Archive for November, 2014

oversizedtable_001Families are smaller and company boards hold remote video conferences today, but the large table, especially one from reclaimed wood, is far from a thing of the past. Making one involves the same steps as any table (with a metal base), but any difficulties are often amplified with size. This may include potential for wood movement and end splits, added production capacity, especially for clamp and glue up and building a table base that is adequately stable.

The above table for a local downtown BID includes an industrial style i-beam base with a 4′ x 10′ table top from reclaimed native softwoods. The woods have been sanded to reveal the figure without removing all of the aged patina and other characters marks.


IMG_4880It can seem as though lighter woods cold bend (as opposed to steam bending) more readily, but looking at wood properties, the correlation between wood density and modulus of elasticity is not strong. So it seems as though woods that cold bend more easily has to do with how readily the actual cell structure of the wood deforms to accommodate the bending. But density does seem to play a role here at Washington Sq. Park where woods needed to be bolted in an arcing form that followed the perimeter of the facade. Reclaimed wine tank Redwood with an Elastic Modulus of 1,220,000 lbf/in2 was used in place of reclaimed boardwalk Ipe, measuring in at 3,200,000 lbf/in2. 



Danny O’Connell of OMC Construction takes a roof sample that indicates asbestos within one of the layers – needing removal in advance of the general construction.

Squib history: The chrysotile used for asbestos was first mined in Canada during the 1870’s – and there’s actually a town called called Asbestos, Quebec. The material would become widely used for insulation, drywall, flooring, roofing, ship building and furniture. As early as the first century AD, Greek and Roman slaves had become seriously ill after working with asbestos in weaving. Like switching off coal in favor of solar, insulation has had a long way to go towards removing toxicity and improving insulating quality.


Woods reclaimed from storage tanks are made from grade A lumber – often Oak, Cypress, or Redwood. Whether the water tanks that dot the city skyline  or tanks used for wines, whiskey, pickles, and in the most current instance – Worcestershire Sauce.

This rare lot of Douglas Fir was recently salvaged from the Worcestershire Sauce tanks at the Lea & Perrins facility in New Jersey. Going back to the early 1800’s, when the sauce was invented (by accident), the company has gone through a handful of owners and locations (a third of the tanks were transferred from an old facility in Manhattan) until finally being acquired by Heinz, where the special sauce will be made in the midwest – though in Stainless Steel containers. Some say you can taste the difference when the sauce is seasoned within the wood tanks.

Doug Fir, named for the British explorer who identified the tree in the Pacific Northwest, the country’s second largest, yields wood with a clear dense figure and warm brown and red hues, that sometimes break out into psychodelic grain patterns. The old tanks can now go through renewal and into a range of beautiful building and design applications, including original surface and re-surfaced paneling, doors, floors and furniture.