Douglas fir Reclaimed barn wood timbers frame; soaring cathedral ceiling

Reclaimed Douglas Fir Timbers

Reclaimed old growth Douglas fir timbers are enormously popular with home owners, builders, and timber-framers due to their handsome appearance, robust durability and stability, well-rounded usability, and surprising cost-effectiveness. These heavy timbers represent the character of historic North American architecture, having enjoyed their first lives holding up and accenting homes, factories, barns, gymnasiums, stadiums, and other timber-framed or post and beam structures across the United States and Canada. 

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Classic Appearance

Old growth Douglas fir wood are prized for their dramatic and tight growth ring patterns and low vertical grain runout. Dark rings overlay rich hues ranging from red to golden brown. Reclaimed historic fir wood has a unique inner glow that took decades to develop during a natural air drying or “slow curing” process. Surfaces are aged with beautiful golden brown patina. Saw marks, nail and bolt holes, and natural wear also contribute to the aesthetic and timeless character of reclaimed old growth Douglas fir. 

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Amazing Durability and Usability

Old growth Douglas fir trees often lived for a thousand years before being logged. These evergreens slowly grew to exceptional sizes in virgin forests that were relatively free of pollutants. As a result, old growth Douglas fir wood that is properly vetted by reclaimed wood experts is stronger, harder, and more stable than quickly produced new growth lumber. Tight growth ring patterns and high ring counts greatly contribute to old growth Douglas fir’s durability and stability. Because these trees grew extraordinary thick, large sections of wood can be cut free of heart center (FOHC), resulting in finished projects that are much less vulnerable to checking, cracking, or splitting. Structures built from old growth Douglas fir are known for standing up well against forces of nature, such as extreme winds and earthquakes. 

Originally used for heritage barns, factories, and other large structures, our Douglas fir timbers have naturally air dried over the course of many decades—as opposed to being kiln dried—and thus retained the integrity of their natural resins and cell structures. Unlike modern industrially produced lumber, there is little chance of movement or shrinkage after installation with high quality reclaimed old growth Douglas fir wood. It’s ideal for load-bearing applications because of its high strength to weight ratio and has outstanding nail, bolt, and plate holding abilities. Reclaimed old growth Douglas fir timbers are also much more readily available in extremely large dimensions that are nearly impossible to find in the modern new growth lumber market. Even if one is able to find massive dimensions at a lumber mill, chances are there will be long wait times for special orders, higher prices, and limited quantities. Because of all of these virtues, many carpenters and timber-framers prefer working with reclaimed Douglas fir over conventionally milled new growth lumber:

  • Stronger, harder, denser
  • Tight old growth ring patterns
  • High strength to weight ratio
  • Less vulnerable to shrinking, cracking, or splitting
  • Extremely large dimensions allow timbers to be FOHC
  • Naturally air-dried for greater stability and vibrant “inner glow”
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Environmental Responsibility

Lessening environmental impact by saving the large, straight trees best suited for timber framing is also significant motivation for many timber framers and architects. With environmentally responsible architecture growing in necessity and popularity among designers and builders alike, old growth reclaimed timbers provide a perfect balance of old world character, strength, usability, and sustainability.

*Many of our products, including reclaimed Douglas fir timbers, are eligible for LEED points.

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Cost-Effectiveness

A common misconception is that reclaimed old growth wood is more expensive than recently logged and milled new growth lumber. Our reclaimed materials are not only competitively priced, but are also available in larger sizes. Finding large new growth timbers is not only extremely difficult, but might also involve a long wait. Furthermore, the harvesting of old growth Douglas fir trees has virtually ended in the United States and Canada due to strict protection laws. 

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Popular Uses

Old growth Douglas fir is regarded as one of the most attractive kinds of wood in the world. It’s no surprise that most of our customers showcase it in both internal and external exposed architecture. Popular reclaimed uses include: 

  • Interior and exterior posts and beams
  • Exposed trusses
  • Box beams
  • Narrow and wide panel flooring
  • Table or counter tops
  • Stair treads
  • Vanities
  • Accent features
  • Furniture
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Size and Surface Options

We have a large inventory of reclaimed Douglas fir timbers and beams that range in thicknesses and widths from 2” x 4” dimensional lumber to giant 28” x 42” heavy timber beams, with lengths ranging from 9’ to 50’ or more. Custom dimensions are available upon request. A variety of surface finish options are available, and we can help you chose the most appropriate finishes for your project.

Reclaimed hand hewn beams and rafters with mortise and tenon joinery reclaimed barn wood timbers
Hand Hewn
Hewn timbers embody the spirit of craftsmanship in early American architecture with their deep adze markings and traditional joinery pockets.
Reclaimed smooth patina Douglas fir timber frame from reclaimed barn wood timbers
Smooth Planed
Still smooth from when they were planed in their first lives, these reclaimed timbers have acquired desirable aged patinas and character markings.
Classic look rough sawn Reclaimed barn wood timbers with mixed hardwood flooring for a rustic western themed living room
Distinctive markings from circular, sash, or band saw blades give original rough sawn timbers a more rustic texture for a classic untouched state.
Rough Sawn
We can re-saw any timber to custom specifications, leaving the surface texture with a more rustic rough sawn look.
Planed
For a fresh, clean surface face, we can plane any or all sides of a timber: S4S, S3S, S2S, S1S.
Wire Brush
A wire (or nylon) brush can be used to smooth a rough sawn timber's surface to bring out the original patina and keep a rustic look.
Lightly Burned
Originally employed in Japan for sealing wood with a charred layer, lightly burning timbers has become popular for its aesthetic appeal.