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Reclaimed Douglas Fir Timbers

Heavy Douglas fir timber frame complements massive vaulted ceilings and stonework
Heavy Douglas fir timber frame complements massive vaulted ceilings and stonework
Credit: Dave Kozlowski Photography
Last updated: August 14, 2018

Reclaimed old growth Douglas fir timbers are enormously popular with home owners, builders, and timber-framers due to their handsome appearance, robust durability and stability, well-rounded usability, and surprising cost-effectiveness. These heavy timbers represent the character of historic North American architecture, having enjoyed their first lives holding up and accenting homes, factories, barns, gymnasiums, stadiums, and other timber-framed or post and beam structures across the United States and Canada.

We can help you choose from a variety of surface finishes available for your project:

Original smooth patina Douglas fir timber frame with traditional joinery and mixed oak floorWe always have a great selection of reclaimed Douglas fir timbers with golden to brown tones.

These original patina rough sawn Douglas fir timbers work great for these timber framed trusses and to complement the weathered grey hardwood barn siding.
These original patina rough sawn Douglas fir timbers work great for these timber framed trusses and to complement the weathered grey hardwood barn siding.


Classic Appearance


Old growth Douglas fir wood are prized for their dramatic and tight growth ring patterns and low vertical grain runout. Dark rings overlay rich hues ranging from red to golden brown. Reclaimed historic fir wood has a unique inner glow that took decades to develop during a natural air drying or “slow curing” process. Surfaces are aged with beautiful golden brown patina. Saw marks, nail and bolt holes, and natural wear also contribute to the aesthetic and timeless character of reclaimed old growth Douglas fir.

These rough sawn heavy timbers create a classic look in this home's post and beam construction complemented by a reclaimed mixed hardwoods floor.
These rough sawn heavy timbers create a classic look in this home's post and beam construction complemented by a reclaimed mixed hardwoods floor.

Amazing Durability & Usability


Old growth Douglas fir trees often lived for a thousand years before being logged. These evergreens slowly grew to exceptional sizes in virgin forests that were relatively free of pollutants. As a result, old growth Douglas fir wood that is properly vetted by reclaimed wood experts is stronger, harder, and more stable than quickly produced new growth lumber. Tight growth ring patterns and high ring counts greatly contribute to old growth Douglas fir’s durability and stability. Because these trees grew extraordinary thick, large sections of wood can be cut free of heart center (FOHC), resulting in finished projects that are much less vulnerable to checking, cracking, or splitting. Structures built from old growth Douglas fir are known for standing up well against forces of nature, such as extreme winds and earthquakes.

Credit: Dave Kozlowski Photography

Originally used for heritage barns, factories, and other large structures, our Douglas fir timbers have naturally air dried over the course of many decades—as opposed to being kiln dried—and thus retained the integrity of their natural resins and cell structures. Unlike modern industrially produced lumber, there is little chance of movement or shrinkage after installation with high quality reclaimed old growth Douglas fir wood. It’s ideal for load-bearing applications because of its high strength to weight ratio and has outstanding nail, bolt, and plate holding abilities. Reclaimed old growth Douglas fir timbers are also much more readily available in extremely large dimensions that are nearly impossible to find in the modern new growth lumber market. Even if one is able to find massive dimensions at a lumber mill, chances are there will be long wait times for special orders, higher prices, and limited quantities. Because of all of these virtues, many carpenters and timber-framers prefer working with reclaimed Douglas fir over conventionally milled new growth lumber:
  • Stronger, harder, denser
  • Tight old growth ring patterns
  • High strength to weight ratio
  • Less vulnerable to shrinking, cracking, or splitting
  • Extremely large dimensions allow timbers to be FOHC
  • Naturally air-dried for greater stability and vibrant “inner glow”

Due to its high strength to weight ratio and pleasing aethetic  Douglas fir is commonly used in bridges.
Due to its high strength to weight ratio and pleasing aethetic, Douglas fir is commonly used in bridges.

Environmental Responsibility


Lessening environmental impact by saving the large, straight trees best suited for timber framing is also significant motivation for many timber framers and architects. With environmentally responsible architecture growing in necessity and popularity among designers and builders alike, old growth reclaimed timbers provide a perfect balance of old world character, strength, usability, and sustainability.

*Many of our products, including reclaimed Douglas fir timbers, are eligible for LEED points.

Weathered grey barn wood ceiling paneling with original smooth-planed patina Douglas fir timbers complements heavy stone work
Weathered grey barn wood ceiling paneling with original smooth-planed patina Douglas fir timbers complements heavy stone work
Credit: Dave Kozlowski Photography

Cost-Effectiveness


A common misconception is that reclaimed old growth wood is more expensive than recently logged and milled new growth lumber. Our reclaimed materials are not only competitively priced, but are also available in larger sizes. Finding large new growth timbers is not only extremely difficult, but might also involve a long wait. Furthermore, the harvesting of old growth Douglas fir trees has virtually ended in the United States and Canada due to strict protection laws.

