Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Save the redwood—from 35 years ago

Our front deck was built the same year we built the house, 1978.  Actually, we purchased the redwood for the front deck on September 19, 1978!  I know all of this because I have all the receipts from building our house and I found the Whelan’s purchase order. One line item was for “construction heart redwood” and, if I am reading it right, it was .87 a board foot.

The deck has needed to be replaced for a long time.  We have resisted because—it’s redwood, and we heard it is almost impossible to find now.  When we checked for redwood in Topeka, no one  stocks it.  We heard there might be a place in Manhattan that has some available, but given the scarcity,  it is probably like gold.

There are plenty of other materials to build decks.  But, wood is Dan’s interest, so we decided to see what is hiding beneath the surface of our old deck.  We carefully took apart the deck one board at a time.  Coincidently,  Dan purchased a large commercial sander at a cabinet shop garage sale around 8 years ago.   Today we set to work on the 35-year-old redwood using the sander.

What a surprise.  As we ran the wood through the sander, it was like new wood appeared.  All heart wood, no sap.  This pile took us around four hours.  We still have the spindles and top railings. 


The sander is in the background.  The ends of the boards are more or less what the whole boards looked like.  I’ll post a picture when it’s all done.  Right now we are feeling good about having a nearly new looking redwood deck.  And, we are wondering how many home owners are pulling priceless heart redwood decks off of 30 to 40 year old homes and throwing the wood away. 

1 comment:

squire said...

I am also a big fan of redwood. Went to Redwood Vally Elementary School in Redwood Valley, California. Redwood and Douglas Fir were used for everything.