Should Reclaimed Lumber Be Edged?

Aug 27, 2013

The photo on the above left shows some unedged weathered lumber.  The photo on the above right shows some weathered lumber which has been edged.  Edging involves cutting off one or both edges of a board, leaving fresh-sawn edge(s) where the cutting has been done.  

Whether you choose to have your reclaimed or other lumber edged depends upon your application, your preferences and your budget.  Advantages of edging can include:

  1. Width consistency.  If you purchase 1" x 8" barnwood lumber, the actual widths of the individual boards will vary somewhat.  Widths can be as much as 3/4" nominal, meaning that actual widths could vary from 7.25" to 8" or even a little bit over 8".  If your application requires a consistent width, edging is likely the most practical way to get it.
  2. Ease of use/installation.  Cleaned up edges can be easier to work with.
  3. Consistency of appearance.  Cleaned up edges are often more consistent in appearance than edges that are left as-is.

Disadvantages of edging can include:

  1. Loss of natural weathered edges.  Where edges are not hidden, you might prefer the look of weathered edges to fresh-cut edges.
  2. Loss of width.  If boards ranging from 7.25" to 8" actual width are all edged to 7.25", you lose some width and, hence, some coverage area.
  3. Cost.  Edging is an additional process which adds cost (and time) to the product/project.  The loss of width and coverage area can also impact costs.

Note that edging can (and often is) done on the project site - you can handle any required edging yourself if you so choose.  Also note that (1) Trestlewood's standard lumber products can generally include a mix of edged and unedged boards (i.e., even if you don't order edged lumber, lumber that is edged on one or both edges can be included in our standard product sorts) and (2) having Trestlewood edge to a consistent width will often result in one edge being edged, not two.  If your application requires both edges to be left unedged or both edges to be edged, it is important that you tell us this so that we can quote and process your material accordingly.




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