There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne, especially in its terminology. Contemporary myths surround the terms recycled, reclaimed, upcycled, reused and also refurbished.
Elucidated below are 8 simple steps that you should know before buying recycled timber:
STEP 1: KNOW YOUR TERMINOLOGY
• Recycled Timber: are those that were disintegrated by machine-processing to make a new product. It is also used loosely to define Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne that is restored and reused, basically reclaimed timber.
• Reclaimed Timber: is not smashed by machine processing and made into a totally new product, but it is taken from its original place and repurposed for a new site. There are small changes made to the wood, besides its length adjustments, sanding and refinishing.
• Upcycled Timber: These are pieces of timber that are old or have been rejected and processed into something else to give it a better purpose. Upcycled timber furniture has the same or better quality than the original Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne.
• Reused Timber: are chunks of timber that have been repurposed and not treated at all.
• Re-milled or Refurbished Timber is pieces of wood that have been repurposed and given a completely new treatment or finish.
• Salvaged Timber: are pieces of wood that are taken from old projects and reused it for various purposes to prevent the wastage of timber.
STEP 2: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HARDWOODS & SOFTWOODS
These are the pros and cons of using both kinds of wood in Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne
• Hardwoods: have a slower natural growth rate, making them thicker and more fire-resistant than most kinds of softwoods. As such, hardwoods tend to be expensive. Hardwoods are sometimes challenging to work with but last for a great deal of time. Solid wood furniture in Melbourne can be made using Hardwoods. They are generally used in good quality furniture, desks, flooring and some construction that must last. You can consider utilising hardwoods in structural pieces like apex beams where structural integrity is a great requirement.
• Softwoods: they can be used in Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne. They have a faster natural growth rate, making them less dense and less fire-resistant in comparison to Hardwoods. As such, softwoods are less costly and make up the bulk of all wood used in construction. Softwoods are more straightforward to use as timber furniture in Melbourne and commonly utilised in windows, doors, furniture, paper, and mid-thick fibreboard. You can use softwoods in timber scaffolding like non-load-bearing walls and even roof rafters.
STEP 3: UNDERSTAND THE TIMBER VOCABULARY
• Heartwood: It can be used in Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne which is commonly darker in complexion and denser. If your timber comes from this part of the tree, you might see some increased price variations between pieces of the same species. Heartwood is that part of the tree that is dead which implies that it is matured and provides the hardest wood for recycled timber outdoor furniture in Melbourne.
• Sapwood: commonly lighter in complexion and not very thick. If your wood comes from this part of the tree, you might see some drop in the cost compared to heartwood pieces. Sapwood is the portion of the tree that is living, as layers from the outside slowly become the inner layers which die and then become heartwood. This can then be used in Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne.
STEP 4: KNOW WHAT CUTS YOU ARE GETTING
So when a piece of timber is marked as:
• Clear Cut: the parts have the least number of knots and are suitable for projects where knots and cracks are not wanted.
• Centre Cut: these pieces usually have more knots and cracks, making them appropriate for projects where a simple look is required.
STEP 5: KNOW THE TIMBER GRADING SYSTEM
There are two main kinds of grading systems that are utilised to make sure of quality control in the industry:
Structural Grading: there are two varied kinds of test used to ascertain a structural timber’s toughness and longevity. This test can be used to determine the quality of wood. It can be used in Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne.
• Visual Stress Grade (S-Grades): is ascertained by a learned grader who considers species, size, and position of knots amongst other factors. These grades are categorised into seasoned and unseasoned timbers — the lower the number (e.g. S1), the better the quality of the wood.
• Mechanical Stress Grade (F-Grade): more widely used, especially in Australia, the strength and stiffness of the timber is determined by a bending test performed by a machine. The higher the number (e.g. F27), the higher the quality of the timber
Aesthetic Grading: is utilised for wood to decide the worth of the appearance of a surface. There are three aesthetic classifications:
• Select: has the least number of knots, straight-grained and consistent in appearance and can be used in Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne. The wood used in flooring is common for this grade.
