Wow. It’s been an eventful day! I visited a friend who works out at Pioneer Millworks (PioneerMillworks.com) this afternoon, and hauled in quite a load! Pioneer specializes in reclaimed wood flooring, but also provides timber framing and millwork services. They receive massive beams from old barns, factories, and other structures as well as flooring planks, massive joists, and plank siding from all over the northeast. It was mind boggling to see their outdoor lumber yard plump with what must have been dozens, if not hundreds of old structures, all stacked and stickered while waiting to begin a new life. I could write a full post just covering what I saw there today, but I’d do a disservice to you and to them without including photos. I’ll be sure to get out there again in the next few weeks and snap away lots of pics.
For now: let the wood gloat begin!
First up are three 16/4 oak posts. These are 4”x4”x8 feet long! They were discarded because of their odd size and a couple mortises. I suppose it was not worthwhile for the mill to de-nail, resaw, dimension, sand and mill these into less than 8 square feet of usable flooring each. I don’t mind that at all!
The board in the middle of the bunch there is beech. It’s 10/4 by 5” and 8’ long. There is also a shorter piece of oak sitting there too. I’ve got a laundry list of projects waiting for stock this size! Those who saw my first workbench in this video will agree. Have a look see:
All in a row:
Ok. Now the awesome: Pioneer did a job a few years back milling flooring from sections of the old Coney Island Boardwalk. The boards themselves were thick planks of mixed tropical hardwoods. I’m no expert on tropical woods, but since it looks like cherry to me, I’m guessing it may be Ipe or some type of mahogany (again, I’m no expert and maybe cherry looks nothing like those woods to more discerning eyes!). After resawing what they needed for the flooring, they were left with thin top layers less than 1/2” thick. These leftovers are uneven in thickness, and too thin for most flooring applications. Perhaps they could plane them down to make a thin wear layer for engineered flooring, but I’m guessing that they already would have done so if it was financially feasible. However, it does make great paneling! I’ll be using mine for a special project I was asked to do by a midwife friend of ours: a birthing stool! Imagine coming into this world on the boardwalk of Coney Island! I’ll definitely be posting more about this project as it develops :)
Anyway, I picked up a few square feet of this stuff, too. Here be the pics:
Beach sand and salt still embedded!
More grain close-up:
Best part is I got a great deal on this wood (and I didn’t even tell anyone I was going to blog about them ;) If you’re in the Upstate, NY area, give these guys a call. Although they specialize in flooring, they seem to have enough additional odd stuff to keep us woodworkers happy. I know I am.
They’ll also be having a “friends and family” sale on March 21st, and I’m told they’ll be pulling out a lot of stuff just for woodworkers. Although I was there well over an hour today, I haven’t seen a fraction of their surprises!
Thanks for looking!
-- Jesse --