Barn Wood Funiture

Admittedly I’m not good at keeping up with my blog, but keep in mind that anything that is a distraction from time spent in the shop is noise I don’t want to deal with. At the same time it’s fun to share what I do with the world.

For now I have delayed the strong box project and am working on building with found or reclaimed wood. My first attempts at building with old pallets was not what I would consider a success. When building with found/ free materials it’s all about the quality of the material. Pallet wood has the benefits of being cheep and easy to find but it comes with the chore of taking the blasted things apart, which from my experience is more work than it’s worth.

My alternative discovery was to use old barn wood. A friend of mine pulled some amazing raw materials off his old decaying barn. In contrast to old pallets,  the barn wood has much more meat to work with. Parts were rotten where they were touching the ground, but over all the decay was only skin deep, the white wash patina belied the sold oak interior.

My process of construction was aimed at doing as little as possible to the wood in transforming it into furniture.  As a  rule I did not touch the weathered patina and used as much of the wood in its original state as possible. I could’t for the life of me bring myself to run the wood through my plainer for two reasons, first I don’t want to screw up my planer with sand, grit, or hidden nails, and secondly and most importantly did not want to remove 100 years of age from such a time earned surface.

The build was fast. It took two days to build three pieces of furniture. The tools I used included a circular saw, a jig saw to cut the mortises, and hand saws for the tenons, and chisels for clean up. All the joints were individually scribed from pieces-to-piece to account for warped surfaces. Considering how quick the process went the results turned out great. I had originally made these to sell but now want to hang on to them for my back patio.

Woodworking is a constant learning process, I don’t think I will ever get to the point where I know all that I want to know about the process. This project helped to remind me what I love about woodworking, the satisfaction of making, and taught me that working below my highest skill level is fun. Sometimes just getting it done can be a satisfying experience.


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