Back in the mid-1970s my dad, P.C. Snapp, and I got 1,000 board feet of wormy chestnut out of an old barn down in Caney Valley in Hawkins County, Tennessee with the help of my uncle Mike Grindstaff and friend Henry Derrick. Dad and I made picture frames, clocks, post office door banks and bookcases for people and we never charged a cent. They were gifts. That 1,000 board feet lasted us almost 30 years.
When he ran out of lumber I went to look for more. I found a barn that had a mix of wormy chestnut, oak, pine and popular. I kept the chestnut and found uses for the other species through area connections. With the help of Brent Buchanan we took down 74 barns in two-and-a half years.
The experts say if you reuse the lumber in an old barn you have [just] saved 300 trees. You do the math!
My crews and I were going out and reclaiming the siding and timbers off old pre-1940s barns that were either getting ready to fall or barns that were in the way of urban sprawl. We would try to get to them before the bulldozers did.
The barns retrieved were dismantled, de-nailed and the lumber was saved to make useful items or crafts giving those items another 100 years of life.
Our rustic pieces are everything from reclaimed flooring, bookcases, picture frames, gun racks, lazy Susan’s, harvest tables, clocks, banks, jewelry boxes, and almost any custom orders. Over the years we have concentrated on ‘rustic’ items for the home and fine cutting boards for the kitchen.
Because of the current economic climate, it is getting harder to find affordable reclaimed lumber. This caused us to look at more than just the old barns that were being destroyed by urban sprawl. We are now looking at the surrounding timber being cut down and are trying to give it a new life as well. We work with regional Sawyers and Mills to stay as local as possible.
The greatest part of this journey has been taking on new challenges. Your project is potentially that next great piece. Please don't hesitate to reach out through the "contact us" button or social links below. I look forward to working with you and creating pieces you can enjoy for years to come!