I heard the angels singing….ahhh ahhh ahhh. I felt as if this past weekend I had died and went to barn wood heaven.
It’s good to have friends in high places… or more like old worn, weathered places. My husband and I are working on a custom project for a client and one of her requests was to have some reclaimed open shelving for her kitchen. I’ve eyed those beauties on Pinterest and the like, and can’t say that I blame her. If I could talk my hubs into that idea, I’d be on it like a glove.
To say that I’m blessed to live in Amish country is an understatement. You might think things are a little slow around here, and that’s how I like it. Laid back lifestyle is where it’s at. What’s somewhat sad is because of the high demand for old wood, gorgeous barns are being torn down all over the place and being sold by the board foot. Though I will say, most are dilapidated buildings that are a danger to any occupant.
I began the hunt for some heavy 2″ x 12″ lumber by making a round of phone calls to my peeps. There is ample reclaimed wood around here, but we need those dimensions, and that can be hard to find. After speaking to our local farmer where we get our raw milk, he quickly knew of a place that I might be interested in. Might???
Just look at this gorgeousness! This my friends is reclaimed wood heaven. All of the material in this pole building and on the property is reclaimed. drooling….
You’ve got planks, siding, beams, joists…you name it! In case you’re wondering where this gem is, it’s in a small farming community in northeast Ohio run by a family of Mennonite brothers, called Triple B Enterprises. They do ship all over the U.S., and are open to the public by appointment only. Contact me for more details. (I’m excited to share this with you!)
Needless to say, this will be on my go-to places for sure.
The super-friendly owner let us take a pine board home to plane to see if it’s something we like. History lesson: this was a floor joist that came out of a building built in 1910, which means the lumber was harvested in the late 1800’s. According to studies, the last of the first growth wood was harvested in Ohio by the 1910’s. First growth means they are from the original trees before people settled the area. This also means the trees had to compete with each other for sun, nutrients, etc. and their rings are much tighter than second growth that had the opportunity to have bigger growth spurts because there was less competition. Tighter grains means stronger wood. Second growth, etc. means quicker growth spurts, loosened grain, less quality.
Before we were able to plane the board, we removed the square nails. Thankfully, my hubby knows I’m nuts about that kind of stuff and saved them for me. How cool is that?
Here’s what the board looked like after a bit of planing.
We also brought home a piece of elm to compare the two. Which do you prefer?
Here’s what the board looked like after a first pass of planing. A bit blotchy and not too pretty, unless that’s the look you’re after. We plan to plane it down until we get an even color, but are going to try to retain the defects. There’s a story in those marks.
I have to tell you thought that I felt a sort of eerie feeling when standing among this ancient wood, like walking on holy ground. It brought to my mind thoughts of how our country was founded on God’s word and this scripture popped into my head:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1
Too easy we forget how this country was built, and I’m as guilty as anyone else. Yeah, I joke about this being barn wood heaven, but imagine what the real deal is like. I’m loving me time on this earth, but I ache to see that glory land.
If you want to see what we did with the wood, click here
More of our DIY projects: