Wood from old houses

Far too much old-growth lumber gets thrown-out when people do renovations. Many of these pieces of “construction” lumber more closely resemble a real 2″×4″, than anything produced now.

When we moved into our house, there was an old front door. It was 2″ thick, and I assumed made of solid oak. I was wrong of course, because likely that would have caused it to warped a lot more. We eventually replaced it, partially to improve the efficiency of the house, but mostly because over the intervening 70 years, the door had suffered from a myriad of offences, not least of which the original lock had been broken, and at some point a mail slot had been added. A while back a neighbour also replaced their door, so I managed to snag it as well.

What am I doing with them? Recycling them.The doors are made of a core of laminated pieces of some form of pine, which is covered by an inner veneer of some form of pine, and then a outer veneer of oak. So it looks like a solid oak door, but is what is termed a laminboard. This is common practice to create a more robust door. The inner core is made from some fairly old-growth pine, as shown below.


The door core

I also replaced the bedroom (and closet) doors. They were originally stained, or varnished, and had been painted a number of times. I had tried to strip the paint, but the doors were beyond saving. I salvaged some of the wood from them as well. What is interesting about these doors is how they were constructed. The core of the door stiles, and rails were composed of pine, and this was covered in front and back with a veneer, and on the edges with a banding which is dovetailed onto the core. The stiles and rails are connected using dowels. From a little research it seems as though the banding might be longleaf pine. One can identify pronounced resin in the growth rings, and a beautiful scent. I think most of the framing in my house, is likely longleaf pine, but I will try and identify it more definitively.


The door stile cores



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