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Salvage Works

FAQ

What is Reclaimed Wood?

For us here at Salvage Works, reclaimed wood is lumber that has been salvaged from deconstructed houses and barns. We choose our material for its unique quality, character, texture and patina. The wood’s first life was a tree, second life as lumber in a barn, third life is here, as material for your next project.

What makes Salvage Works' wood "Heritage Lumber"?

Heritage Lumber comes from the old growth trees used 100 years ago to build barns and homes across the Pacific Northwest. The timber industry of the region is at the heart of our history, and in reclaiming heritage lumber, we can give the material a new purpose.

Where does Salvage Works source its Reclaimed Wood from?

Our team reclaims wood from barns, warehouses, granaries, and homes across the Pacific Northwest.

What is deconstruction?

Deconstruction is the dismantlement of structures, usually by hand, specifically for re-use, repurposing, and recycling.

What is WOW Wall Cladding?

WithOut Work Wall, or WOW Wall is a custom Wall Cladding Product that we create out of reclaimed wood. Each piece of WOW Wall is hand selected, de-nailed, kiln dried and milled to a uniform ½” thickness and either 3 ¼” or 5” width. WOW Wall goes up with finish nails easily on most surfaces.

What is Shiplap?

Shiplap is a style of lumber that has a specific profile on the side - where one piece “laps” over the other creating a seam. It was often applied as a subwall or subfloor, and is a favorite for rustic decorative wall coverings.

What is Live-Edge Slab?

Live-Edge Slab is a section of a tree trunk that still has the bark and organic edge of the tree left on. Once kiln dried, the live-edge slab is often used to make elegant table tops, bar tops, shelves and mantelpieces.

What types of wood does Salvage Works keep in stock?

Pacific Northwest Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine are our bread and butter for Reclaimed Lumber. We bring in a wide variety of other species, including hardwoods, for our rotating live-edge slab selection.

How old is your wood?

The majority of our material is from structures built around the turn of the century. As a general rule we seek out buildings to deconstruct that are no longer viable from pre-1940s.

Can I buy material directly from the Salvage Works Warehouse?

Absolutely! The Salvage Works Warehouse is open to the public 7 days a week.

What types of custom furniture can I have made by the Salvage Works Woodshop?

The Salvage Works Woodshop specializes in tables, benches, mantels, shelves, barn doors, bar and counter tops. Contact us for a quote today!

How long does it take to have a custom piece of furniture made by the Salvage Works Shop?

Our standard turnaround time for custom furniture is 4-6 weeks, from the time your deposit is paid. Turn around time can vary depending on season and workload. Our team will share current expected production time when you receive your quote.

Does Salvage Works accept donations?

We do not accept donations. In the Portland area we recommend the Rebuilding Center for donations.

What is the difference between Dimensional Lumber and Nominal Lumber?

Dimensional lumber is sometimes also called “full dimension” lumber. Back when this wood was cut into lumber, mills made all lumber full dimension. Later, companies started cutting wood into smaller dimensions, but still calling it a 2x4, which makes it “nominal lumber”. Dimensional lumber makes great furniture because there’s more to work with!

Why is Reclaimed Wood more expensive than fresh cut lumber?

Reclaimed wood is sold at a higher price point than new lumber because of the material’s quality and the labor required to make it purchase ready. There are multiple steps that go into reclaiming wood - scouting the structures for deconstruction, taking a barn or home apart by hand, removing all of the nails by hand, transporting the material to our warehouse, and drying each piece in the kiln to stabilize it and remove the risk of bugs all before it goes on the floor for sale.

What is kiln drying?

Kiln drying is also known as heat treating. It’s a process that heats the wood at a low temperature for a period of time to dry it out and makes the wood stable so it shrinks and expands less. After it’s dried, the kiln gets turned up to kill any active bugs in the wood.

What are the benefits of kiln drying?

Kiln drying makes the wood more stable, easier to work with and kills bugs so it’s safe to install in your home or business.

What types finishes do you use on Reclaimed Wood?

We finish our Custom Furniture with OSMO, water based Polyurethane, or Lacquer depending on the purpose of the piece.

