Western New York's Largest Supplier of Reclaimed & Surplus Building Material

ReUsing Lath

Michael recently got an inquiry about sourcing wood lath, the thin strips of pine that form a substrate for an old-fashioned plaster wall. The inquirer was planning to use lath as a wall covering material in a commercial bathroom. Interesting . . . we recycle tons of lath in each house we dismantle and haven’t seen much reuse potential in the material.

And here’s another use of wood lath, courtesy of Fine Woodworking magazine in their story about a contest run by the New Orleans ReUse organization “Green Project”. The table’s creator, Robert Portman, was dismayed at the waste of wood when he was working post-Katrina as an electrician and decided to use wood lath, laminated, to make an entrance table.

Lath Table
Lath Table

Working as an electrician in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Portman started to save the lath that was being thrown out when walls were demolished. When he learned about the Salvations contest, he decided to make a table out of the strips. This table (26 in. deep by 45 in. wide by 35 in. tall) has more than 125 pieces of pine lath laminated together. The top panel is plaster with a lime wash finish, and the image transfer was made from a photograph he took of New Orleans oak trees. The finish is Pratt & Lambert Varmor, a urethane finish that Portman bought from the Green Project for $1.