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The Appeal of Old Barn Wood

One of our last projects in the barn will be the laying of the reclaimed brick floors – but before that can happen – we had to somehow find a home for all of the leftover wood from the two old barns we tore down last year to make ours.  From extra posts, beams and floor joists, to extra barn siding, old windows and flooring boards – the entire left side under our loft was filled with extra pieces.

My dad’s barn before being torn down. There is a lot of history in all that old wood

After sorting through and saving pieces for enough future projects to last us well into our 90’s – we had to come up with a plan for what to do with the rest.  I guess the easiest way would be to set a big bonfire and clean it all out – but love of old barns and barn wood, in addition to our recycle and re-use mentality just wouldn’t allow for that type of disposal of such beautiful and historic wood.  In addition, we knew there was some value to the wood – you just can’t walk into your local lumber outlet these days and order 100-year-old red oak boards.

One of the many old barn windows that we had – crafters LOVE them!

So, over the course of the last 6 to 8 weeks – we have advertised the left over pieces and parts of our barns on craigslist – and the resulting onslaught of visitors to our “farm” to purchase pieces and parts has opened my eyes to just how many people really do love the past and share our love of the re-use and recycle theme.

More than being able to make a little extra money for the “farm fund” – and much more than clearing out the wood – it has been wonderful to meet new people and hear their “new” plans for the old wood.

We have had a few couples getting ready to build new homes who carefully picked old  beams to use in their new construction.  One gentleman picked up old oak slat boards to build a coffee table for his wife as a present.  A future bride picked up 50 old barn slats to make table signs for their wedding reception.

Old red oak floor joists – many have been re-used as mantles

And the list goes on and on.  A gardener picking out old oak 4×4’s to make a new garden with raised  beds, a crafter picking out old window frames to make decorative art pieces, a table builder wanting massive barn beam legs – and one close to my heart – a gentleman using some of the old wood to make a chicken coop!

We have asked almost everyone that has stopped and purchased to please send pictures when their “project” is finished.  So, hopefully someday in the future we can share a post of updated pictures and stories of all of the items that were built.  But for now, it gives Mary and I a wonderful feeling to know that both old barns continue to give new life to projects everywhere – and it makes all of the hard work from last years dismantling efforts a little more worthwhile. Here are a few of the projects we have made from our collection of barn wood:

Our Old Barn Window Address Sign

Our Old Barn Window Address Sign

Barn Trestle Table with base from barn rafters

Barn Trestle Table with base from barn rafters

Our Barn Doors From Old Barn Floors

Our Barn Doors From Old Barn Floors

Farmers Market Sign We Made From Old Barn Door

Farmers Market Sign We Made From Old Barn Door

9' Farm Fresh Egg Sign We Made From Old Barn Wood

9′ Farm Fresh Egg Sign We Made From Old Barn Wood

6 Comments on The Appeal of Old Barn Wood

  1. Kimberly Rasmusen // September 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm // Reply

    I would love to get my hands on an old wooden Farmers Market sign that is large (4 feet by 3 feet) for our outside veranda area. Do you have any suggestions where I could find one? Not many left here in California. Thank you.

  2. How sweet of you to think of others and take the time to offer the wood for sale. So many people want to get their hands on some of that history but would have no other opportunity. I love the stories. Hope you get lots of photos back!

  3. I love old barns – thanks for sharing!

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post and you inspired me to share a post about a gift my husband built me years ago with some reclaimed wood. I am so glad you and Mary just did not burn this wonderful wood. I can’t wait to see all of your finished projects :)

    • Sorry so late getting back with a comment – we’ve been out at the farm all day. Just no way in the world we could burn the wood – too many uses! Actually had a gentleman from Nashville stop by today and take back some boards with him for a project in their living room – our wood is ending up in all kind of places! :) Cant wait to read your post from what your husband built!

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