• Standard: has a different appearance from piece to piece that has a remarkable appearance. Most wood utilised for wood projects like shelving or bookcases is generally of this grade.
• Character: has a rustic look and is indicated by knots, burls, cracks and also sap streaks. Usually used in the furniture like a table slab where a natural unsophisticated look is needed.
STEP 6: KNOW THE DIFFERENT DRYING TECHNIQUES FOR TIMBER
The external drying condition is depending on temperature, relative humidity, and air circulation rate. It is important to recognise these conditions because the drying rate is affected by it, also affects the Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne. Here are short discussions on these three external conditions.
Temperature: if the air circulation and relative humidity kept constant, the drying rate would increase as the temperature increase. Temperature influences it by increasing the holding capacity of moisture in the air.
Relative humidity: the pressure of water vapour defined the term relative humidity. The pressure of water vapour is divided into two categories, the saturated vapour pressure, and the total pressure. When relative humidity reduces, the moisture gradient increased in the Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne, causing higher drying rates.
Air circulation: the air velocity and its circulation rate is one of the primary reasons for drying rate and drying time. The rapid circulation of the air over the wood surface removes the moisture evaporating from wood when temperature and relative humidity is constant.
Higher drying rates are not suitable for wood, because as the drying rate going high the stress is also going great, causes crack or distort of the timber. So, need to eliminate the drying rate by some innovative drying techniques for timber. Here are some points regarding drying:
• Greenwood: is timber that has been freshly cut and has not had the chance to season (dry). The advantage of making use of Greenwood in a Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne is that it is effortless to work with and splits less when it is nailed or turned. The negative point is that Greenwood is susceptible to cracking and warps once fully dried.
• Air-Dried: is wood that has been stacked and placed on understructures and bared to the air in a clean, cool, dry and shady area. Air-dried wood takes months even years to dry which is the reason why they are generally more costly. The advantage of utilising air-dried timber is the increase in moisture stability implying they tend to bow, twist and crack less.
• Kiln-Dried: is timber that has been dried artificially, utilising a heat generator. Kiln-dried timber dries quicker, so sawmills can turn-over timber at a quicker rate. It can be used in Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne and results at a lesser cost. Because of the nature of this quick-drying procedure, most insects and eggs staying inside the wood are annihilated, but the wood is inclined to bow, twist and crack more.
STEP 7: KNOW THE DIFFERENT CUTTING FINISHES
• Live/Natural – Edge: are commonly seen in stabs where the sides are left untouched to give a natural design. On the surface, some leave holes and cracks which can be inserted with resin.
• Rough/Nominal Sawn: is wood that has come from the circular saw meaning the dimensions are just coarse. The surfaces and edges aren’t smooth, and the blade marks are noticeable.
• Planned/Dressed: is wood that has been passed through a thicknesser according to the needed dimensions which can be used in Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne. It is a procedure, which guarantees that the edges are perfect and square and have a smooth surface to touch.
• Surfaced: is timber that has been sanded down to a polished feel where the wood has been hand-sanded and is prepared for a finish like oil or varnish.
STEP 8: CHOOSING YOUR FINISH OR STAIN
• Evaporative: utilises alcohol, acetone or wax that create layers that will rebind on each continuous layer. Evaporative products need multiple coats to get the sealed or protective feature.
• Reactive: utilise white spirits or oils as a base which needs some scuff-sanding between layers which is good to use on Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne. These products go deep into the wood to get the desired coloured or sealed impression.
• Coalescing: uses water as a base and commonly needs one or two coats. It can be cleaned with water simply. These products go deep inside the wood to give the coloured or sealed impression.
Beware of false advertising and claims that a product is a lot more sustainable or structurally perfect always pick products based on the points above and make sure you decide what you want before going to purchase Recycled Timber Furniture in Melbourne.