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What are some tips for working with salvaged wood?

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Quick Answer

The possibility of warping, water damage or other issues in salvaged wood requires consumers to compensate by purchasing more wood than an estimate suggests, states Popular Mechanics. Sanding the wood with heavier grit sandpaper helps remove splinters without removing the patina. Ideally, a dealer removes the nails before selling the wood, but cutting around any embedded pieces of metal to avoid damaging the saw blade may still be necessary.

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Full Answer

When prepping salvaged wood, safety gear is absolutely necessary, explains HomeFixated. A mask, safety glasses and long sleeves constitute the minimum amount needed. The first step involves milling the wood.

If the dealer mills the wood, he must have scrubbed the wood and used a metal detector before planing and kiln-drying the wood, according to This Old House. Kiln-drying eliminates any potential termite infestations and prevents future warping issues that air-drying may have caused.

For safety reasons, anyone working with salvaged wood must cut off any paint or protect it behind a durable polyurethane barrier in case it is lead-based, notes Popular Mechanics. To maintain the look of salvaged wood, a wax finish or polyurethane allows its natural qualities to remain evident while offering some protection against damage. People generally avoid using stains because they mask the outside surface and end grain that make salvaged wood visually appealing.

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