Rustic wood corbel in my shop
Barn Beam mantles for sale
I got a message a few weeks ago via Craigslist asking whether I sell barn beam mantles (in addition to making harvest tables out of reclaimed wood.)
Harvest tables for sale
I still have several feet of 6 by 6 beam from a 100 year old ear corn crib that make excellent mantles and corbel material.
The first thing that goes through my mind whenever I see crafts made from reclaimed wood is bugs….powder post beetles, wood borers, etc. I always wonder if the wood has been de-bugged? Chances are pretty good it hasn’t…and all those cute little bird houses and do-dad’s people bring home from the craft fair is like bringing a Trojan horse full of microscopic critters right into their castle.
Have fun with that 😉
I’ve read you can treat the wood with chemicals such as bora-care (which is basically boric acid) but from what I’m reading, it does not soak into the wood and deal with anything living deep down inside.
My preferred method of debugging @ this point is to heat the wood in a wood kiln. Internal temperature of the wood needs to get to 133 degrees for 30 minutes to effectively de-bug the wood.
I had to build my own kiln for this process.
Here’s a recent action photo of me modifying the back side of a beam to accommodate some wiring :
Kerfing the back of a 6 by 6 beam.
Another view of the mantle in my shop.
I do have access to larger timbers if you want something bigger than a 6 by 6. My brother has some 8 by 8’s in his stash, and occasionally I will see beams on Craigslist with ax marks…so if you’re looking for a particular style, don’t hesitate to ask. I can help you find what you are looking for, get it prepped and ready to install.
Here’s a really old barn beam with ax markings from 140 years ago in my old office.
You will also get a certificate of authenticity that tells a little story about your mantle (or table) Since I’m a small operation and only work on a couple of projects at a time, I know where each piece of lumber originally came from.
So if you stumble across this blog post at a later date, just leave a message after this post and I will get back to you right away. Check out the comments on my harvest table blog post to see what I’m talking about.
Question…Why do you think some of us are drawn to antiques, rustic furniture or history in general? I’ve given it some thought. I’ll tell you what I’ve concluded for myself at least after I hear from a few of you….
hint-it’s scratching something deeper than just visual.