Our humble beginnings...
As a young boy, I grew up on a small farm in the midwest. I played and worked in the loft of a massive wood barn built in the 1870’s by a man named C.D. Hahn. I always remembered that because it seemed to me that he must have taken pride in his work, as his name was done in 2 foot tall letters below the peak on the end wall. Despite being painted over numerous times, the letters still showed through. My wife also grew up on a farm in mid Nebraska and played in a huge barn that had a loft big enough to play basketball in. She has many fond memories of that barn.
As we grew up, we watched these barns being dozed into a pile and burned with more and more frequency, often with need for only a little repair to remain standing for many more years of service. Most often, it was done to clear more farm ground. There was a sadness in me with the loss of these magnificent old structures that had sheltered so many animals and crops thru the decades. For many years, on our travels , I would tell my wife “ If they just would have put a new roof on that barn”
Years Later, We have found a way to let the history of these barns live on through the beauty of the now aged wood used to construct them, carefully crafted into a piece of furniture, rustic yet fine in their lines. Each piece, with a History attached, of the structure from which it originated.
We choose to use reclaimed lumber instead of newly sawn, not only to help preserve a small part of history, but also to help conserve the limited resources we now have in our Country. Many of these barns were built in the mid to late 1800‘s, often from forests that had never before been harvested. Some were constructed of hand-hewn timbers when no sawmill was available or the builder was trying to conserve limited funds. Imagine the stories these old timbers could tell if they could speak!
Many of these structures continue to be dozed down and burned. We attempt with all urgency to prevent that from happening, instead, salvaging the lumber with careful deconstruction to give this old lumber a new life. “Redeemed” --- bought with a price and given another life!
Many of the barns we use have been found on lazy afternoon drives or trips across the country. We look for structures that appear to not be in use or in need of repair. Others were found when word got around that we were looking for old structures to dismantle.
The wood comes from old barns taken down across the country. Many, in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. The barns we choose are between 100 to 150 years old. The species are generally oak, heart pine and sometimes fir or chestnut. Occasionally we will find walnut or cherry in these structures.
Only the YEARS of rain, snow, sun, wind and oxidation can give the wood this rich and beautiful patina. We never use substandard materials in our Heirloom Furniture, although the occasional wormhole, small check or nail hole, stained black from the iron, add to the natural beauty and character of the piece.
First, we clean, de-nail, sort and stack the lumber in sheds. Then we load it on carts and place it into a kiln to complete the drying process from air dry, to around 8%. This allows the furniture to be built without the likelyhood of cracking or checking once the wood is joined.
We then hand pick lumber with similar and sometimes, contrasting tones, often depending on the unique history and the “mood” of the piece we are creating. Our furniture is truly built to be Heirloom Furniture and although power tools are used, much of the joinery is done in the “old ways” with a mallet and chisels and other hand tools.
The finish on our furniture is done painstakingly. Look closely at our pictures. The wood’s natural shades and textures show through beautifully, with the surface remaining like satin to the touch.
We use only high quality hardware on each of our pieces. When possible and if desired by the customer, we use antique or original hardware from the structures or equine equipment found on site. Customers may also choose new pulls and knobs from a large selection. Our drawer slides are most often full opening, ball bearing heavy duty slides, but other options are available such as soft close, self closing and others. All the hinges we use are heavy duty and the type is dependent on door configuration and customer preference. You may choose from several types of glass for our pieces that have glass in the door fronts. You may also choose the stain and finish you like. We will be glad to discuss all of the options and assist you in the decision process in any way possible.
We can also build any piece of furniture to your specifications or match other furniture previously purchased. If you can dream it, we can build it!