Satisfaction Guaranteed

Pine Decking floor as received by client

Recently we milled a floor for a client of ours using a batch of pine decking that we had acquired from an old factory. This decking material was painted white on the underside and when we split them in half we got a floor that was a 50/50 mix of brown and white patina.

Reclaimed Pine Decking floor after installation

Upon installation our client felt that the resulting floor, though stunning, was too funky with it’s contrasting whites and darks for their project. They had been hoping for a more unified patina.

To amend the situation my co-worker TJ and I, fresh from the previous night’s company holiday party, boarded a 6 am flight to Texas.

In addition to some shorts, we packed a random orbital sander and wire brusher.

Wire-brusher and sander

Over the course of the weekend we sanded and brushed each board. We took special care to take the white painted boards down to a more worn ghostly patina, and we polished up the brown boards to accentuate the grain of the pine.

The floor after an intimate brushing and sanding

Though I personally  would have been happy to put the original floor in my own home, the new brushed and sanded floor looks exquisite! It has the authentic look of an old factory floor that has been worn for decades.

Before and After

…and we even had some time to sample the local Houston culture. This boozy chicken shared our table at a Bar-B-Q joint called the Hungry Farmer.Regardless of your politics, how could you not admire this debonair sculpture of President George H. W. Bush with his coat tossed casually over his shoulder and his tie blowing in the wind? He certainly embodied our sense of satisfaction as we headed home, feeling that we had left a job well done.

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Everything changes, except for the opening date.

Rather than defecting out bolt holes, why not make them an integral part of the design? Old meets new, rough meets clean, dull meets shiny.

 

The old adage in retail construction is “Everything changes, except for the opening date.”  This is incredibly true, and despite all the planning in the world, sometimes there’s just not a lot of time to pull a project together. Recently, one of our customers needed 40 sf of custom T&G for a wall panel for a new store overseas, and it had to be in a container 48 hours from the beginning of the conversation.  Within 3 hours, we had the stock milled, packaged, and ready to be picked up by UPS, who got it to the container terminal with time to spare. It’s in our DNA to jump through hoops. We know that even a small quantity such as this can make or break the visual impact of a design. We’re continually honing our ability to recommend a material that we know will work with the design, be logical to mill to order, and ship out quickly.

To most, it is a stack of old wood. To our trained eyes, it is a stack of possibilities. How would you use these recycled wine vats?

Each project presents us with opportunities for using materials in our vast stock to make every installation special.  We don’t limit ourselves to what is seen on our extensive website, although there are plenty of options available. Our team of sales people, hail from design & construction backgrounds and enjoy finding the perfect wood to set the project apart. A recent restaurant installation in Rochester NY is a great example of this type of effort. Looking beyond the original use of the wood as trusses in a factory, I worked with the owner to develop these planks which celebrate the history of the wood, right down to the old shear ring marks surrounding the bolt holes.

Our teams works seamlessly together allowing for fast project fulfillment, handling the occasional “wood emergency” with ease.

Of course, if we cant get a product to the job site efficiently then none of our work matters. Commercial construction often mandates deliveries be made at times well before the opening of the mall, or while traffic is at a minimum on city streets. Our shipping coordinator, Renee Knowles, has assembled a team of transportation providers that go above and beyond to work with strict delivery requirements.  Need a 4 am delivery?  No problem. Accurate documentation, communication with the job site and trucking company, and easy-to-manage packaging make it easy.

Clear labels on our protective lumber wrap help the job site know where to direct every skid during hectic offloads.

What challenges do you face in your projects when it comes to selecting reclaimed wood?  Let us know, and we can help you hit your opening date. Because we completely understand – it is the one thing that never changes.

 

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Reclaimed Gym Flooring Installation

Heart Pine in my studio.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a large commercial installation of some reclaimed Gym Floor. It was a good experience for me because the largest install that I had done to date was about 100 square feet of Premium Select Vertical Grain Heart Pine in a small studio of mine.

With our trusted friends Walter and Eric of Veteran Wood Floors, LLC., I witnessed, and lent a hand in, the laying down of over 15,000 square feet in a little over 3 days.

Three days was about how long I spent laying my studio floor. It was a very casual experience as I hand picked each piece and the whole floor was assembled like a precious puzzle.

Walter and Eric did not have that luxury. Time was of the essence. Aided by a crew of a dozen men working round the clock, the installation process was a relentless hustle where choices were made instinctively, on the fly.

Along with the original finish, various accent colors ranging from black to white, grey, yellow, green, orange, blue, purple, brown and red are left intact on this extremely durable grade.

 

Reclaimed Gym Floors require both a skilled hand during installation and an acute visual sensibility. Because the flooring is reused as-is (without any additional milling), gapping and irregularities are to be expected and the installer must be attentive to keep the rows straight. In addition, an effort must be made to keep the original paint markings evenly dispersed during installation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Layout, sorting, nailing.

 

Screening process.

Walter’s crew were installation pros. As one man nailed the flooring down, two guys would work ahead of him sorting and laying the pieces out.  At the end of each day, what had been installed was then screened, vacuumed and coated with single application of protective finish.

 

Screened floor.

 

Final Finish.

We installed a heavier mix of painted boards on the first floor.

The finished floor looks pretty wicked. It’s sporty, playful, durable, and one of a kind!

Nice work Veteran Wood Floors, LLC.

 

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Reclaimed Wood at the Worlds’ First Pizza Museum

Brian Dwyer and the other founders of Pizza Brain. From left: Ryan Anderson, Joseph Hunter, Brian Dwyer and Michael Carter. (Photo by Brian Dwyer)

 

Brian Dwyer has earned himself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as a purveyor of the largest collection of pizza memorabilia. Incorporating our reclaimed wood into his one-of-a-kind project also earned him a spot here, on our blog.

 

 

Brian and his partners recently opened the world’s first pizza museum and pizzeria in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia called Pizza Brain. I got the chance to work with them on their totally unique project.

 

I met the Pizza Brain team early on in the construction process and it was clear to me they wanted to incorporate as much reclaimed material as they could back into the museum/restaurant.

Our Settlers Plank reclaimed mixed hardwood flooring joined a tin ceiling which had been reclaimed from a nearby church, and the team even used discarded pianos to build the pizza bar! There is truly a long list of reclaimed products throughout the space – and that’s not even counting the pizza museum memorabilia pieces.

I stopped by the other day (captured a few images) and had lunch with one of the owners. Great food!!

 

Display cases built into the floor house pizza memorabilia which are frequently rearranged and refreshed. (The display case in the floor near me housed pizza related dolls!)

 

As I sat eating a piece of pizza, I noticed my eyes were drawn to the floor.  And it wasn’t just because of the rich browns, golds, tans, reds – the original wear marks, knots, saw marks, nail holes – but I was enamored with the display cases which are recessed into the floor. There are several displays scattered in the Settlers Plank mixed hardwoods. Each hold various pieces of pizza history and commercialization. They add to the uniqueness of this place.

 

Settlers’ Plank reclaimed mixed hardwoods offered just the right texture, durability, history, and visual interest the Pizza Brain team was looking for.

 

Brian Dwyer plans on constantly rotating the museum collection within the space, so each visit will be different from the last.  The next time I’m in for a slice, I can’t wait to glance at the floor and see what’s on display.

Pizza Brain is connected to Little Baby’s Ice Cream that also incorporated the Settlers Plank mixed hardwoods reclaimed flooring throughout their parlor. They offer plenty of unusual ice cream flavors including, of course, “pizza”.   On my next visit, I plan on sampling the Maryland barbecue flavor which combines Old Bay mixed with barbecue sauce.  Sounds delicious!

 

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