Saturday, September 8, 2012

Salvaging Wood, Wood flooring, door panels,

Jerry Jeff Walker sings "pickup truck song" , saying  " this is some of the stuff you can do in your pickup...........truck".  I enjoy  this foot tapping, easily  words of this song.  My mind wanders and listening to this led to this post.

This post is about some of the things you can do with salvaged .........lumber.  And in the spirit of Jerry Jeff,  here we go buckaroos, taking you down the road of salvaging that wood.

My salvaged lumber comes either from the firewood I buy or from demolishing buildings. 

We use some firewood to start our brick kiln.  Most of the firewood we get is the off cuts, branches, unusable parts of a tree that has been cut down either to clear a house site or someone needing the money.  It will be another post about this big issue.  Off cuts are the piece on the right.

The other source is demolishing structures.  In the 1970-1980's lumber was cheap and plentiful here.  Other materials for partitioning , roofing, ceilings, doors, etc was expensive or plain not available.  Most of the partitioning done at  my office was wood frames and chip board.  It looks cheap.  So over the years we have removed it all and put in , yep, aluminum and glass.  I bid for what was torn out and got a few pickup loads.  Other staff went for the doors and window glass.

the last source is pallets and shipping crates.  1/4 of the base flooring upstairs is Bernice's crates when she came from Philippines after university.  I save everything.  (Including a crate that came from borneo in the 50's, very very heavy and hard)

Easy stuff first. 
Our new side table for the patio.

 We leave it in the rain, sit on it, put a glass on it .  Hard to tip it over.


After a visitor walked off this footpath in the dark and into the ditch i threw this up, or rather a masai night watchmen did.


I got tired and never finished a balcony upstairs.  this room became Nashesha's.  this year I walled in the balcony part (that was just 2x8 joist) removed the old door windows and wall.  Most of the wood was salvage stuff.  1/2 the outside was plywood a friend gave me.

Next was what to put over the rough floor.  In the salvaged wood was tons of 2x4 short pieces.  So I ripped them into strips nailed it down.

after sealing and polish looks great, even the nail holes add character.

The Parquet flooring in our entryway is 1/2 from off cuts from sawing timber, that was destined to be firewood.  I kept looking at these short pieces so i stored them.  A few years ago i got a table saw so  kept going making strips, glued them together and then made them into 20cm square parquet.  I haven't finished the sanding but it is spectacular and so much warmer.

but it is too of work so i think i will do the dining room in long strips.

And then paneling on our new steel doors.


  1. This is interesting. The canadian province of Newfoundland (also known as "the Rock") has very little timber also. Much of early Nfld furniture was also made from salvaged shipping crates. People will use what is at hand to create what they need.

    1. Cool. And probably valueable furniture now, collector stuff.

      The wood off crate from Borneo is going to be interesting to use. Besides being the hardest wood I have ever touched it has much personal history.

      Interested in your bridge post. I want to build an arch bridge.

  2. Beautiful work Erik. Its all a testament to your imagination, hard work, and creative use of available resources. What tool are you using to rip your saw logs?


    1. the full logs are cut with a chain saw. the off cuts i put on my table saw. sometimes I have to cut both side to get through thicker than 4 inch.