Saturday, January 2, 2016

Barn Wood

Barn wood is sort of "trendy" (I think... I don't really notice trends until they're a good six months old). Basically, barn wood is whatever wood formed the exterior of a barn, was ripped off of that barn, and finds its way into your woodshop. More details after the jump.

This barn wood came off of a barn on an old farm in Oklahoma. I know this because it was my Great Grandfather's barn.

When working with barn wood you get a handful of interesting things. Think about it this way: It's 1889 and you just rushed into Indian Territory (ahead of schedule, sorry... uh... law abiding thieves of native land?), staked out a homestead, and have a lot of problems, not least of which is feeding your starving family. You need a barn; you build a barn. You build your barn out of, honestly, whatever is lying around, and if you're lucky you paint it.

Fast forward one hundred + years to today when the barn wood is "reclaimed" (let's be honest, scavenged) by intrepid woodworkers. What you have is uneven, unfinished, weathered, dirty, material. Peel all the boards off a barn and you're apt to find multiple different species of wood. Most, if not all, of the wood is dirty and weathered to a grayish hue. Look at the first picture, the wood fibers have worn away in places, leaving a rough surface.

But the middle is clear
Cut an edge or plane a surface, and you get gleaming unmarked wood. Of course the point is to have the gray, weathered, color.

This will ultimately hold an engagement photo, but this was taken before I put it in.

Nowadays, barn wood is commonly used now to make picture frames, frames for mirrors, etc. The unique, extremely rough, texture of the weathering process makes it unsuitable for the kinds of uses that would have you touching the surface often (think table top, counter top, etc.).

No comments:

Post a Comment