Reclaimed Barnwood Process

Reclaimed Barn wood Process

Western Heritage Furniture has redefined the term “renewable resource” with our nationwide old-growth reclamation efforts. Our vision started with the landscape and lore of the American West, and for us there is no greater wellspring of inspiration.

Old Growth Timber

Every piece of our furniture tells a story. The story doesn’t start in our shop, but rather hundreds of years ago in a vast virgin forest, when the first European settlers were landing our our continental shores. The saplings born in this era eventually grew to monumental heights, and provided a stock of lumber to the westward expansion. We refer to these original American woodlands as “Old Growth” forests.

Of the generations of trees that followed, only the Old Growth forests can lay claim to being the eldest and most grand of them all. It is these mighty timbers that the pioneers felled to create the structures that secured their well-being. No longer available, the only sources for Old Growth Timber would be to reclaim it from our ancestors. The modest hand tools and construction techniques employed at the time created a signature that defines this fleeting resource.

Barn Reclamation

Drive through the heartland of America, and you will pass hundreds, if not thousands, of old run-down wooden barns, railcars, mail-order homes and historical buildings that sit idle after generations of use. Exposure to the elements has slowly eroded their original form. An eyesore to some, and a hindrance to others, we see these structures as a diminishing resource that we attempt to reclaim before they are dozed, burned or disintegrate.
Old Barn Drawing
We seek out buildings that are testaments to the traditional construction processes used by our ancestors, seasoned through lifetimes of natural weathering and hardship that only mother nature herself can provide. The barns and houses that we reclaim are meticulously disassembled, in order to preserve the character and history that follows each board. We take pride in knowing that our primary construction material is as old as our country herself, and a living tribute to our heritage. Once we have a building dismantled and the wood delivered to our shop, we grade each board to obtain only the soundest of boards suitable for our furniture. Our boards are handpicked to ensure that they are dry, stable, and free of structural issues caused by high levels of moisture.

~ The Construction Process ~

Sorting and Grading

is the first step once a building is dismantled and the wood delivered to our shop. We thoroughly inspect and grade each board to obtain only the soundest of boards suitable for our furniture. If the board does not pass our inspection, it does not make the cut. After we have separated out the lumber that does not meet our stringent standards, the highest quality boards are separated into over a dozen different categories, based on weathering, grain, color, size, character marks, and structural potential. Our designs and patterns require a specific and rather lengthy selection process, in order to provide the tones, structural integrity, contrasts and character only found in Western Heritage’s products.
Preparing reclaimed barn wood for use as fine-furniture material is more of an art than a process. Each piece of reclaimed wood is very unique with its own characteristics: nail holes, notches, cracks, stains, ax marks, old brands and the occasional “I love Jenny,” are all elements to be preserved. These character marks, along with the intrinsic coloration, patterns and grains present in the reclaimed wood determine the classification each board as it enters our shop. These various classifications are critical to our designs. Each piece is distinct in its history, beauty, and was harvested, most likely by hand, by the original craftsman 100-200 years ago.New Paragraph

Wood Selection is the most critical step in creating the beautiful patterns and mosaics found in our furniture. A detail only seen in Western Heritage Furniture’s products, is the elegant arrangement of contrasting colors and character in our reclaimed woods. The rainbow of colors along with the tell-tale saw marks and nail holes present in our furniture are anything but random. Our designs require specific placements of the various categories of reclaimed wood, with the personality of each piece born in the wood selection process.

We determine the coloration and textures of our final product not through staining or distressing, but specifically through our experience and knowledge of selecting barn wood. In larger production shops, classifications are non-existent, and these meticulous steps are ignored, evident by the flat mono-tone appearance of their creations.

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