Last summer we traveled all across the country pulling up gym floors. Our guys were in Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Kansas, New Hampshire and Illinois. This summer we were fortunate enough to get a gym floor in our own back yard. Located in Geneva, this project is close enough that we were able to send an all-star crew of our regular denailers and sawyers to do the dirty work. Though I’m sure none of them considered this a vacation, it’s always nice to have a change in routine and be free of the shop for a few days. Plus, in Geneva there are good eateries in abundance when lunch time rolls around.
By the end of this week this handsome material will be available to the public.
Pam’s patio was suffering from a lack of use, and she realized that was probably due to a lack of personality. The custom concrete work wasn’t doing quite enough to draw the family outside.
The concrete block wall didn’t do enough to complement the beautiful custom textured concrete patio.
Previously clad in plain plywood, the storage area under the deck now features custom made doors on specialty hardware.
Looking for something more exiting that typical siding, Pam wanted something to really ‘pop’ and liven up the space and she knew that reclaimed Barn Siding would do just that. Opting for the Mixed Brown-Grey product that includes the full range of weathered colors, she also varied the layout, mixing vertical and horizontal and even building a custom pair of barn style doors with a modern vibe.
The end result (paired with a splash of color on the glass doors) is a lively, live-able patio, that the whole family loves!
The completed patio is a dramatic change- the siding and fun punch of color on the doors make a huge difference. Now the space is modern and inviting.
As the summer begins to wane we are seeing the first truckloads of wood come in from the Esquire Novelty Building in Amsterdam, NY. These Heart Pine timbers are arriving just in time to fill a growing number of Character Select Heart Pine orders that have appeared on our production board recently.
We first looked at this building back in 2005 but the demolition was delayed until recently.
Dating from the turn of the last century (it is first listed on an 1905 survey map) this building was originally part of what was known as the Mohasco mills complex.
Mohasco Mills was home to a large carpet-producing industry.
Lured to the Southern States by lucrative financial incentives, the carpet mills vacated the site in the late 1950’s and 60’s. The property remained vacant until Esquire Novelty, following the lead of several other Toy manufacturers who relocated to Amsterdam in the 1970’s and 80’s, moved into the Building #17 which once housed the weave mill.
Esquire, which later moved it’s operations to China, produced jump ropes and other toys but is most known for its historically accurate, highly detailed, toy guns.
The Esquire Novelty building was among the last of the Mohasco Mills structures to survive. Many of the other buildings succumbed to arson and controlled implosions.
TJ, Cal, and Dave modeling the new ‘Rip Saw’ boot from Timberland. Appropriately enough, that timber they’re sitting on is on the deck of our mill’s rip saw.
A few months ago we were contacted by a representative from Timberland PRO. In the process of designing a new boot for professional use, they were looking for some real-world feedback from guys in the field and wanted to know if our team might be interested in helping. 10 of our hardworking team members would be provided with a brand new pair of work boots, and all they needed to do in return was give their honest opinions.
The “wood-grain” wrapping paper and hinge patterned tape was perfect for us!
The boots arrived yesterday after months in development and we had the chance to get everyone’s first impressions. Even though it’s 90 degrees here, the guys laced up their new “logger” style, tall shaft boots and headed back out to the shop.
Designed for professionals, hopefully these new boots will keep our team comfortably on their feet.
So far the thing we’ve heard most is “Wow! These are really comfortable!”. One of the guys even tossed his old boots right into the garbage. The team seems impressed with Timberland’s hard work designing these work-tough boots and the anti-fatigue technology is helping them stay on their feet longer with more comfort. We’re thrilled to have been selected to participate in this test and will continue to pass on the feedback to Timberland.
You’ll likely see these boots in stores later this year.
Tony’s old boots were on their way out, so when the new Timberlands arrived, he promptly put threw his old boots in the trash.
They’re taller than the pair he had on, but Jake tells us they are “really comfortable”.
Timber framing and barn siding? Yes! Jennifer’s bathroom, featured in an earlier post, has now found its way into print. Our Roblyn Powley is quoted extensively – well said Roblyn! The article below is published in the August 2013 issue of Timber Home Living magazine.
All the wood flooring that we sell at Pioneer Millworks carries traces of its previous life. Nail holes, saw marks, original patina and weathered textures are our bread and butter. One product that screams its autheticity as a reclaimed product though is our Foundry Flooring.
Foundry flooring is original factory flooring that is carefully salvaged and re-used without any additional milling. These boards retain all the wear, scuff marks and original patina that is evidence of years of use. They can be lightly sanded and finished or installed without any additional finishing at all.
Our Foundry material is a limited edition product. We typically acquire it in batches of 6,000 to 20,000 square feet. On the occasion that we are able to find a demolition contractor with the skill, resources and patience to remove the flooring from an old factory building (it’s difficult work; I know because I’ve done it), we happily secure all the product that they are able to provide.
Each batch has it’s own individual look.
Here are some images of some recent batches that we’ve had in inventory.
I assume that Roblyn, one of our sales staff, is taking notes on her smart phone and not texting her BFF during this educational opportunity.
Recently, my co-worker Josh and I hosted an informal wood identification seminar for our fellow employees here at Pioneer Millworks and New Energy Works. It was not the first time we had been asked to present on the topic. Years ago, when we worked together out in the yard, we developed a reputation as wood identification sleuths of sorts. It was our job at the time to inventory all the tractor trailer loads of reclaimed wood that arrived daily from our suppliers across the northeast. We would sort through these timbers and measure and identify each piece. In the beginning we knew nothing. But we learned to identify one species at a time until even the odd red elm timber could be spotted with a quick slice of the end-grain.
How did we acquire this knowledge? One book: Bruce Hoadley’s Identifying Wood With Simple Tools! The book is a fantastic resource. It’s a clearly written guide to wood anatomy written for the amateur scientist/passionate woodworker in all of us. The encyclopedic collection of end-grain photographs in the second half of the book is worth the cover price alone.
Years ago, when we were first asked to present to our co-workers, Josh and I put together this goofy but educational YouTube video,
This time around we conspired to have the real Bruce Hoadley Skype in to our presentation. We got the next best thing.
Our presentation also involved a brief but intense game of “wood identification bingo”. The winner, Hans of our fine woodworking group NEWwoodworks, was awarded a brand new copy of Bruce Hoadley’s book.
We kind of feel like we celebrate the earth all year round here given that our focus is the salvage and re-purposing of antique wood. But there are a lot of other ways that we (and all of us) can work to live a little bit “greener”. Whether it’s something as simple as switching to energy efficient light bulbs or as large scale as building a sustainable home, each effort we make will have an impact.
This year, I downloaded a new app for my phone that will help me sort my recyclables, while we here at Pioneer Millworks participated in the Forest Stewardship Council’s “Hug a Tree, Hug FSC” campaign to help raise awareness about the hard work the FSC is doing and all of the amazing FSC products we’re surrounded by day to day.
What did you do to celebrate Earth Day this year? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
Until next time, stay green!
Pioneer Millworks’ staff members show their love for FSC Certified Recycled wood. While it’s Earth Day today, we do this everyday because we believe in what we do.
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 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.
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.
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 less dramatic and cools down the warmer brown boards.
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.