Scrappy Reclaimed Wood
By nature, timber frame projects have a ton of character. They’re typically built using high-quality timber, which has a lot of beauty—and might even sing to you if you’re lucky.
But when you really want to infuse a little extra personality into a timber frame structure, we often recommend reclaimed wood. At Carolina Timberworks, we use reclaimed wood in a variety of projects, ranging from our adaptive reuse for Google Fiber to reclaimed wood timber frames to our Scrappy Bench kit.
We’ve found that reclaimed wood works particularly well with the bench kit. Not only is the Scrappy Bench the ideal reuse opportunity for perfectly good wood scraps, but also the mix of timbers makes each kit completely unique—and therefore just right for your home.
What Is Reclaimed Wood?
Reclaimed wood can come from many sources. In some cases, it can be salvaged from an existing timber frame structure like a warehouse, a church, or a barn. In other cases, it can be left over after building a new structure.
Often, previously used or leftover timber is simply disposed of—but reclaiming means we can find new uses for it and essentially extend the life of the wood. As you might imagine, using repurposed wood can be a sustainable building choice, no matter how large or small your project might be.
How We Use Reclaimed Wood in Timber Frame Projects
Over the years, our team has done quite a lot of work with reclaimed wood beams. From front porches and staircases to breakfast rooms and kitchens to barns and commercial buildings, we’ve repurposed timber into many large-scale projects.
But reclaimed wood is incredibly versatile, and its applications go far beyond large-scale projects. In fact, it’s also the star of some of our smallest projects: the Farmhouse Table and the Scrappy Bench.
Introducing: Our Reclaimed Wood Bench
In our regular work as timber framers we end up with a lot of scraps—ends of the timbers that are literally the heart of the tree. They’re too pretty to throw away so we use them as small tables at the shop and our homes. But we’re out of room! So, we thought, let’s turn them into reclaimed wood benches—Scrappy Benches!
The “Scrappies” are made from whatever wood species we have in the shop. Sometimes we’ll cull through our wood pile to pull out timbers that might not grade out for our structural frames, because of large knots or other features that won’t meet the engineering specifications.
But it’s these same “structural imperfections” that make perfect signatures for the benches—and what make each bench unique. Recently we were able to buy a whole load of repurposed Douglas fir logs from a building that was never built, and the pile of logs was left to rot. We sawed them into clean timbers and found pure gold—perfect for the Farmhouse Table and the Scrappy Bench.
Part of the original motivation for the Scrappy Project was that if one of our crew becomes ill, or if we have to close the shop temporarily, the guys can load their pickups with wood and tools and make the Scrappy kits at home. We just want to keep everyone working. Each bench is a one of a kind, built by an individual craftsperson who considers it an honor to be able to sign his or her work.
Each Scrappy features a traditional scarf joint to join the scraps together. Scarf joints are strong, beautiful, and very traditional—and pretty close to magic as you put them together.
5 Ways a Reclaimed Wood Bench Can Enhance Your Interior Design
Do you love the idea of a reclaimed wood bench but need a hand envisioning where it should go? We’ve got a few good ideas:
- Foyer bench: Imagine a gorgeous, handcrafted piece of furniture that turns heads the moment you or your guests walk in the front door. A reclaimed wood foyer bench can be a statement piece or offer a spot to rest as you suit up for the outdoors.
- Window bench: With or without a cushion, a window bench can be a comfortable place to pause and take in the view.
- Great room accent: Whether you call it a great room, a living room, a family room, or something else, it’s the perfect spot for the Scrappy Bench. Use it for extra seating, a place to display your favorite books, or a stylish statement.
- Bed bench: Does the bedroom need a little something to tie it all together? A reclaimed wood bench adds an anchor at the foot of the bed and creates a rustic, handmade aesthetic.
- Garden bench: Why not take your Scrappy Bench outdoors? Exposed to the weather, it won’t last as long—but it’s so heavy it won’t blow away. We have an extra-long Scrappy Bench outside our shop that we enjoy because it’s such a nice spot to soak up the sunshine.
(If you’re an interior design professional or architect, we’d be pleased to work with you to modify the size and design of the Scrappy Bench–or talk about your ideas for other timber frame furniture.) To inquire about ordering one, fill out the form below or give us a call at 828-266-9663. We’re nice!