Rockler has recently added a new domestic wood product to their catalog – reclaimed oak lumber. Not just reclaimed oak boards, but Route 66 oak boards.
These boards are sourced from tractor trailer decks that travel the country, including on Route 66. They will be sold at Rockler stores for $5.99 per board foot, and online in 2-plank bundles of 15 board feet for $89.95.
Each board will be red or white oak and will measure 6 feet long, 12 inches wide, and 1-1/4 inch thick.
At the ends there will be blackened holes where bolts were torched out, and the bottom side, while less worn and weathered, show rust bands where they contacted a tractor trailer’s frame.
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Honestly, I’m not sure how to feel about this new product. Part of the appeal of reclaimed lumber projects is how many woodworkers and crafters will source the wood themselves. It’s not just about the beauty of the final project, but about the unique transformation of the wood they use.
I cannot shake the feeling that a project crafted from reclaimed lumber bought at a retail store will have lost part of its essence.
Yes, these boards will give your project a rustic and weathered appearance, but will it be a true reclaimed wood project?
I suppose the same question comes up in baking. Is a cake homemade if you use a mix?
In any case, more options for woodworkers is still a good thing in my book. While a lot of woodworkers will head to the lumberyard to hand-pick boards for their projects, there are guys like me that are just as happy ordering lumber from the internet.