one that would have to be considered. The wood we reclaimed was actually what they called “leftover lumber.” It was the old wood laying out in a pile that was never good enough to sell through a store so it had no nail holes or real bug infestations.

Greg Thomas - May 13, 2015 Reply

I think instead of animal ephemera, you meant animal effluvium or effluvia.

James - May 13, 2015 Reply

You should include a warning to never to plane or cut treated lumber without proper protection. Same goes for painted wood that may have been painted with lead based paint. Finally one really should try to find out the history of their reclaimed wood. For example wood from the joists of an old structure may have been been treated with long since banned pesticides that take decades to break down.

Mike - May 15, 2015 Reply

There are tons of people that sell used lumber on craigslist, but I have also been to lumber yards that have junk lumber that is perfectly reusable

Slackerjo - May 16, 2015 Reply

I love the smell of the wood after it has been planed!

Greg Thomas - May 18, 2015 Reply

The other thing to be careful of in planing or sawing wood from barns is the possibilities of nails and other bits of metal. I built our bunny/chicken barn from recycled lumber from a nearby ranch. Some of that lumber included 8×8 post that were 12 ft long.

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