After I tore down my first barn I was hooked on old rough cut woodworking. Taking an old weathered piece of wood and turning it into a piece of art is very rewarding. One day while skimming through the classified ads I ran across an ad for a free barn. I called the number but figured it had already been taken, but to my surprise it was still available. I never gave much thought to old barn wood so I did a search and found old rough cut woodworking was very popular and valuable.
We made arrangements to to come down and look at the barn before I committed to anything. The owner had just bought the property and didn’t want the old barn on his site and was giving it away for the wood. He said his wife and him didn’t have the time of energy to tear it down. The barn was about 60 years old and still in decent shape. I shook hands with the owner and told him we would start tearing it down in a couple of days.
The old barn had a lot of oak,poplar and pine wood all in decent shape and rough cut sawmill lumber. The roof was tin and had been painted red just like the outside of the barn itself. I tested the paint to make sure it wasn’t lead based and it turned out to be water based paint that was about 20 years old.
You have to be careful with old building because paint made before 1978 could have lead in it. Lead based paint is harmful to humans so it is best to be safe. When tearing down an old building always wear a dust mask and gloves to protect yourself. Working with rough cut woodworking you have to use care with excess dust and nails sticking up.
We started tearing down the tin off the roof and then took all the rafters and cross boards off. The rafters and the cross boards were all sawmill cut pine and oak. Let me tell you about old lumber we discovered real fast, nails tend not to come out easy so make sure to use a good wrecking bar.
The loft sides were oak boards and came off fairly easy but the loft floor which was also was made out of oak came up a little hard but the right tools made the job easier. The floor joists were oak and pine and the stalls were made out of oak. There was some bad wood we had to throw away but in the end we got about 2000 sf of usable lumber.
It took a few days to take it down, haul it away and pull all the nails out. Pulling the nails was quite a task but in the long run we got a lot of beautiful wood to use for projects. Our plans were to use some of the wood to make projects with and sell some to pay for our time and overhead. If you are looking for inexpensive wood and don’t mind a little hard work then tearing down old barns and houses for rough cut woodworking can be very rewarding.
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