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  • Writer's pictureKeith Tribe

Beams and boards

In my life I've had many career paths, but the biggest one is being an entrepreneur. I spent my 20's as an owner of a Keg restaurant, then as my children grew up I started an educational toy store that combined teaching supplies for teachers and toys for families. After that I started a kids play place that was a huge network of tubes, ball pits and games. I spent the next twist in my career working with small businesses and their rights, as well as a digital marketing company I started with a good friend. In my current passion, the one I plan to continue until I get to "retire", I work with wood!

Quite often when people ask what I do, I often tell them I work with barn board. What I don't often say though is that there's so many different types of it!

This month is all about barn beams! When I would go to my barn board supplier, for years he always had large beams piled up and I didn't think much of them (I was there for barn board after all!). One day we were chatting after I picked up a load and he showed me some of them. Once I go closer, it was as if the light bulb clicked on and I had an idea! We discussed how he cuts them and I could start to imagine how I was thinking of using this entirely different type of wood. We sliced the beam sides off so I ended up with three beautiful sides, and an incredibly dense, smooth core.

Home I went with my beautiful beams and this is where the barn beam mirror obsession began! I've created number of stunning mirrors and I'm really having a lot of fun with it. The beams are generally hand hewn, meaning they were carved with tools that often leave deep grooves, markings and strong crisp lines.

The beauty of the beam is that the wood is also very strong since they were used for the structural support of barns, which means I can make some monster mirrors!

A 7.5' floor mirror with the original notched holes and peg intact!

In the images above you can see the original green hue to the wood and the end result with ONLY a clear coat added!

As you can see, the beams always come out a little different and the neat part is that I never know exactly what to expect with the finished product. What I can tell you is that beams are now a full fledged part of my production and when a client asks for something with character, I now have an entirely new option to offer them!

Last but not least I also have used beams for beautiful mantle retrofits! Here's an example of one I did to revamp an old builder grade mantle the client wanted removed and refreshed!

Have you been looking for a showpiece for your home that is somewhere between traditional grey barn board and finished hardwood? I'd love to chat about projects you have in mind. Quotes and discussion about your ideas are ALWAYS free, and if you don't LOVE it when I show you what I've made, I will make you another option to look at!

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