What’s new in The Big Apple

Jered has been trekking to NYC quite often over the past few months and has snapped many pictures of our wood in use. Flooring, paneling, and siding are most common but there are new twists including patterns, shapes, and finishes.

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We’re so inspired by this blasted Foundry Maple wall at WeWork on Broadway.

 

At Pop at Pod restaurant in Manhattan, you’ll find sanded reclaimed gymnasium flooring from a high school in Minnesota, and rough-sawn FSC Certified Western Red Cedar ceiling t&g.

At Pop at Pod restaurant in Manhattan, you’ll find sanded reclaimed gymnasium flooring from a high school in Minnesota, and rough-sawn FSC Certified Western Red Cedar ceiling t&g.

Chop't Creative Salad Company in Brookfield Place features a creative use of reclaimed Settlers' Plank Oak in a herringbone pattern.

Chop’t Creative Salad Company in Brookfield Place features a creative use of reclaimed Settlers’ Plank Oak in a herringbone pattern.

 

Jered stopped in at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, off of East Houston, and spotted a nice vertical grain reclaimed Heart Pine counter crafted by our sister company NEWwoodworks. (He also said the chicken is absolutely amazing!)

Jered stopped in at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, off of East Houston, and spotted a nice vertical grain reclaimed Heart Pine counter crafted by our sister company NEWwoodworks. (He also said the chicken is absolutely amazing!)

Timberland's corporate showroom in NYC incorporated American Gothic reclaimed oak flooring and paneling, as well as reclaimed white pine ceiling joists salvaged from a sawmill in New Hampshire.

Timberland’s corporate showroom in NYC incorporated American Gothic reclaimed oak flooring and paneling, as well as reclaimed white pine ceiling joists salvaged from a sawmill in New Hampshire.

 

Heart Pine on the facade of this Brooklyn pasta restaurant warmly welcomes its guests. Beveled edges define the planks and add texture while the character complements the clean horizontal lines.

Heart Pine on the facade of this Brooklyn pasta restaurant warmly welcomes its guests. Beveled edges define the planks and add texture while the character complements the clean horizontal lines.

 

We shipped out some industrial salvaged wood for wall cladding to the very first Wolverine company store, located in in Nolita. The old planks were split in half and wire-brushed, giving the look of an industrial stacked wall. The client, contractor, and patrons are thrilled with the finished appearance and we have to agree - it turned out pretty darn cool.

We shipped out some industrial salvaged wood for wall cladding to the very first Wolverine company store, located in in Nolita. The old planks were split in half and wire-brushed, giving the look of an industrial stacked wall. The client, contractor, and patrons are thrilled with the finished appearance and we have to agree – it turned out pretty darn cool.

 

The overlapping and alternating corners of the reclaimed Ash planks add visual interest to the wall, cabinets, and cashier wrap at Charlie Bird restaurant in SoHo.

The overlapping and alternating corners of the reclaimed Ash planks add visual interest to the wall, cabinets, and cashier wrap at Charlie Bird restaurant in SoHo.

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All you need is just a little patience

Anyone who’s lived through a remodeling project in their home knows that things often don’t go exactly as planned, or finish in the time originally anticipated.

Our client Jennifer came to see us back when the weather was still nice and  I just recently had the opportunity to visit her home and take a look at her newly completed master bathroom remodel. The expanded space incorporates our Mixed Brown-Grey Barn Siding throughout.

The reclaimed Barn Siding wraps all of the master bath's walls as well as the box beams at the ceiling.  The beams are hollow and incorporate lighting in them to illuminate the ceiling.

The reclaimed Barn Siding wraps all of the master bath’s walls as well as the box beams at the ceiling. The beams are hollow and incorporate lighting in them to illuminate the ceiling.

The home itself is an 1800s barn on a rolling, wooded lot so the barn siding was a perfect fit for the aesthetic of the space, but Jennifer also wanted to incorporate a contemporary feel which she accomplished by including bright white cabinetry with clean lines and the crisp, modern fixtures and tiles.

 

Reclaimed Barn Siding naturally has variations in thickness due to the irregular weathering of the boards on the barn. The contractors here carefully planed the back of each piece to lessen this effect and create a more uniform surface on the walls.

Reclaimed Barn Siding naturally has variations in thickness due to the irregular weathering of the boards on the barn. The contractors here carefully planed the back of each piece to lessen this effect and create a more uniform surface on the walls.

As with many remodeling projects, there were snags and delays along the way- demolition that took longer than anticipated and design changes on the fly. Jennifer and her construction team also took their time with the details.  The Barn Siding for the walls was planed on site to totally eliminate any variation in thickness and Jennifer hand applied a very subtle finish to soften the naturally dramatic color variation in the Mixed Brown-Grey planks. Additionally the vanity was custom designed and built to fit the room and a large new master closet was created using space from the garage.

