Custom Barn Board and Live Edge Interiors
Rustic Works is your barn board and hardwood framing and mirror specialist. I can frame anything, any size for your space.
Barn board and live edge wood, salvaged in Ontario can be reused to make incredible pieces to fit any decor. Rustic and modern spaces come alive with a custom frame, mirror or accent wall made from wood that has been naturally aged, in some cases for a century.
See my latest work on Instagram
Rustic Works is WSIB compliant and registered
My shop is located in Horseshoe Valley north of Barrie, ON (north of the GTA). I can ship most items anywhere in North America. I do not carry inventory for viewing as everything is custom made.
I accept e-transfer, cash, and credit cards. HST is added onto every purchase.
Delivery can be arranged within the GTA and reasonable driving distances from my shop for a fee.
Installation of mirrors and frames if requested is possible, but I am not responsible for any damage or loss incurred once it has been hung.
Writings about Rustic Works
Heritage to Heirloom- Bridging Past to Future
By Fran Kruse, Sidekick Creative, Nov 29, 2019
He works alone in his wood shop. But, he's not alone. Among the sawdust, weathered planks, and hand-forged nails are the whispers of pioneers and echoes of barn animals.
Keith Tribe, of Rustic Works, specializes in custom reclaimed decor. He is a time traveler as he cleans century-old barn boards with a horsehair brush, to create heirloom pieces for future generations.
Tribe, a multi-serial entrepreneur since the age of 19 and former owner of a profitably Keg Restaurant, was always laser-focused on his career direction."This twist in my career path was organic, not planned," says Tribe. "This one took me by surprise."
In 2013, Tribe and his wife, Mary, were driving along a country road when they saw a simple sign – Barn Board for Sale.
Mary needed her prized collection of Barrie native and renowned artist, Robbie Craig prints framed. Tribe admits his first attempt, using wood purchased from a big box store, didn't do justice to the prints. "It didn't look right or feel right," he says. "But I have a stubborn business mindset that says, 'you try, try again until you get it right'." He purchased a bundle of bleached boards and set to work.
Mary was thrilled with the outcome and snapped pictures to share with family and friends on social media. The Canadian artist re-posted the pictures to his 250K global followers. Overnight Tribe was flooded with calls and emails asking him to create frames, mirrors, signs, furniture and even accent walls. Initially, he turned down the inquiries. "I was just fooling around in my workshop," says Tribe. "Mainly I was bored."
Soon orders poured in from overseas, and as any astute entrepreneur knows – you listen to your audience.
That was 2014. Nowadays, Tribe commutes across his living room and enters his workshop where he pulls on the brown leather bib-apron and is ready for his day at the 'office'.
Tribe surveys the collection of woodworking hand-tools past down from his dad and grandfather. He strokes the rough-hewn siding, floorboards, and rafter beams stacked arm deep against the shop walls.
In the far corner are pieces of 200-year old barn board with unique knots, grains, pits and patina. "I sometimes save these boards for two years," Tribe says, "until the right project comes along that demands a one of a kind piece of wood."
Tribe lovingly hoards everything. "Nothing goes to waste," he says. He even uses the rustic hardware – hinges, handles, clasps and square head nails that can add character to a project.
Many times Tribe catches his breath when he turns over a board to reveal a name, date or family insignia. "It hits you in the gut," he says, "and you realize the true grit of these early settlers."
Tribe feels honoured when he receives a call to attend the dismantling of an old barn because he gets to meet the descendants of the original owner. "Sometimes six generations have worked the farm," says Tribe. As he stands in the field with the musty smell of old hay and bygone cattle, Tribe listens to their family stories.
To pay homage to the history Tribe says, "I always offer to donate a picture frame made from the boards so they can display sentimental photos of the barn and farm life." For Tribe, reverence for centuries past and respect for the farming tradition is like the wood grain – deep and enduring.
These values underscore Tribe's work – from choosing the perfect board, brushing decades of dirt and bugs by hand – never chemicals – sanding, oiling, and polishing until the piece meets his high standards.
In the end, "if you don't love it, we start over, and you don't pay until you love it," says Tribe. "That's my guarantee."
Tribe invites everyone to his shop. "Their eyes pop and they stay for hours," Tribe explains, "especially the 30 and 40-year-olds who may be the last generation to witness these finite ancient structures."
Tribe doesn't describe himself as a carpenter, cabinetmaker or even an artist. However, many would disagree.
Only a true artist can span the gap between centuries of heritage to centuries of future generations. A timeless family heirloom by Rustic Works is that bridge.