Sometimes we are asked where we got this amazing wood for our reclaimed tables. The short story is that the wood was reclaimed from the rafters of a dismantled sawmill in Delta, just south of Vancouver, British Columbia. But the slightly longer story is more interesting.
We've been told that in the 1940s, this mill was floating cedar logs down the west coast from the Queen Charlotte Islands to their mill on the Fraser River; the scenes probably looked very much like the log booms in the photo above.
Long straight logs, called boomsticks, were chained end-for-end to form a continuous containment ring all around the cedar logs. Some of these boomsticks were Sitka Spruce. Named after the Alaskan community of Sitka, this species grows along the west coast from Alaska, all the way down to Northern California. Known for its light-weight, tall straight stems, with few defects, Sitka Spruce clear wood has been used in building wooden aircraft, ladders and even musical instruments. Read more here.
So how did this prized timber end up being made into rough-sawn rafters in a sawmill? We're told that after some years of use, the boomstick logs were taken out of service; were they beginning to sink? We're not sure of the reason, but we do know that when these mills were needing to put up more warehouse storage buildings, they would use whatever happened to be available and was cheap; discarded boomsticks fit the bill.
At the time, larger circular saws were used to cut logs into dimensioned lumber. The teeth of the circular saws left sweeping marks in the rough-sawn lumber, but that didn't much matter if all it was going to be used for was sawmill rafters. We're pretty sure they weren't thinking what beautiful tables this would make 60 or 70 years from then.
In the summer of 2010, we bought an inventory of 3" x 13" reclaimed Sitka Spruce rafters; we knew right from the start what we were going to do with these; we were planning to make one-of-a-kind tables for folks just like you.
Our reclaimed wood tables are great as dining tables, desks or in a pinch, can also double as a sewing table. No two tables are identical, since saw-marks and patina varies from board to board.
These table tops are 2-3/8" thick and are available with mitered corners or as straight planks. We have an assortment of 42" x 72" and 42" x 84" tables ready for sale in our Abbotsford shop as well as several tall 42" x 42" pub tables. Please call ahead before coming out to see the tables.
We can also make up custom plank tables to suit the dimensions you need.
Six foot long bench made from reclaimed Sitka Spruce rafters.
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