Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reclaimed Barn Wood

Old hand-hewn beams.

We saved some of the old wood from our old barns that once sat on the property--but were beyond repair.

The old barn when it was standing.  I miss it!  It just got too dangerous.

We didn't know why, but it didn't seem right to throw good boards or beams into a fire if they were intact.  

When we were doing the "de-constructing", it sure seemed easier to burn it all than to sort it and make a pile. 

We saved interior and exterior siding, and some of the hand-hewn squared barn beams with the hand-hewn notches and pegs.

The other day, my husband got some of the exterior siding boards that were once the barn siding out of the pile they've been sitting in for years, and played around with his brand-new planer and the wood came out as smooth as a baby's butt, however...

The smoothed wood still shows the worm holes, knot holes, and nail holes from the old square topped nails that were removed.  That is the part I absolutely LOVE.

The above photo shows the old board on the bottom, the top half shows one that was put through the planer.

It's so exciting, I'm dreaming up projects to make out of them.  We have probably fifty. They look to be about a foot wide and twelve feet long.  Some of the boards are from interior stalls from the barn, and show places that the animals had rubbed or chewed, smoothed by years of wear, I especially love those pieces.  

It's amazing to think these boards were cut and sawed into usable lumber in the late 1800's, stayed on the barn and served their purpose, and have sat patiently waiting.  Now we are reworking them in this century to be something new, and hopefully have something heirloom quality, to last into yet another century. 

I think it would be fitting to design a farmhouse table out of at least some of them.  We are going to simply finish, and add no stain because we love how the wood looks when it comes out of the planer.

Have you ever made anything or seen nice pieces made out of old barn siding?  

Look at what I just found in this month's issue of CL magazine!  


Kimberly said...

What a treasure, Joni! I agree with you that a table made with this heritage wood would be fabulous. Just imagine sitting down each day to eat on a surface that heard the moo's of cows, the baaing of sheep, the voices of the many farmers that lovingly cared for their animals in that barn. Yes, I'm a wee bit fanciful-but isn't it thrilling really?

Mary Jane Plemons said...

My life-long friend, Lezlee, has a blog called Prior Lives. She and her family live in Texas, and they have been working on their old house for several years. Lezlee has a real flair when it comes to thinking up new uses for old stuff, and one of their sons has built some wonderful pieces out of old wood. You might want to look at her beautiful blog.

lil red hen said...

We didn't have old barn boards, but rather wood from a tree on our farm that had been blown over. It was a big red oak, and after we had it sawed into boards there was a big stack of it which had to dry. When it was ready, we built kitchen cabinets, two pie safe cabinets, an entertainment center and cabinets for my sewing room. There were several worm holes in the boards which gave them character. And, there's still a large stack left! So, I think you would certainly enjoy a nice table from your boards.

Shirley said...

How beautiful! What a neat treasure and I can't wait to see what you decide to make with it!

Julie Hinds said...

Did you see the American Pickers show where they went to a place where the guy built his house and out buildings with old wood, they were so cool too with lots of character and points of interest, made me want to build a little shed or something, a summer kitchen with a lean-too shelter for picnics!

Pat said...

Joni, I'm currently having a kitchen table made out of wood from an old Eastern NC tobacco barn. You have a real treasure trove to work with; hope you come up with some wonderful uses.

Pat in Eastern NC

mary your sis said...

We had tongue and groove made for our ceiling as well as trim for our windows and doors and two large entertainment centers and china cabinets out of just a few large trees in our back yard! The wood we had milled is pretty, but it sure doesn't have the character your beautiful barnwood has. What fun to find "buried treasure" in your backyard! I love barnwood; I still miss the barnwood we salvaged and used as siding on our house before it was remodeled. It'll be fun to see what you make from yours!