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Reclaimed wood has hit the big time in the furniture world, and for good reason. As Ikea continues to take the world by storm, a certain section of the market is reacting by demanding more character, more individuality in their furniture, which reclaimed is guaranteed to provide. But what does it all mean? How do you know you’re still getting a quality piece of wood?

What is reclaimed wood? Wicked Mata

What is reclaimed wood?

‘Reclaimed’ simply means that the wood has been repurposed or salvaged from another use. Typically this includes floorboards, old beams, barn cladding, railway sleepers, or pallets.

In our case, we stumbled right on a pile of wood just crying out to be rescued, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. We’d been contacted by a bunch of architectural salvage guys, who had stripped the flooring from a group of decommissioned boxcar freight trains and were hunting for a buyer. We, quite gladly, snapped it up.

Boxcar Timber

Boxcar trains became popular in the early 1900s (you’ll recognise them from Western movies – or the opening sequence of Toy Story 3, if you’re a little younger!), when the iconic design became instrumental in shipping all kinds of large items up and down the American railroads. The wildly everchanging weather across the state lines meant that the previous flatbed style of transportation swiftly needed to grow a few more walls to keep everything safely protected! Enter: The Box Car.

To us, the floorboards taken from these trains are simply majestic. Each board is at least 50mm thick, with rich scarring, indentations and bolt holes that secured the flooring to the chassis. When raw and untouched, you’d never know the beauty underneath; they’re so utterly covered in a thick layer of grime, but a quick sand will reveal all of their secrets.

What is reclaimed wood? Wicked Mata
What is reclaimed wood? Wicked Mata

Quality Still Matters

In the boom of reclaimed, it’s important to consider the quality of the wood – just as you would with anything new. Unlike railway sleepers, or some external timber cladding that you often see used for reclaimed furniture – boxcar wood is as dry as any other furniture grade timber. This means that there’s less risk of the wood twisting and cracking over time once it’s in your home – so it’ll last as long as you want it to.

Discover the Character

The second thing that we like to keep in mind is the character ingrained in the wood. Not all reclaimed timber is created equal – and although old oak beams may be aged by time, they’re a little lacking in their ability to tell a good story. We fell in love with Boxcar wood because it’s been through decades of hard work – and it shows it. It’s as if it’s speaking a language that you’re desperate to understand, and yet unable to translate – which we believe is a non-negotiable feature for reclaimed wood.

What is reclaimed wood? Wicked Mata

For all of our Boxcar tables, just take a browse around our shop – there are finished pieces to check out, or simply get in touch to ask for a bespoke quotation.

If you have any questions at all, take a look at our FAQS, or feel free to contact us.

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