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Thread: Re-using wood

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    Re-using wood

    Hi.. I read a couple topics on people who've bought an existing wooden house to re-use the wood. How do you check that the wood is in good enough condition? For sure it seems that some old wooden houses are about to collapse, and the wood often doesn't look very nice. Typically what do you do with it after taking the house apart, so you then treat the wood in some way?

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    watterinja
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    I would expect that the type of original timber would have a lot to do with how it weathers, & cleans up.

    We have an old teak house up here (around 70 odd years old). Parts have been replaced over the years, but the bulk of the timber is solid, aged wood.

    We plan to strip & re-work as much of the timber as possible, into a refurbishment, or new structure. The grain seems to improve with age, if cared for properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane View Post
    Hi.. I read a couple topics on people who've bought an existing wooden house to re-use the wood. How do you check that the wood is in good enough condition? For sure it seems that some old wooden houses are about to collapse, and the wood often doesn't look very nice. Typically what do you do with it after taking the house apart, so you then treat the wood in some way?

    hi to you

    common sense, I suppose. If you have no experience with wood, then take along someone that does. I took my local farmer who had built two wooden houses himself, and the builder, who is an expert carpenter

    Once you have the wood, it can be used as it is, but it looks very weathered and old. Some people like that look.

    Otherwise the builders will plane the surface off the wood revealing the nice wood grain and texture. I like that.

    We did not treat the wood at all; once the building was finished we did oil it to protect against thje elements
    I have reported your post

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane
    and the wood often doesn't look very nice.
    Bit of sand paper and filler, coat of white gloss paint and it will look like new.

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    I'm getting a wooden house rebuilt right now- it's been dismantled, and is currently sitting as a pile of planks waiting reconstruction. The house has been sitting empty for a decade, the wood never treated during that time, and on visual inspection it's in fine shape.

    The wood is said to be pretty much indestructible (in Isaan language it's called 'grung'). Amazingly, the structural pillars are made of a wood called sabang- nowt to do with my Nic though, which is a village in the Filipines.

    If it's good wood, you can re-use it no problems, in fact you should. Good hardwood is only getting rarer, and more expensive.
    probes Aliens

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    Thanks for the replies! Happy to hear that it's common to find good wood in older structures.. But indeed would be smart to bring someone along who knows his wood.

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    Dean
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    In pulling down the wood off an old house, the wood can be very dry, epecially during hot season. It would be better to have the wood wet before pulling off to avoid cracking the wood as much as possible.

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    ^ Good advice that. We lost a few planks through over zealous workmen, but in fairness very few considering the time the place had sat derelict.

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    anonymous ant
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    ^ Good advice that. We lost a few planks through over zealous workmen, but in fairness very few considering the time the place had sat derelict.
    you are far better off using the good, dry stuff from an old structure than using the " wet-off-saw" timber that is mostly available in thailand.
    it is stable and less prone to cracking or warpage, plus shrinkage, which, depending on the timber, can be as much as 10 percent.
    some timbers can take years to dry, and large logs, almost never.
    you need the stuff to dry to at the very least 13% before you use it for anything.

  10. #10
    Dean
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    I recomended using old wood, just wet it down (or wait for a rainstorm) before taking it down so it is a bit more flexible and less prone to crack.

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    Google "this old thai house falling down" and there is a blow-by-blow of using wood from an old house to make a new one.

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    Thanks.. That's an awesome blog!!

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    I have seen some very good new houses where they used old wood in ChiangMai area. We are just doing the same building a small teak house.

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    Are there pictures? Or would love to see it sometime.. (I'm in Chiang Mai myself)

    How small is small? (9 posts under it?).. For me it'd probably be a one room guest bungalow type of thing.

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    How much did you pay for the whole house lot and what was in it ??

    Dont forget ghosts come with the house.....

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    Ok, progress. I think I found a wood-treasure trove area. Loads of wooden houses that are for sale for re-use. I even found a genuinely OLD wooden house, like 80 year old original Lanna style.. Taking that down just for the wood would almost be a crime, I think something like that would be best left in its original design with just moderate livability tweaks. (Not sure if the original one is available, it had been promised to family for wood re-use, bla bla etc.)

    Anyway, some pictures. This topic is in desperate need of it.

    First of all, there's this one. It's a raised rice barn. Look at the size of the posts.. it's obvious this one is built heavy. The second floor posts are teak, the ground floor ones are something else.



    This at the same location.. Todays quiz question, what is this:



    On to a house that's for sale for the wood. I include many pictures to show the amount of decay that's showing.. What does everone think would be a fair price for this house to re-use the wood? As you can see it's fairly big.




















    Anyway, think that's enough for one post. I'll continue in the next one.

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    This is the genuinely old / antiqe house.. Possibly 60-80 years. Still going strong.



    Then, nearby is an area where they sell complete wooden houses made from re-used wood. I think they're a bit on the elaborate side.. sometimes a wooden house should just be a wooden house, not a landscape design element.. Still, they design to order so something could be arranged. It's small, which is good.








    Finally a pic of some reclaimed posts.. What would these go for?




  18. #18
    Tonguin for a beer
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    good thread, I was looking at doing this, wish I had now but I keen again. Found a couple of places for sale about 100k's away in Loei province but was put off about bringing wod across provinces, aparently the filth can make life hard but it is possible. Mrs had family who sowed us around and the old boy was Poo yai baan and had his own truck to do it so must have been possible as he wouldn't lose his truck. This place was 140 000 B

    Fahn Cahn's

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    Tonguin for a beer
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    Here's the inside. Perfect.



    The floor boards, nicely worn with years of bums on it.



    The pillars are just trees but in the ground and shaped square above and not a termite in sight. Not teak but good wood whatever it is:



    Bloody hell, I wish i bought it now Didn't have the place to store then it but I do now!

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