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Rebuilding Exchange
Cynthia Main, director of education and special projects at Rebuilding Exchange.

Wood often gets better with age, so it makes sense to learn how to save good pieces from landfills by giving them a useful and beautiful second life. 

Become a skilled woodworker or handywoman by taking classes at the new location of Rebuilding Exchange, the Bucktown outpost for reclaimed building materials and DIY instruction. Learn Ms. Fix-it tricks like how to rewire a lamp (January 30, registration $10), make a wooden frame to fit a salvaged mirror (February 2, $85, materials included) or modify your plumbing to save water (February 24, $10).

Once you’ve nailed those techniques, scour RX’s retail warehouse to find supplies for your next project. There’s a vast selection of wood and fixtures: old doors great for headboards, sturdy bathtubs (some for just $100) and huge mirrors that would break the bank if new (from $25 to $750).

Rebuilding Exchange is near the intersection of Elston and Ashland avenues (drive all the way to the back of the parking lot to find the entrance), and new items are delivered to the warehouse each week.

Got a renovation project under way? Donate old materials to the cause--it’s a tax-deductible way to continue the cycle. 

Rebuilding Exchange, 1740 W. Webster Ave.; 773-252-2234 or

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