When I was in my legislative office Tuesday I read a copy of the St. Paul Legal Ledger. A front page article on old growth lumber caught my eye.
Sarah and Jim Rice are operating a company in Hugo, Minnesota called Manomin Resawn Timbers that sells reclaimed wood. One of their main products is wood flooring. The flooring is used in both residential and commercial applications. They also produce paneling out of the reclaimed lumber.
The majority of the reclaimed lumber is from old decking and barn timbers, barn siding, and structural beams and columns. They get a large part of their lumber from the east coast of the United States where buildings are being removed or remodeled.
One of the real advantages of using recycled timbers is that the lumber is completely dry and stable. It often has been in use for 75 to 125 years. The old growth lumber is very attractive when milled and finished. A reclaimed floor was recently installed in the Farmers State Bank in Hamel.
Of course there is a down side to working with recycled lumber — hardware. The timbers and beams come with all sorts of nails, bolts and fasteners in them. All this metal must be removed before the lumber can be sawn and milled into a finished product. You don’t want to run a piece of lumber into a planer and have it hit a bolt!
There are a few other companies in Minnesota that deal with recycled lumber. Duluth Timber Company, Old Growth Woods in St. Paul and Antique Woodwork in Norwood-Young America all sell reclaimed lumber products. With the interest in recycling I suspect we may see more and more products available that come from reclaimed lumber. While reclaimed lumber products will never be a huge market, it is nice to know that people are interested in salvaging this material and making new products from it.