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River Wood, Recovered & Reclaimed

Timber from Waterways

River wood is amazing, whether sunk from a raft of logs, or installed for piers, dams, locks and more. Only some tree species can stay under water for centuries and come out strong and looking good. So trees are also even more awesome after a long bath. 

Sinker Wood – Cypress

Cypress, Heart Pine and hardwoods could sink and set for centuries, getting tinted from river minerals, like iron and copper. Here’s Cypress, one of earth’s slowest growing trees, flat sawn to present grain and color range. It’s a real testament to the wonder of trees. 

Recovered (Sinker) Cypress Flat sawn
Recovered (Sinker) Cypress wood

Sinker Cypress Projects

There’s a wide range of looks within a log, so opportunities are great. Sinker Cypress colors depend on time, tree and river, and dynamics depend on how we saw it, flat or quarter sawn.

Here’s some Pecky Cypress, a cherished and colorful type carved by a burrowing fungus, sometimes dominant in square area.

Next is Master Millwright Ken Strout with some box mitre beams made of Sinker Cypress that is even older than him.


Recovered Pecky Cypress River Wood
Sinker Cypress Box Beams

Sinker Wood – Heart Pine

Heart Pine (aka Longleaf & Yellow) built the US into a 19th century economic power. As the preferred timbers for ships and factories, it was felled and floated down to mills. Some of the incredibly hard, dense logs sank in the river, waiting for intrepid seekers like us.

Sinker Pine Rainbow   

The color range of sinker wood is, again, wide and wonderful, like the boards. Pale to purplish blues, to milk and dark chocolates can be found in the rich yellows and tans of our Sinker Heart Pine.  


Sinker Heart Pine River Wood Flooring
Sinker Heart Pine Sample for color range

Structural River Wood

Rivers were optimized for water and transit. We have structural timbers that include Douglas Fir, American Chestnut, White Oak, Beech, Heart Pine and more. 

New York Harbor Timber 

Our Upper Bay Pier Wood is from the first structure of its kind – a 1920’s Jazz Age access for cars from NJ into New York City. The Holland Tunnel used two woods for piers holding ventilators. Here’s some cut in half to 45′ and end grains of Heart Pine (yellow) and Douglas Fir (red).

Hudson Pier reclaimed Heart Pine & Douglas Fir Logs
Hudson Pier reclaimed Heart Pine & Douglas Fir Logs

Douglas Fir River Wood 

Cut when they were 80-100 years old in 1920, the Douglas Fir has an enhanced color range.  From the Pacific Northwest to a century’s immersion in estuary mud and water, they’ve only gotten better. The dynamic grain figuring (shown flat sawn) is normal for this famous western conifer (an evergreen, not a fir).

California Wood Colors 

Light pink and yellow to purple and browns provide a distinct palette for design. It’s good for flooring, paneling, furniture and more. 

Hudson Pier reclaimed Douglas Fir veneer flitches
Hudson Pier reclaimed Douglas Fir close up

Longleaf Heart Pine River Wood 

Heart Pine was a mainstay from the Southeast for 1800’s US ships, factories and more. Also about a century old when cut, it’s hard, dense wood. but waters change it. Purple and grey is seen in the sapwood and deeper.

Here are flitches, cut to 1/42″ for a veneer project in process. See below! And a closeup of the heart pine river wood grain and colors. It all offers distinct looks for paneling so we’re partnering to develop some new products.  

Hudson Pier reclaimed Heart Pine veneer

River Wood Veneer 

Like having a forest inside, this veneer is dynamic with clear finish and can be muted with stain. Here’s a book-match Douglas Fir, then a slip-match Heart Pine. And of course the range of potential looks is wide, depending on the layout and…the tree.  Douglas Fir is more knotty and dramatic, while Heart Pine offers a subtler, yet still dynamic look. Get paneling with history and beauty built in!  

Hudson Pier reclaimed Douglas Fir paneling
Hudson Pier reclaimed Heart Pine paneling

Moosup River Chestnut 

This is very rare and truly awesome! We have a few thousand bf of this reclaimed chestnut (and some oak) that was transformed by time and waters. Chestnut is rare enough, but to have it tinted like this is fantastic!  River Chestnut! Up in NE Connecticut, we reclaimed dams, allowing trout to spawn again, and we’d bet they taste amazing. This is pre-blight chestnut, too, meaning cut pre-1900’s, and without worm holes. 

Moosup River Dam reclaimed Chestnut wood
Moosup River Dam reclaimed Chestnut sample

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