At a recent Handmade Market held at Second Use Building Supply our friends Bill and Aggie Wilson of Reclaimed Creations had some unique and beautiful handcrafted wood products on display. Bill has been making “lightboxes” from teredo wood. This box is about 14″ tall and has a lightbulb inside.
I was especially intrigued by the round table that Bill and Aggie created. It is full of interesting holes and tunnels, is wondrously sturdy, and like all projects made with reclaimed wood it looks like it has a history.
Bill Wilson makes one of a kind benches. The one on the left is made with live edge teredo wood. The back of the bench on the right has a beautiful handcarved landscape of water, a tugboat towing a log raft, trees and mountains.
At Trinity River Marine we love and appreciate skilled woodworkers. These are the people who see the potential in the wood within minutes of setting eyes on it. They choose their pieces carefully and can’t wait to see their ideas become reality!
The log raft boomsticks we use are mostly Douglas Fir which is tan or pale yellow when dry, and light orange when wet or when clear finish is applied. There are often pink tints in the heartwood, and yellow sapwood out by the outer perimeter of the log. In the photos below, the wood on the left is more colorful because it is wet.
Dry Douglas Fir
Wet Douglas Fir
In addition to the normal variations in wood color, wood that is milled from old log raft boomsticks has some unique colors. Some of the tunnels and holes in the milled lumber have a white lining of calcium left behind by the teredo clams.
White calcium lining left by teredo clams.
Black stains occur in the lumber for two main reasons: metal, and long time empty burrows which have had either salt or fresh water in them. During their working life, boomsticks have lots of metal. Staples and logging dogs were hammered into them.
Staple and Logging Dog
Some of these remain in the log for years and the black rust stain migrates in the log exactly the same way that water transports up the stem in cut flowers; black metal stain can migrate 10 to 20 feet through the interior lumber of the log. Water that pools in a log’s empty burrows saturates into the wood around the burrow resulting in a dark stain that does not travel very far; just a few inches.
Black stains at the top
Rose-colored Douglas Fir boards are a result of leaving sawdust in the teredo burrows after milling. We have discovered that boards are more colorful when tight stacked for several weeks before the sawdust is washed from the tunnels. We enjoy the results when it happens, but the possibility of mold keeps us from purposefully tight stacking wet wood long enough to ensure that all wood is rose-colored.
Rose tinted Douglas Fir Slab
Hemlock and Spruce
About 20% of our logs are either Western Hemlock or Sitka Spruce. The lumber from both species is so light in color that it is often called “white wood”. The wood is a uniform light tan, with little or no difference between the heartwood and sapwood. Sitka Spruce is even lighter in color than Western Hemlock.
Hemlock Picnic Table made from recycled logs.