These massive Douglas fir timbers are among the largest old growth timbers available in the modern market. We regularly stock sizes that are simply not available or very rare on the modern lumber market.
These massive Douglas fir timbers are among the largest old growth timbers available in the modern market. We regularly stock sizes that are simply not available or very rare on the modern lumber market.

Size and Surface Options


We have a large inventory of reclaimed Douglas fir timbers and beams that range in thicknesses and widths from 2” x 4” dimensional lumber to giant 28” x 42” heavy timber beams, with lengths ranging from 9’ to 50’ or more. Custom dimensions are available upon request. A variety of surface finish options are available, and we can help you chose the most appropriate finishes for your project:

Original Saw Marks with Original Patina.

Original rough sawn Douglas fir timbers will have golden brown patina from the timber’s first life in a historic timber-framed structure. Each timber is power-washed to remove dirt and debris.

Our impressive Douglas fir heavy timber inventory feature massive posts and beams originally milled from the old growth forests that covered much of the Pacific Northwest.
Our impressive Douglas fir heavy timber inventory feature massive posts and beams originally milled from the old growth forests that covered much of the Pacific Northwest.

Original Planed Surface with Original Patina.

Original Planed, also called original smooth, Douglas fir timbers will have a golden brown patina that is smooth to the touch since they were sawn and then planed before their first life in an historic structure. Each timber is power-washed to remove dirt and debris.

Reclaimed Douglas fir timbers work excellently with traditional timber-framing techniques  as can be seen in this hand scribed truss composed of original smooth planed timbers with old growth characteristics and visible bolt holes.
Reclaimed Douglas fir timbers work excellently with traditional timber-framing techniques, as can be seen in this hand scribed truss composed of original smooth planed timbers with old growth characteristics and visible bolt holes.
Reclaimed original smooth patina Douglas fir timber framing with traditional joinery
Reclaimed original smooth patina Douglas fir timber framing with traditional joinery
Credit: Dave Kozlowski Photography

Surfaced Sides.

Freshly planed surfaces offer a stark and crisp look for certain projects. We can surface all four sides of your timbers or leave some of the original patina sides intact.

This residence shows how these S4S reclaimed Douglas fir timbers are used in a variety of applications that complement each other  including timber-framing  floating stairs  slab siding  and railings.
This residence shows how these S4S reclaimed Douglas fir timbers are used in a variety of applications that complement each other, including timber-framing, floating stairs, slab siding, and railings.

Re-Sawn.

Freshly sawn timbers have a handsome and raw band sawn appearance.

This photo shows Douglas fir timbers from the same structure  with one retaining its original rough sawn patina and the other freshly re-sawn.
This photo shows Douglas fir timbers from the same structure, with one retaining its original rough sawn patina and the other freshly re-sawn.

Wire Brushed.

Wire brush applications remove some of the original patina and rough sawn surface, while revealing grain characteristics that had previously been hidden.

Wire brushed Douglas fir beams and ceiling panels
Wire brushed Douglas fir beams and ceiling panels

Lightly Burned.

Lightly burning surfaces boosts the contrast of grain and old growth character marks, while illuminating the timber's original patina. The process also creates a protection layer against rot.

Lightly Burned Douglas Fir Timber Finish
Lightly Burned Douglas Fir Timber Finish

Popular Uses


Old growth Douglas fir is regarded as one of the most attractive kinds of wood in the world. It’s no surprise that most of our customers showcase it in both internal and external exposed architecture. Popular reclaimed uses include:
  • Interior and exterior posts and beams
  • Exposed trusses
  • Box beams
  • Narrow and wide panel flooring
  • Table or counter tops
  • Stair treads
  • Vanities
  • Accent features
  • Furniture

Heavy posts and beams make up the bones of this high-end kitchen and adorn interior features such as this walk-in pantry.Reclaimed mixed hardwood stairsReclaimed smooth Douglas fir timber frameReclaimed Douglas fir timbers with their original smooth planed surface patina and weathered grey barn wood siding complement heavy stone workReclaimed Douglas Fir timber frame

Distinguished Boards + Beams only procures the highest quality Douglas fir timbers, and we stock a huge selection of sizes and surfaces finishes. With over 15 years of experience providing premium heritage wood for high-end custom homes and commercial businesses, our staff will help you pick the perfect reclaimed Douglas fir timber package for your project.

Beautiful original surface patina paint
Beautiful original surface patina paint

Distinguished Boards & Beams
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