I’ve long loved reclaimed wood. Not only is it recycled and saves wood, but it tends to look amazing. Chances are, if a woodworker has the care and skill to recycle wood, they’re going to put the effort in to make something that matters to them. My favourite recent example would be this treehouse, the world’s largest. Known as “The Minister’s Treehouse, it was built by Horace Burgess when “God told him to build a treehouse, and told him he’d never run out of materials”. By using recycled materials, he hasn’t. The treehouse now stands ten storeys tall and has only cost him $12000.


As far as lumber goes, one source is more abundant than just about any other – skids/pallets used for truck deliveries. Though most are made of cheap softwoods, some are made of stronger plywoods and even hardwoods, when the deliveries are heavy enough. In a town known for shipping raw steel in bulk, there’s lots of options. The hardest part is taking them apart and pulling all the nails (which can wreck your shop tools). Many people use metal detectors for this, but with older skids the wood around them will be stained black.

A search for projects turned up a real wealth. Not only can you put together a building with them (““skid sheds”), but creative artisans have found some really brilliant ways to re-use the wood. There’s deck chairs, flooring, cutting boards and cabinets. A few really stood out, like this grandfather clock/ or the door pictured on this link.

Reclaimed Skid Cabinet from Cartwright Design in Portland