Like many of our styles or models at McClure Tables, they are often inspired by you, our customers. This was the case when we first started designing the Dakota shuffleboard, as we had once had a customer who wanted to buy just a standard table, but thought they could decorate it with reclaimed wood that their homebuilder had found.
Instead of letting someone else do the work, we incorporated the wood into the new table ourselves and created our first table that utilized reclaimed lumber. We said that we could make one for him and so we went about finding the source for the wood and build our first model. After we build a table then we try to come up with a name that is fitting and we chose Dakota.
McClure Tables get a lot of questions about our Dakota shuffleboard table and about the reclaimed wood that we use to complete the project. We love talking about our craft, so we thought we’d open the floor and talk about a few of the frequently asked questions we receive from customers.
Are there any advantages/disadvantages to working with reclaimed wood?
It is a little more difficult to source as you are buying wood from companies who salvage barns, old building then reclaim the wood. Some suppliers actually have the shop to clean up the wood, remove the nails and actually clean off a lot of the hey, dust or dirt from years of build up. Other times we have to use sanding flap wheels to clean the wood ourselves.
For past projects, we have used some species of trees are practically extinct and you can not legally harvest if you could find one. We have occasionally seen old Elm, Chestnut and Oak that is from very old growth trees and you just can not buy wood new like this today. The biggest advantage utilizing the unique character of woods that just aren’t around anymore. It ensures that no two Dakota tables are exactly the same.
There aren’t too many disadvantages, but nothing is exact and no two pieces of wood are the same, so we have to work a little more to select pieces to work together. Also, it’s not like we can just pick up the phone and order more wood. We have to find the source. This is why we usually buy and stock enough wood to make a few Dakota models at any given time.
What do you think the reclaimed lumber adds to the shuffleboard style-wise?
We only use the reclaimed lumber on the Dakota style and it is kind of a popular style with companies and retail stores right now. However, many companies use circle saws to take new wood and reproduce the old looking wood. I would say that 80% of the store bought product with that look is remanufactured fake reclaimed wood not actual real reclaimed wood.
If you’re a discriminating buyer, you need to look for smaller shops, like McClure tables, and find the difference between actual reclaimed wood and fake wood. If you want the real deal with the story that goes behind it, McClure has the tables for you.
Where does the wood for the Dakota table come from?
Most of the wood comes from old barns, but sometimes old warehouses and buildings that have been torn down. We have one source we buy from based out of Indiana and so most of our wood comes from the MidWest. However, another supplier is from Montana, but his father is in Michigan and he brings us wood that sometimes may have come from the MidWest.
Where do you see this trend of reclaimed wood headed?
I think the trend will continue to be popular, but because we make so many models the first consideration is the customization that the customer can receive. We can help create something really special for each individual home and will continue to do so in 2014.
At McClure, we’re extremely excited to see this trend continue to grow in the new year. Reclaimed lumber shuffleboard tables like the Dakota bring a unique touch to any home or business that features one of these beautiful game pieces. They truly say that you care about finely crafted woodwork and preserving a piece of history.