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.
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.
It’s Earth Day!
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!
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
Ray has been working with a client seeking a sleek, high contrast look and they turned to our good friend Ash to make it happen. We’ve talked a little bit about custom finishes and Ash in particular as a species that is super flexible and looks great with just about any finish you can think of to apply. But if you walk out in to our shop today you’ll see something pretty dramatic.
Rows and rows of black wood planks.
This project calls for Ash to become its own opposite. Dark, smooth and glossy boards will contrast with bright whites and a two-tone grey combination. Not a hint of warm gold to be found. The finishing team has been dedicated to this project, working their way through multiple colors, wiping and top coat applications, literally hand crafting each individual board.
We’ve found ourselves doing more and more of this custom finishing lately and the team has been having fun flexing their creative muscles, helping put together exactly the right look for our clients’ projects.
I personally can’t wait to see the finished installation…
Keep you posted!
We see it all here. Our projects run the gamut from commercial to residential, floors to walls and everywhere in between. And a lot of what our clients ask for isn’t “standard” and doesn’t bear any resemblance to the ‘log cabin’ look people often associate with reclaimed wood. This salon in Boston exudes modern cool with our Weathered White Barn Siding on the walls and reception desk.
In this particular application, the owners needed not only to encapsulate the original paint to prevent flaking but also to make sure that the material met the requirements for the fire code. We were able to help them find a solution that served both purposes- a clear, uniform coating, with a Class A fire rating.
As the planks wind their way through the reception, salon and retail spaces, the distressed wood holds your interest, while the monochrome color scheme keeps the look fresh. The finish reflects the light and contrasts the textures. Nothing about this barn wood application says barn.
Until next time!
We can’t get enough of the pictures our clients share with us when their work is completed!
Recently we received some images from homeowners outside of Seattle, WA. The home, nestled in a wooded setting included existing rugged timbers and Ross worked with them to find a product that would complement the space and their comfortable style. Enter our Settlers’ Plank Mixed Hardwoods.
The varied colors and textures combine to create a floor that is durable, forgiving and not too fussy. It’s a perfect fit with a combination of vintage and modern accessories. Often we see this floor finished with a penetrating Tung Oil, but here the owner opted for a water-based polyurethane, keeping the color tones lighter and cooler- truer to the unfinished look of the material. It’s a great choice.
The flooring flows throughout the main living space of the home, unifying the various areas of the large open space and on into the office where it is again paired with cool paint tones, warm wood and bright white accents.
Our homeowners let us know that they “absolutely love how the floors turned out and get tons of compliments.”
Which is the best compliment that we can get!
I had the rare opportunity to visit a project in its very infancy last week in New York City, one that will become a retail space, wine tasting room, and several floors of condos. To most material suppliers, the demolition stage of a project isn’t much to see, but to those of us with a passion for wood and an eye to the past, it can tell us a lot about the building, and give some direction to what materials would be a good fit for the project.
The photo above is rotated 180 degrees, and it caught my eye while coming upstairs from the basement level. The CW Wilson Lumber Company was located in Brooklyn and was in its prime around the turn of the century. The original structure here was built in 1852, but it seems as though at least the first floor was renovated at some point, considering the varied sizes and species of the joists and the types of sawing used. Paying homage to the original materials, we’ll be working with reclaimed Heart Pine from some amazing timbers in our yard. What’s more amazing though, is the transformation this space will undergo.
From the beginning of a project here, to completion of a restaurant north of the city:
Racanelli’s New York Italian was recently opened after renovations to the original 40-year old space. I worked with the architects and the owners to select weathered barn siding for the walls, and chunky original floor joists for the ceilings and shelves. While the original intent of the barn siding was the inside brown face, the original weathered reds were used occasionally to pick up on the rich tones of the brick walls.
Racanelli’s is located in Scarsdale, NY, a short train ride on the Harlem line from Penn Station. Order the Pappardelle Bolognese. Trust me.
The old saying about New York is that it is “the city that never sleeps”. When you’re wearing the soles off your shoes every day though, you have to have some down time. The Pod Hotel on 39th St just opened their lounge on the first floor, complete with a full bar, plenty of seating, and…..ping pong tables!
Maybe you’ve spotted some of our work in other locations around New York? Chances are, if you’ve been in a new restaurant or retail store in the city, you’ve seen wood from us here at Pioneer Millworks. Keep in touch, there’s sure to be more.