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I was thinking of adding on to my playset and had older 4x4 that are in pretty good condition (no apparent structural issues but a lot of surface cracking). I was going to reuse some of the wood but wanted to get others input on the new vs used wood discussion...

I know this is subjective, but to make it more quantitative: when would you recommend reuse vs just buying new wood for new home projects?

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  • 4x4 is pretty cheap stuff, particularly if you only need a limited number. So it may not be worth agonizing over, or taking a risk if you think there might be. That said, we would need to understand how you plan to use them structurally, and details of the cracks to offer any useful advice. For example, a crack running diagonally through the piece would tend to push apart if you use it vertically to support a load. (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    Apr 8, 2018 at 20:45
  • A crack running parallel with the length would have the minimum effect if oriented so the load is in the direction of the crack (visualize the crack dividing the piece into two 2x4 pieces; you would want the 4" dimension supporting the load rather than two layers of 2"). Can you add more detail, including the amount of weight it needs to support?
    – fixer1234
    Apr 8, 2018 at 20:45
  • I was planning on using it to support monkey bars, which wouldn't be an extreme amount of weight. So probably 2x10 or 12, about 12 foot long + user weight. Thanks Apr 9, 2018 at 1:57

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