Reclaimed Paneling Equals Environmental Health

Just in time for the holidays we tallied the impact of incorporating 2,200 sq ft of reclaimed paneling to a corporate project. The quick results: over 8 tons of waste was prevented from entering a landfill and 30 trees were saved. What benefits do 30 trees offer? We’ll get to that a little further down the page.

Reclaimed Hardwoods Paneling by Pioneer Millworks

Using 2,200 sq ft of reclaimed oak = 30 trees saved and 8 tons of waste kept out of landfills.

Think siding (vertical or horizontal). Think paneling…half way or up to the ceiling or on the ceiling. For a recent west coast project we crafted paneling from Settlers’ Plank reclaimed Oak. We’ve done some calculations to see just what using 2,200 square feet of reclaimed material meant to us and the environment.

settlers plank reclaimed paneling

Settlers’ Plank reclaimed paneling was fitted to a timber frame home game room.

With our average material yield we would have started with about 4,000 BF of reclaimed oak boards and joists to produce 2,200 SF of finished material. (We defect for metal artifacts, rot, old joinery, and lengths under 18″. These pieces are recycled, going to our chipper to become wood pellets or to our clean-burning kiln which heats our building.)  By using 4,000 BF of reclaimed oak instead of fresh sawn oak the following environmental benefits were realized:

–  We prevented 8 tons of waste from entering a landfill which would have occupied 12.35 cubic yards of landfill space
–  Once wood waste is sent to landfills, the exposure to other types of waste may prohibit wood from breaking down. Instead, it may partially decompose and release methane gas – a type of greenhouse gas.
–  We saved approximately 30 trees (based on the Doyle scale) from being cut down
–  The 30 trees saved by recycling 4000 BF of wood can absorb as much as 945 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air each year.
–  30 trees can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to 120 people.
–  The net cooling effect of  30 young, healthy trees is equivalent to 300 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day
–  30 large trees can lift up to 3,000 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air in a day.

trees and horses

Trees! We’re big fans of trees. Not only are they good for us, but for our animals, and the entire planet.

More on our paneling: We craft it to order in our shops in Farmington, NY and McMinnville, OR; it is FSC-Certified reclaimed wood; the panels make installation of wood walls, ceilings, and partitions quick and easy. The options are nearly endless with more than forty species, grades and textures available. The wood is valued for its grain pattern, durability, deep patina, and incredible character. And more often than not the antique wood used in paneling will show signs of its previous life with ferrous staining from nails or bolts, insect trails, and old joinery notches.

As always, thank you for helping us help the environment. Best wishes and holiday cheer to you and yours!

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Reclaimed Wine Vat Oak Flooring – Ready to ship!

settlers plank oak with wine vat staves flooring

Reclaimed wine vat oak was mixed with our Settlers’ Plank grade to create this special flooring.

We follow a “made-to-order” philosophy of production. When you place an order for any of our floors or other products, we will generally mill the material just for you, allowing you flexibility in your specifications. Do you need a specific width that is outside of our typical range? A different thickness or alternate milling profile?  What about a custom finish? Your needs dictate the product that we create.

Because of this it’s rare that we have leftovers or material on hand and ready to ship.

settlers plank flooring oak with wine vat staves

This floor is pretty much the reclaimed wood trifecta: a unique and desirable source and story, amazing character and quarter sawn boards, and a prefinish to allow for a fast install process.

Once in a while, through various unusual circumstances, we end up with something in our stock that is ready to go if you need something right away…

This reclaimed Settlers’ Plank Oak floor is truly a gem.  The 3” wide planks were salvaged from Oak wine vats here in upstate NY.  There is wonderful deep, dark staining from the wine running through many of the boards.  There is also a very high percentage of quarter sawn material, with bold, stunning ray fleck running through the pieces.  And it’s pre-finished with a rich, warm, three coat tung oil finish (an all botanical product that we buy from a great manufacturer in Vermont – more on that in a later post).

wine vat oak flooring

Occasionally we have “extra” square footage from a custom milled floor. 125 sq ft of this mixture of wine vat oak and our Settlers’ Plank grade is ready to go today.

