I belonged to LISTS once, they'd come automatically as a group discussed farming, soap making,keeping goats, things I kenned for. Today the  listers were talking about retrieving old wood from nearby farms. One lister said that he'd had a cabinet maker build furniture out of the rustic, aged wood, it was that good. He'd taken down a hundred feet of pine and a hundred feet of oak.Really weathered stuff.

I know about this first hand. My redwood fence was 60 years old. My landlord bought the house in 1960 when it was new, freshly built. 50 years later, the crochety old neighbor demanded we tear it down, she wanted cyclone fencing. I put it on risers outdoors, tarped it. For my son to get out of the looney bin and come make furniture as it had an incredible grain. Fencing wood always does.

After a year, Cristo appeared, a Honduran worker, between hard hat jobs. A landslide had demolished his ranch so he'd come north to work having 4 children to put through college. After he finished my garden work, I asked him to build bookshelves. He'd built his whole house in HONDURAS. I got the most gorgeous shelf. The redwood has a grain like the surface of a creek, rippling. He sanded it, wire brushed it, stained it maple orange and then varnished it. It is stunning.

An English friend told me that his cabinet maker built a welsh dresser and  tables out of the oak floorboards. "We used what we could of the exterior pine paneling to make firewood/kindling but pine doesn't last very well. We reused the cedar rafters as fence posts. The main support beams were either fire wood or became the supports of the run in sheds, depending on their quality.

The old tin from the roof re-roofed (with some caulking) the run in sheds and the chicken coop. The oak that did not become my furniture was taken by the Antique Tables people. They didn't pay me for the oak, as Iagreed to trade what was left for some of his labor. (In a store the welsh dresser would probably have cost me $2-3K) I didn't pay them for tearing down the barn into re-usable pieces and stacking it up neatly. There was some disappointment on their side that the support beams were pretty much unusable for their purposes. They left the job half way through because it became evident the tearing down process wasn't going to come out even with the cost of material (usable by them). I traded a neighbor with a  caterpillar some round bales of hay for the demolition, fire and burial of the ground floor, which took him two half days. I feel like I got a great deal." That was all my English friend said.

So I had Cristo make some book cases with the wood. He used a wire brush to get into the 50 yr old fencing's grain. He ragged it clean, varnished it, Maple red/brown stain -- waxed it. The wood looks like running water. I kept the wood on risers until my landlord died and his bitch daughter the new landlady sent in workers to tear out my gardens and take my pile of 100 plans of 60 year old wood and send it off to the garbage pile.

If you can surf for barns, do it in Northern California. They're all made of redwood and this wood lasts. I know. I still have two bokshelves, the grain like the thready surface of a brook, stained maple, varnished, waxed. Gorgeous.