A narrow strip of the Barn Siding also finishes the front of the fully custom tile-topped vanity.

A narrow strip of the Barn Siding also finishes the front of the fully custom tile-topped vanity.

The Barn Siding is also used as the tub skirt, complementing the light tones of the wood-grain tiles.  The homeowner has a strong DIY streak and made the area rug herself with leather scraps and a loom.

The Barn Siding is also used as the tub skirt, complementing the light tones of the wood-grain tiles. The homeowner has a strong DIY streak and made the area rug herself with leather scraps and a loom.

Ultimately, the results are worth the extra time spent. The carefully considered details make for a stunning, spa-like space that Jennifer can enjoy everyday. Her patience paid off in a big way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The homeowner applied a subtle white wash style finish to each plank.  This makes the variation in the Brown-Grey planks somewhat more subtle and cools down the warmer brown boards.

The homeowner applied a subtle white wash style finish to each plank. This makes the variation in the Brown-Grey planks somewhat less dramatic and cools down the warmer brown boards.

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Post-Industrial Tables

We aren’t the only ones making cool stuff with reclaimed wood.

This table-in-progress was shared with us by a client in Brooklyn who is working on a large run of these pieces in various sizes.  We supplied the reclaimed wood, rich with color variation and character sourced from the rail transport industry, and the design is all theirs.

“There are actually a lot of varieties of wood in this batch, which works out well for the design of this table” according to the designer that shared this image with us.  He also promised pictures of the finished products to come.

Reclaimed Oak with tons of character and variation forms the basis for this unique table design.  This is one of several sizes being produced by a millwork and furniture-making client of ours.making cli

Reclaimed Oak with tons of character and variation forms the basis for this unique table design. This is one of several sizes being produced by a millwork and furniture-making client of ours.

 

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Why Dry?

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking about our kiln in the context of conservation (we use our scraps to fire our kiln, lessening our waste- how cool!) but you might wonder why our kiln is such a big deal at all.

“Pioneer Millworks, why do you dry your wood?”, we’re asked, “If it’s reclaimed, doesn’t that mean it’s already pretty dry?”   “Why do I care if it’s dried when I can buy reclaimed barn siding somewhere else for one dollar per square foot?!”

All good questions!

The kiln at our Farmington, NY location is running day and night, all year long.

Our production team uses moisture meters to determine the moisture content of our reclaimed materials. There are different requirements for boards and timbers due to the material thickness.

We dry all of the wood that we process into our beautiful reclaimed flooring, siding and wall paneling for a couple of very important reasons.  While it is true that reclaimed wood does tend to be drier than fresh sawn products, the raw materials we use are exposed to environmental moisture both at the original site and here at our facility.  This means the wood is not quite as dry as it could be, and probably not as dry as your home, or office or restaurant.  Our reclaimed planks are dried to a 6%-9% moisture content and ultimately this means that the material is more dimensionally stable when you receive it at your job site.  Wet wood shrinks when it loses moisture, and the more moisture it has to lose, the more dramatic the change.  This shrinkage can result in cracking and buckling after installation.  While all wood expands and contracts as it absorbs and loses a small percentage of moisture over the course of the seasons, it is the significant change that can cause the greatest problems or possible installation failure.

Our reclaimed boards are stacked and “stickered” prior to drying in the kiln- small pieces of wood are placed in between the layers as the boards are stacked to allow the heated air of the kiln to circulate around the material.

Drying the material also helps us maintain our quality milling.  With a consistent moisture content, we can generally be assured that we won’t have a batch of flooring that moves or shrinks to a greater degree than another while it is waiting to be milled or after the milling process.

The other big reason that we take kiln drying so seriously is the possibility of insect infestation.  No one wants to think about bugs in their barn siding, but old wood will very likely have, at some point, insects living in or on it.  It’s not a very exciting thing to talk about, but it’s a very real concern in the reclaimed wood industry.

The high heat of the kiln drives out and kills any insects that may be inhabiting our reclaimed materials.  Kiln drying, like all of the other parts of our production process contributes to material cost, but also ensures that reclaimed floor or paneling you install is product that you will be satisfied with.  And we really, really don’t want you to accidentally bring insects into your home (or office, or restaurant – yuck!).

Powder Post Beetles are among the insects that we commonly find evidence of in reclaimed wood. The telltale holes and trails give the planks wonderful character – after the bugs are gone.

Kiln drying is critical to the quality and value of our products and just one of the many ways we differ from others in the reclaimed wood market.  What other questions do you have about our processes and methods?  Is there anything else you’re curious about?  We love to talk about our products and what sets us apart from the rest…

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