 

We have 125 sf available to ship right away.  Give us a call to talk about the details…

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Bowling in the house?

I recently completed installation of some new counter tops in my kitchen renovation at home.  After seeing some of our bowling alleys being cut down for tables in a restaurant, I knew they would be perfect.

The angled holes from the old lag bolts are visible at the edges, along with a shimmering steel cleat that became exposed during sanding. Did you know bowling alleys are nailed together one strip at a time?

The colors play well from the nearly-black dark brown cabinets, the tile, and the rich leathery tones of the flooring.  Talk about durable – 2 1/4″ of solid hard Maple finished with a butcher block oil – these will hold up for generations, and only get better with age.

The light tone of the Maple helps to brighten the space and balance out the darker colors.

The foul line markings were positioned at the end of the slab over the bookshelves where they are easily noticed, along with the collection of Alton Brown books.

We’ve got a lot more of these here at Pioneer Millworks, in both Maple and Heart Pine.  Want a counter top with a story to tell?  Give us a call – we’ll make sure your project scores a perfect 300.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Want reclaimed vat stock? First you’ve got to dismantle a 17′ tall barrel.

 

reclaimed wine vat stock paneling door cabinetry by new woodworks

Mineral & wine stains, natural color variations, and clean grain makes reclaimed wine vat stock a favorite for paneling, cabinetry, doors, shelving, fixtures, and more.

We are fortunate to have a major wine production facility just down the road from our Farmington, New York shop. As part of their long-term modernization plan, we are called every 3 or 4 years to dismantle some decommissioned wine vats. The work is arduous but the wood that we are able to reclaim from these vats is well worth the labor.

wine barrels reclaimed vat stock

The 17 foot high wine barrels provide some of our favorite board stock, complete with deep patina and character and even the faint aroma of the wine they used to house.

Over the past ten years we’ve gotten some beautifully patina’d redwood, cypress, Douglas fir & white oak.

Having participated in two of the four scheduled vat deconstructions, I am always quick to share tales of the epic labors involved in the acquisition whenever someone expresses interest in the material.

For starters, the barrels are 17′ tall. They are spaced less than two feet apart and are typically located deep in the labyrinth-like recesses of a fully functioning production facility.

Each barrel is disassembled with the help of a pneumatic impact wrench, a sawzall, an electric grinder and our favorite tool – the sledge hammer!

 

 

This past summer, when we were asked to remove eight vats, we enlisted two members of New Energy Works (our sister company) to assist with the deconstruction. Andy and Matt, being timberframers, were accustomed to working at heights and were equipped with the safety harnesses. To their delight, they were given the responsibility for cutting loose and dropping the ceiling of each barrel.

In July, upstate NY temperatures typically reach the mid 80’s, but atop the vats our crew sweated through temperatures in the high 90’s and labored in grime and dust that had accumulated over 70+ years. It was not glamorous work.

After the ceiling was dropped we began dismantling the steel ribs that keep all the wooden staves cinched together. Two ribs were always left intact towards the bottom to prevent the entire vat from potentially collapsing outwards.

The most physically taxing task for each barrel was knocking the first stave out with the sledge hammer. Because the vats fit together so tightly, the hammer was passed from one fatigued hand to another until the stave had been loosened enough to pry out.

Once this was accomplished we could begin the adrenaline inducing process of knocking individual (or sometime groups of) staves loose and then “guiding” them as they fell inwards. It was not always graceful but it was always thrilling.

 

 

 

 

 After the wood staves and steel ribs were carted out on a converted drywall dolly, all that was left was to dismantle the base.

Eight days later: Job complete!

Split in half, the staves show clear evidence of their pedigree. The exterior boards exhibit a dark patina with perpendicular markings left by the steel ribs. The interior boards retain a red/pinkish stain left from 70+ years of having been a vessel for millions of gallons of Finger Lakes Wine.

Wine vat stock, lightly planed (alternating exterior and interior boards).

You don’t have to be a wine fanatic to appreciate this reclaimed wood. It’s beautiful and has a vivid story to tell.

 

 

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