For over two decades James Ruig travels the world, seeking out old wood to give new life in contemporary architectural and interior projects. The wood that we offer is primarily old growth timber that embodies quality only age can bring.
The trees from which the wood was derived grew in ancient forests, rich in biodiversity. They were felled when they reached maturity—often hundreds of years old—and with this age comes features not possessed by the new woods of today: denser grains, unmatched size, and richer, deeper colours. These features imbue the wood with an intrinsic beauty and durability that is unsurpassable by new wood.
Old-growth woods were carefully selected by the woodsmen of the past. A slower pace of life meant timber was milled by hand, left it to season, and air-dried for many years before being used to build. The wood then had the opportunity to stabilise-often for over a century-before being re-discovered by James Ruig.
In choosing old woods for your project, you are not only choosing to work with a material that has stood the test of time, but you are making a sustainable choice. Using reclaimed wood saves the forest of today, and can contribute to environmental ratings for your projects.
In comparison, many new woods are processed from trees to flooring in less than three months. The trees are grown in tree farms, milled at a young age, and then kiln-dried in three weeks, making some new woods prone to warping, shrinking, and cracking.
Like the woodsmen of past, James’s team of experts carefully select each piece of wood for it’s beauty and quality. They salvage the antique woods from the industrial forests –- old barns, homes and industrial buildings scheduled for demolition. The wood is then cleaned, de-nailed, milled, and dressed, transforming these ancient treasures into beautiful contemporary building materials. The history of each piece of wood is visible through its patina-the hallmarks of time that give the wood depth and tell the story of its provenance.
Transforming beautiful homes has always been a passion for James. In the beginning it started with transforming, renovating and developing Queenslanders and utilising old world style architectural building materials and decorating with antiques. James career in timber continued to grow as he worked The Salvage Company, QLD, the Big Red Shed, QLD and Ironwood, NSW which allowed an ever increasing progression of knowledge and experience in working with and resourcing antiques, architectural salvage, Australian timber, recycled timber, and new timber. This timber over the years has had many different applications, from re-milling for flooring, cladding, decking to full development of post and beam architecture and large feature beam applications.
James spends much of his time traveling worldwide to search for and import fine antiques and building materials.
It is with enthusiasm and passion that James formed Salvage Europe. The antiques pieces found are simply stunning and all have a unique history. James finds many treasures while visiting different countries and he is always filling containers to ship all his finds to clients worldwide. The timber that is found is most often salvaged from historical buildings which are scheduled for demolition. These historical demotion sites contain old world timber that has stood the test of time. The patina and durability of this timber is unsurpassed and it can be re-milled for many applications.
James is always available to speak with you and his considerable knowledge of architectural building materials, antiques, the timber industry and applications of all types of timber and flooring is second to none.