We sold our subdivision home in the city in June 2011 and purchased our small farm in August, 2011.
But even before we closed the deal, my husband Bill was on the look out, collecting things for our little farm.
One day, while driving by our not-yet-house just to look at it again, (we did that often) Bill happened upon a yard sale.
What's really strange about that is, he usually doesn't stop at yard sales. Me? I will wear the brakes out, screeching to a halt for a yard sale!
That day he found and purchased a load of old barn wood. Enough to fill the bed of our pickup truck.
We didn't know what we would use it for at the new house, but he said he just could not pass up all that weathered wood for only $25.00 .
After purchasing our little farm, Bill decided to use the barn wood on one wall in our lower level family room (The Man Cave).
It turned out beautiful, but we had quite a bit left over.
Then I had an idea.
I usually get lots of ideas!
If we were going to have chickens, possibly beef cattle and other random farm animals, plus a huge garden, we needed a mud room to track all that barn and garden dirt into.
We were able to finish 2 walls in the mud room with weathered barn wood, but then ran out of wood, ugh.
|The barn we salvaged old wood from|
I have been searching ads and postings on Craigslist and other websites for old barns or barn wood that we could use to finish the mud room walls, with no luck.
Finally, one morning on our way to breakfast in a little town about 5 minutes from us, we passed a big beautiful farm house, which looked completely remodeled, but had two very old and unkempt barns in the back field.
We decided to stop and ask if we could salvage some of the barn wood.
They said YES!
|Mortise and Tenon style building|
We started the following day removing the wood planks from the barns. This was slow, hard work!
Most of the barn was built in the post and beam style, timber frame. This method comes from making things out of logs and tree trunks without modern high tech saws to cut lumber.
|Old barn nails|
We worked most of the first day removing the planks we wanted, and spent an equal amount of time removing all the large nails.
It was a cold day in February, with occasional sleet and wind, but the hard work kept us warm.
Many of the larger nails I kept to hang things with in my gardening shed and barn.
I learned an old nail straightening trick from my father, Art Seymour years ago. Lay the nail on a flat rock or concrete, slowly turn the nail, while lightly tapping the bent part of the nail stem straight. No use wasting perfectly good nails.
By the end of the day we had our trailer pretty well full of good wood planks, some weathered grey, many with hints of old red paint.
|Salvage planks of wood on our trailer|
Bill and I had help, or I'm not sure we could have gotten the trailer full. The planks were HEAVY.
Our daughter Alexis and my nephew Adam helped us all day. Even though it was hard work we enjoyed the challenge.
Alexis helped remove old wooden gates and barn doors I pointed out, while Bill and Adam removed the wood planks.
I was mostly on the "carry everything to the trailer and remove all the nails" duty.
|My husband Bill and Daughter Alexis|
Working that day, helped me image the building of that barn, and the hard work that went into it. The farmer told us the barn was built sometime in the late 1800's, maybe even earlier. He was not sure.
I can not even fathom the skill and hard work it must have taken to build such a huge, strong barn.
It is a sad thing for me to see an old barn that must be torn down, but it's great the wood is being put back to work.
Re-purposed is the trendy word for what we are doing.
Salvaged is what it is.
The amazing thing? When I started building with this old barn wood, using drywall screws instead of nails and a cordless screwdriver instead of a hammer, I had trouble getting the screws to go into the wood. All the wood is oak, which is a very hard wood, and the planks are all a good 1 inch thick!
I began by finishing the mudroom walls, then built a large shelf .
If you are at my house for a visit and a tornado hits, run for these shelves!
I am currently using them to store a few of my books, but will eventually use them to store canning jars.
|This door I later used as my chicken coop do, as is|
One of the barn doors we salvaged led to a small room inside the barn, for bags of grain storage, I believe. I will be using it for the door to my chicken coop, which is in the building process now!
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