Can I stain it?

We believe that nature has done the staining for us by giving the material an organic patina over years of exposure. As a result, we do not stain our custom pieces, but we can give you a referral.

Do I need to worry about lead?

No, we test all of our incoming material for lead and do not accept any wood with a positive lead test result.

Do you recommend I wash the wood before I use it?

No, we recommend using a stiff plastic bristle brush to remove surface dirt.

Do you carry railroad ties or pressure treated material?

We do not carry pressure treated material or railroad ties.

Can I pay with a card or do you only accept cash?

We accept cash, check or cards.

Is there a minimum size order for the WOW Wall Cladding?

There is no minimum or maximum order for WOW Wall Cladding! We believe in Reclaimed Wood for projects of all sizes.

Does Salvage Works rent out its shop or tools to the general public?

Sorry, no. There are some great places in Portland that do, and we are happy to make a referral.

Are your beams graded for structural use?

No. Our beams have held up barns for over a 100 years, so their tough work is done. Now they are decorative and great for mantelpieces or other interior design projects.

Are you open on weekends?

Absolutely! We are open 7 days a week - Monday through Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 11 - 4

Do you do installation of your WOW Wall Cladding or mantels?

No, but we do have a list of excellent local contractors and handymen that are familiar with our material.

Do you rent out your space for special events?

Sorry, no. We’re open seven days a week to the public so we are unable to accommodate outside events.

Will you cut material to length, or do I need to buy the whole piece?

We ask that if you buy part of a board, we are left with a usable amount, around 3ft. Additionally, we provide transport cuts in the warehouse to make something a workable size for you to get home. If you need exact sizes cut for a project, you can do a custom cut order through our shop for a charge.

Can I place material on hold?

We are happy to hold material with no obligation for 24 hours.

Will you make me a kit so I can build my own table?

We’re always available for questions, but we do not make kits.

If I bring in a piece of wood I found on the beach/at a garage sale/in my grandfather's barn, will you turn it into something for me?

The short answer is maybe. If you send us an email with a photo and we can discuss it with our woodworkers. A lot depends on the piece - whether it’s dry, it’s condition, etc.

What is your return policy?

We are happy to exchange any material that hasn’t been altered, cut, sanded or finished. We do not offer refunds.

Do you like to see pictures of finished projects and remodels that have been done with your material? If so, how can I share those with you?

We LOVE seeing our client’s finished products! If you have an image that you would like to share, please email it to info@salvageworkspdx.com

Are you a coffee shop?

We wish we had a coffee shop in our showroom, but alas, no.

Can we rent your space for a party or wedding?

We love to throw a good party, but we do not currently rent our space for outside events.

How long have you been in business?

Salvage Works has happily been in the business of reclaiming wood since 2010.

Do you sell antiques?

Not many, but if we luck out with a barn full of cool stuff, we bring it in for sale. We keep our cool barn junk and rusty bits in the courtyard.

Do you sell doors and windows?

No, but we’re happy to direct you to places that door.

Do you sell exterior architectural details?

We bring in the odd barn cupola or barn door track, but don’t specialize in architectural salvage. We can give you a referral.

Do you make doors?

The Salvage Works Woodshop specializes in Custom Barn Doors for interior use in two styles - reclaimed plank style doors and WOW Wall doors.

Is this real wood?

Absolutely, our wood is 100% real!

Do you sell “cheap” wood?

We do not. We sell wood that is on its third life, but we would never categorize it as “cheap”.

Do you sell reclaimed hardwood?

The native species that builders were working with 100 years ago is Douglas Fir and Pine, so we are lucky enough to have it make up the majority of our stock. We very rarely see hardwood lumber in the Pacific Northwest, but aren’t opposed to bringing in the rare bit of hardwood lumber if we find it.

Do you sell wood for garden beds?

Our material is best used for decoration and interior furniture, so we don’t suggest using our reclaimed wood for exterior applications such as garden beds. In the Portland area, we refer customers to Shur Way or Sustainable Northwest Wood for new cedar or juniper lumber.

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