Just recently I have undertaken a new project in Northwest Missouri by helping a land owner take down an old dilapidated barn from the early 1900’s that still lingers on the property. The barn used to be used mainly for livestock and hay storage, but still has some nice mixed hardwoods that can be salvaged and used for siding on a new upcoming project.
Taking down barns like these require somewhat of a delicate touch since the wood is literally over 100 years old and can fracture and splinter at any given point. Every time a barn is deconstructed the most important part is preserving the boards in their natural state and also preserving their length. You can always cut a board to make it shorter, but you can’t make it longer. Since I deal with various projects of all shapes and sizes I try to keep the boards as long as possible so I can yield maximum use for every piece of reclaimed wood I recover. Removing nails can be tricky and it is important to keep the boards as intact as possible in order to yield maximum use. Removing the nails can be tricky at times but with the proper tools simply takes more time than anything.
The below picture is a real time example of the starting process I have begun to deconstruct this particular barn. I decided to start with the front wall closest to the barn opening and will slowly work my way around strategically. One of the most important pieces of wood are the hand hewn 4×4’s that were supporting the over hang. Boards like this are great for columns and also being utilized as supports on hand made tables. All of the side boards are going to be refurbished and be used for siding. Stay tuned for more updates!