Splitting Up the Old Family Barn: Five Tips for Shipping Reclaimed Wood to Friends and Family

Reclaimed timber has become extremely popular in all sorts of applications, and it's even more special to many people when it's infused with personal nostalgia. If you are tearing down the old family barn, your grandparents' dilapidated old house, or anything else significant to you and your family, you may want to send some of the distressed wood to some of your family members.

Wondering how to ship it? Take a look at these tips:

1. Prepare and Dry the Timber

Before sending distressed wood, you may want to take some time preparing it. In particular, remove old hardware from the wood. As it may rip through the timber packaging. Also, if you see mold or mildew, try to scrub it off.

Then, let the reclaimed timber dry out thoroughly before packing it up—if you pack the timber when it's moist, the moisture will create excess condensation during shipping. That, in turn, will damage other parts of the timber, encourage the growth of mould spores or damage your packaging.

2. Protect the Edges of the Timber

Depending on its age, reclaimed timber can be fragile. To protect it, consider covering the edges of each piece before shipping it. You can cut pieces of cardboard, wrap it around the edges and secure it in place with nylon strapping. Alternatively, you can use bits of old foam such as a cut up foam mattress pad, and just tape it to the timber.

3. Choose the Right Packaging

Ultimately, the packaging you need depends on how much timber you want to ship. However, it's important to realise that unless you are shipping just a couple of small bits, you may need specialised timber packaging materials.

A packaging specialist may be able to help you find a long sturdy cardboard box for shipping a few long pieces of timber. If you're shipping a large load, you may need to invest in a pallet or a wooden shipping crate.

4. Wrap in Waterproof Polyethylene

Whether you are sending out a box of small pieces of timber or an entire pallet, you need to waterproof your shipment. Wrap the timber in waterproof polyethylene material. You can also obtain that from a shipping specialist.

5. Check Into Customs Rules

If you are sending the reclaimed timber outside of Australia, you should check into the customs regulations for that country. For instance, New Zealand has strict rules and penalties against sending in biosecurity risks. For the most part, you just need to ensure you have removed any pests and declared the timber properly on the customs forms.