Hello, I am Tim from PA. I would not call myself an experienced woodworker by any means. I hope that my participation here is not taken in any negative way with regards to your craft.
Due to this past winter’s snow storms, I have been presented a situation and I really don’t know where to turn. Through some searches, I arrived at this forum in hopes of receiving advice.
On the property that I have been on for not even a year yet, there are several work sheds (or barns as we refer to them) in various states of disrepair. They all are in such a shambles that we would dare not enter into them to even explore. The plan was for someone to come in this summer and reclaim the barn wood just to begin cleaning up the property. This past winter, one of the largest ones collapsed under the weight of the snow. This prompted a call to a company that says they reclaim barn wood, however, when the representative came down our driveway, he didn’t even exit his car, telling us, with a rather disgusted look on his face, that this was not the type of work his company does. He may have been having a bad day, I don’t know, but I felt very stupid and disrespected at the same time. I am not blind and I can see that the barns make it look like a salvage yard in some places, but I had been under the impression that these reclamation companies deal with stuff like this all the time.
Our next step was to call cleaning and hauling companies to see if they could manage the clean up. The estimates were staggering to us and definitely not in our budget.
This led us to attempt to clean up ourselves. It is very difficult work and as we progressed we found excellent examples of barn wood and have built organized piles of good wood and bad wood. Just this past week, we neared the floor of one corner of the shed. As I carefully removed some of the floor, I realized that there was a “crawlspace” about four feet deep underneath the floor. In this crawlspace, it was evident that it became a storage area for what looks like a remarkable amount of old woodworking, mechanics, milling etc… tools that must have been retired by one of the former property owners. I have retrieved some of the items and begun photographing and researching them a bit.
I have now become obsessed with learning about these types of tools. I also am set on the idea that I am going to craft something out of this beautiful barn wood. We have been wanting a new dining room table and I think that I can gain the knowledge I need and make something functional. If I want to do it, I have to learn somewhere, right?!?
Also, I am hopeful that I can get some honest valuations on some of the old tools that I find and even find out what some are/were used for.
Like I stated at the beginning, I am not here to disrespect your craft or be negative in any way. If I am in the wrong place to be seeking this advice, let me know now and I will quietly leave.
But if I am in the right type of forum, I would love to share my experience in this with you all and hopefully get some advice that I am in great need of.