The popularity of reclaimed wood and old barn wood has caused prices on this wood to skyrocket. However, you have to be really careful when you are buying your reclaimed wood. Just like other high-end, high cost products out there, there are always fakes and knock-offs. There are definitely techniques to make wood look and feel a lot older than it is, and you should not be fooled or defrauded. Here is how to make absolutely certain that you are getting authentic, one-hundred-year-old reclaimed wood and not manufactured reclaimed wood.
Certificate of Authenticity
Certifying that the wood is as old as it claims has become a side business for many antique dealers. It sounds like a strange gig, but it is a service that is saving construction contractors and consumers thousands of dollars. A certificate of authenticity is presented after one of these professionals evaluates the wood samples and verifies that it is, indeed, very old reclaimed wood. If you are given or shown a certificate of authenticity with a load of reclaimed wood, then you know that you can trust that what you are buying is the real deal.
The Wood Is Darker and Has a Very Fine Grain Pattern
Darkness of wood can be faked, but if the wood also has a very fine grain pattern, you might have the real deal. This wood was taken from the heart of a very old tree that had been standing in one spot for decades or centuries. When that tree first started out, it was a tiny sapling with very fine grain in its young wood. Over the decades and centuries, this ultra-fine grain and dark color are buried at the center of the tree as the tree grows rings outward from its center.
The wood in the center gets darker because of age. If you want to be really sure, ask the seller for a sample containing a dark center ring or strip that was once part of the center ring of the tree. Then have a dendrologist perform some tests on the dark wood to verify that the wood is as old as the seller claims.
It Is Very Hard
Trees are living things. The older they become, the harder they become until the petrifaction process begins. At this point, the hard wood of the old tree is slowly becoming stone, like fossilized trees. As such, you should not be able to splinter the reclaimed wood, much less break it. If you can, the wood is either too young to be reclaimed wood, or too rotten for building use.
To learn more, contact a company like Old World Lumber Company.