Reclaimed Scaffold Boards

I’m sorry Architects, designers, and DIY enthusiasts of the UK, but there’s no such thing as a waste or reclaimed scaffold plank. At least not one that you might like to use for something.

The idea that you can put something to use that would otherwise be dumped, burnt, or left to rot is an attractive one. Even better when the thing in question is something as useful as a 3.9m plank of wood. I thought so too, until I tried to get them at source by accosting scaffolders on my street.

“We don’t have waste planks mate. If they split or rot we chop the end off or half them to 6ft planks or kick boards, when they’re too short we use them as packers. We can sell you old boards but we charge double because they’re in fashion!”

It makes a lot of sense now I’ve heard it. Even boards that are no longer ‘safe’ are a lot of use to a scaffolder. And they’re in fashion, its no denying that.

By all means use them for your floor boards, shelving, cladding and reclaimed furniture, just don’t claim that they were waste. I promise not to either. Instead I’ll adopt a better approach and will find some real waste wood – the stuff with nails in at inconvenient sizes – and make something with that.