Upcycling, Texas Style

by Lisa Davis on April 25, 2019 in Lifestyle, Home, Austin,

Although the idea of repurposing has been around for centuries, it has never been more popular than it is today. Structures that were once considered junk, trash or obsolete are now finding their way back into the Texas landscape and being given a fresh start.

Jeff Spector began his journey into repurposing when he took over This Old Wood in 2017. The company does exactly what the name says, as it’s an Austin-based business specializing in reclaimed and recycled wood that gives new meaning and purpose to antique wooden building materials.

Jeff Spector, and his dog Rufus, recycle old Texas structures that have become eyesores. Courtesy photo

Salvaging worn out, tired wood that others likely consider trash, Spector, along with shop mascot Rufus, and his team of builders find creative and functional uses for wood. With some structures dating as far back as the 1800s, This Old Wood takes lumber from all over Texas from the likes of barns, houses, stores and dance halls.

Board by board, Spector and his crew carefully dismantle those barns, houses and halls by hand, transporting the pieces back to his shop in South Austin. The types of wood Spector comes across include rare, antique longleaf pine, native to Texas. “The quality of the old growth pine is unparalleled,” he says.

Inside Aviator Nation, a California-based lifestyle brand which recently opened in Austin’s SoCo neighborhood. The store has a nostalgic 70s vibe which This Old Wood enhanced with wood planks and vibrant colors.
Courtesy photo

Spector and his team clean up the wood by removing nails and smoothing out the surface of each piece of wood. After processing the wood, Spector then sells different types of reclaimed wood in a variety of sizes and finishes for use by homebuilders and homeowners for lumber, flooring, siding, beams, trim, wall applications, rafters and mantels.

Spector has helped design interiors and create special pieces for several local Austin businesses like, Bangers Sausage House & Beer Garden, the shiplap ceiling at Aviator Nation, and the bar tops for The Cat’s Pajamas.

This medieval treehouse, using reclaimed wood from This Old Wood, was built for a family in Bastrop, Texas and appeared on an episode of Treehouse Masters, which aired on Animal Planet. Courtesy photo

This Old Wood is run out of an iconic 1930s vintage dance hall from Columbus, Texas. It was dismantled and salvaged, being rebuilt as the shop’s headquarters and shop Ninety percent of the building vintage longleaf pine, shiplap, and Douglas Fir.

By using wood from timeworn and out-dated structures, This Old Wood has become an eco-friendly building and remodeling solution aimed at preserving Texas history, turning trash to treasure and protecting our planet from wood rotting in landfills.


Cover: courtesy photo

Austinite Lisa Davis is the Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and a student at Concordia University Texas.