Finished headboard in the shop

Reclaimed Old Growth Pine Headboard and Night Stand

A while back I completed a headboard and night stand for a friend of mine from NBSS — Erin who is a very talented jeweler. She made my dovetailed wedding band which I love. (You can check out some of Erin’s other work here Tell her Bill sent you 🙂 )

I designed and built the project from reclaimed old growth eastern white pine which was previously a barn in CT. Reclaiming the wood and keeping the well earned patina of time took a lot longer than I originally anticipated, but I am very happy with the results.

Tips on reclaiming old wood:

  • Select wood with interesting character and tight/straight grain
  • Use a metal detector to search for nails or other metal which could damage your planer and jointer knives (and keep rechecking — cleared everything I could originally detect, but as I milled down a piece I found a deeper embedded piece of cut nail that took a big nick out of my planer knives) So from then on I make repeated passes with the metal detector even as I plane down the wood.
  • Be judicious with your planing — it would be very easy to just power through all the tool marks and character and lose a lot of the history of the wood
  • Use traditional joinery and woodworking techniques (I think reclaimed wood looks better with traditional designs)

Project highlights:

  • Old growth detail — some pieces had well over 150 years worth of tight growth rings and many well preserved hand tool marks, nail holes etc
  • Through mortise and tenon joinery that is draw bored and pinned
  • The piece had to make it through some very tight places and I built it in such a way that the legs could bolt off to make it through narrow places (See pics for more details of this)
  • I also concealed leveling feet to make it easier to stabilize on an uneven floor etc
  • Matching night stand has similar character and design to match the headboard. Still has great old saw marks in it
  • Finish included stain, dye for tinting, polyurethane and hand rubbed wax finish

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