Furniture made from rescued hardwood palings

Many of our table tops and other pieces of furniture are made from rescued hardwood fence palings, and this is probably what has appealed to you. We stop this old timber from being dumped into landfill and we make an array of rustic items from picture frames through to beds, tables and everything in between. The timber has been subject to the Australian weather for anywhere between 15 and 50 years. Whilst the timber is considered to be stable, timber does expand and contract with temperature change and this movement is quite normal and unavoidable. The results of this movement are considered to be a characteristic of our rustic pieces, however we also acknowledge that sometimes these characteristics might not be desirable or practical so read on to learn more on why this happens and how to deal with movement in your rustic furniture..

Why does movement occur?

Timber is hygroscopic which means it will absorb moisture from the air. Movement takes place when the humidity in the air becomes imbalanced to the moisture level in the timber. Where air humidity is high the timber will expand as it takes in moisture, on the contrary if the humidity level is low the timber will contract. This movement occurs in all timber whether it’s hot off the presses of the local mill or whether it once stood as a century old barn truss; it will move. Movement in timber happens very gradually so you won’t notice it on a daily basis but changes in seasons will bring movement you can’t miss; just think of that sticking door!

Dealing with cracks

Often furniture is manufactured to allow for movement; if you inspect the underside of a solid table for instance you will see that the table top is affixed to the apron or frame in a manner that allows the table top to expand and contract. The timber used for our rustic tables is rescued hardwood from discarded fences, as such the timber is too thin to make a solid table top so we affix them to either an MDF or plywood substrate. By directly attaching them to the substrate we restrict the movement and the results over time are cracks, making a rustic table even more rustic.

When you receive your rustic piece of furniture all the cracks, nail holes and crevices would have already been filled. We use an ebony wood filler as the black contrasts so well with the timber tones and makes these features really pop and become a characteristic of the item. Any future cracks that might occur can be dealt with in exactly the same manner if desired and it only takes a few minutes to do.

Being rustic you may have no problem at all with any cracks that have formed, it’s rustic and in it’s most basic definition, rustic describes a design that’s natural, rough, aged, and casual. However, in some instances it may not be practical to have cracks, this is no problem. Simply buy a small pot of ebony wood filler from your local Bunnings or hardware store, thumb it into the crack and wipe off the excess with a damp cloth or sponge and its ready for a coat or two of poly. It’s as simple as that.

Considerations before you buy:

It is important to consider what it is you intend to use the rustic timber for and the environment in which it will sit. A TV unit for example will likely see little to no movement because of its position inside a relatively climate stable home, meaning little or no maintenance is needed. Whereas a kitchen or laundry room bench top that is subject to moisture in the air and on its surface may very well require maintenance as it adjusts to the changes in the surrounding climate.

Proximity to heaters/coolers and other climate control equipment as well as whether the piece will be in direct sunlight should also be taken into account.

Generally speaking any maintenance required is low and takes just a few minutes to do. All furniture whether rustic or otherwise requires a little care and attention to keep it in top-notch condition.

If you’re unsure we are more than happy to send you a sample before you make a purchase. Simply get in touch and request a sample.