I love the adventure and process associated with finding old timber that I’ll use for my furniture.
Often I get calls from demolition companies who are knocking down houses to come and sort through their waste timber. Other times I’ll jump on my motorbike and head out into rural NSW with my tent and just enjoy the ride, the countryside and look for old sheds, barns, houses, fences that look dilapidated and unused. And other times, joiners and carpenters will contact me when they’re throwing out their waste timber.
A great example was this tallowwood pictured.
This timber is said to be near 400 years old. These Tallowwood trees would have lined the hills pre colonial times in Australia. This pictured timber has spent its past 90 years as floorboards in the heritage listed Department of Education Building in Sydney.
A very small amount of damaged timber was being discarded. I was offered a small amount that would have otherwise been sent to landfill. As you can see from the photo below, its original form is terribly old and anyone would be right to think it can’t be repurposed. Wrong!
I rescue the timber and then once back in the workshop I put it through the planer to remove the hundred years of filth sitting on the timbers exterior surface. The first pass on the planer is the most rewarding as its then that you reveal what lies beneath. For this timber it was vibrant, beautiful, rich and extremely featured timber that had more natural charm and character than most new timber could dream of.
Given its short length (no longer than 1m each board), I joined two boards together and repurposed them into a limited run of bath tables. My wife loves a bath, a wine and to watch a device as she relaxes. Having invested 20+ years of her life into teaching, this re-purposed timber became the perfect addition to the bathroom.
There’s still enough timber to make several more, so if you’re interested, check out the bath mate product page and order your very limited and very unique bath table that you can appreciate for a very long time to come.
Until next time.