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Antique Flooring Fireplace Mantels Farm Tables Wood Countertops Wood Paneling Reclaimed Wood Log Cabins
Antique Wood Flooring Fireplace Mantels Farm Tables Countertops Wood Paneling Reclaimed Wood Log Cabins



18in Pine Plank Table

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A few months ago, we ran into a set of old pine, granary roof board at an auction. As they were stuffed into storage, and it was difficult to see what the board really were. We got lucky and found that several of the boards were 18in wide and 16ft long. What a nice little find.

About the same time, we had a customer looking for to make a nice little table for his house. He wanted something interesting. He was looking for top right around 36" wide.... Well, what do you know but 18 + 18 = 36. Perfect for 2 slabs of this big wood.

We cut up the wood and shipped it, along with some old square nails, from Minneapolis down to Texas. Our customer, Steve was pleased, "The wood came today and it looks great! Thanks for the great cuts and packaging."

I always enjoy seeing regular non-woodworkers "give it a go" and build something. I help wherever I can, sharing insights from my own experience.

Just a few weeks ago, I get the email I was waiting for, "Thanks again for the excellent wood, the table would be terrible if not for the great historic planks." (grin) I don't think it looks terrible at all; I think the table looks very nice. Great job, Steve!

Here's some details on his project-
- Legs from Lowe's. $12.94 each, #3 1x4's at $4.00 each. (skirt)
- Biscuited the joints and reinforced with corner blocks.
- Aluminum roof flashing for the knot patch job.
- The paint is from the Biltmore estate color scheme from Valspar paint.
- 6 or 7 coats of poly after sanding the planks down.

As a side note, much of the narrower material is going to be used for a wonderful old rustic floor. The wider material will be used for tables and other furniture.

















Metal Strapped Mantel

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A few months back, I was playing around with integrating old bridge designs with tables. I searched around the net, found lots of great bridge pictures and found a couple of great blacksmiths. Interestingly, rivets, once the mainstay of metal joinery, went out with advent welding. There's only a handful of people in the United States still doing hot metal rivets.

A couple of the blacksmith / rivet guys worth noting are Doug Lockhart of The Makers of Hand Forged Iron in logan Ohio and Steve Howell from Ballard Forge in Seattle, Washington. For old bridge restoration in particular, Vern Mesler has a great site as well -- VJM Metal Craftsman. But, I digress.

As I started to talk with Steve Howell, he showed me some pictures of some metal straps that he had done in the past. They were styled off of the work by Greene and Green Architects (see the Gamble House). When I saw the metal straps, I was thrilled. I instantly knew that these would make wonderful straps for fireplace mantels. I sent over a couple of 5in x 6in x 6ft reclaimed oak beams that had been joined together, sanded, and finished. The oak has a wonderful natural patina.

Steve went to work and added these great straps and triangular pins. They are hand-forged and hand worked. This is the real thing. It's not synthetic, mass produced, run of the mill metal. Each piece has character and texture and Steve's signature. They are a piece of art.

As the pictures of the finished piece came in, I could not have been more excited. This is a stunning mantel. The one is currently available for $800. This is a just great piece of work. By strapping beams together in this fashion, we can come up with some very large mantels. Custom sizes and piece are available.

Stay tuned. I'm looking forward to working with both Steve and Doug in the future. The old wood and the old iron really work well together. There will be more mantel and table collaborations to come!

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Countertop Personality

Saturday, October 3, 2009

There was a very nice article produced in the October edition of Midwest Home Magazine entitled "Countertop Confidential." One of our wood countertops is featured on the 5th page of the article, "Case File: Wood with Spark & Tara Schneider, Webster, Minnesota."

The article covered 10 types of countertops including marble, cement, wood, granite, laminate, solid surface, and eco-friendly.

The wood write up was nice and was summarized as, "Gentle, agrarian, history-lover." I'd certainly add that it is eco-friendly. Much more so than many other so-called eco-friendly counters on the market. Many of the recycled countertops include as much as 30% resin (read PLASTIC). Resin is not only not recycled, but it is also not particularly recycle-able. Some of our wood countertops are already on their 3rd or 4th recycling and can easily be recycled into other wood products later.

See the complete article.

Wood Counter - Kitchen

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What a fun project! While the pictures show a bit of construction dust, they're still fun to see. Here's a complete kitchen full of reclaimed wood countertops -- Red Oak to be exact. The wood came from the floor joists and secondary studs from an old log cabin. The log cabin was saved as a log cabin, but we were blessed with the opportunity to re-use the old dimensional lumber. The wood dated back the the 1800s with a wonderful, unique patina. When I first saw this batch, I knew it was going to be special.


This kitchen has classic looking sage green and ivory painted cabinets accented with rich auborn and brown tones of the red oak wood countertops. It's a wonderful kitchen for those who love to cook -- full size stainless steel appliances, several sinks, and a stove water top. It has a nice pass-thru for serving on the eating island. A classic hutch also helps set the tone. We even cut out a special area on one of the countertops so a cutting board and a marble pasty board could be inserted and interchanged.

It's well worth your while to browse the full set of pictures. Of course, our client Abby, is thrilled. Here's a few excerpts from her emails, July 5th, "The last counter arrived several weeks ago and it is beautiful. Thank you....the counters are amazing." Sept 28 (with pictures), "we continue to be grateful to you for the gorgeous work."

I've always said I had a great job. This is why!

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Wood Countertop-Wine

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Normally, I patiently wait for photos from our clients of our finished pieces in their home. I couldn't wait on this one. This is a really neat piece. It's a wood countertop, well actually a wood bartop, with a wine barrel stave leading edge. The edge is accented with original square nails from an old granary. The center hosts a wine barrel inlay where you can still see the red wine stains. Finally, an end-grain block rests in the center of it all. The wine barrel staves come from California and the wood came from an old corn crib in Minnesota.

This was a fun, iterative process with our client. (see the picture set to look at some of the mock ups). The initial conversation ended with "something interesting in a 5 foot wide wood counter with an arc peaking at 24 inches and starting at 16 inches on each side." We played with Google SketchUp to mock up many different variations. We played with pickle vat wood, plain old white oak, an inlay here and an inlay there. This is the result. Turns out that the natural bend in the barrel staves was nearly a perfect fit for this 16 to 24 inch arch over 5 feet. What beautiful stroke of luck. An of course, what better way to enjoy a glass of wine than on a neat piece of reclaimed wood like this?

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