I ended up getting salvage rights and am tearing down an old church built in 1866. Miscellaneous stuff like doors,stained glass windows, and pews I have sold on Craigslist.
The church has a vaulted ceiling, and is covered with antique pressed tin ceiling tiles. There is about 1650 square feet or so.
The foundation beams and floor joists are white oak. There is about 4000 board feet of these timbers.
The support beams in the walls, header beams, wall studs, trusses, etc. are American Chestnut. There are 46 foot long hand hewn beams.
In the early 1900’s, the church tore out the original oak flooring, and put down Southern Yellow Pine flooring (sometimes called Heart Pine.) It is 3.25 wide and 3/4 inch thick. It is not the old growth, wide board flooring that is in high demand. There is about 1200 square feet of this.
What would you do with this lumber? There are guys that will buy it all, but they only want to pay 5%-10% of what it is really worth. (because they may have to store it for years before they can get it sold.
From what I understand, the market for barnwood and high value specialty woods has dried up quite a bit after 2008. A local business made high quality hardwood flooring. 10 years ago they couldn’t keep up with demand. They went out of business a year or so ago.
I have the storage space to store all the lumber. But what to do with it? From what I have seen, reclaimed lumber shelves may be the highest value use for many of the boards, for the minimal labor involved. I may try making a few harvest tables, as they are really popular right now.
I know that using the hand hewn beams and heavy timbers is popular to make fireplace mantels, but I honestly don’t know how deep the market is for mantels. Mantels commonly sell for $70-$100+ per linear foot, but I know of very, very few people who have a beam mantel.
Some folks use the old pressed tin ceiling tiles to make a backsplash, and I have seen people cut out the center and turn them into mirrors, or frame the tiles as wall art.
I have a decent woodworking shop at my disposal. (Saws, planers, routers, etc.) I also have metal working equipment for making floating shelf brackets and stuff like that. (Metal lathe, mill, welders, etc.) I also sell my honey at various art and craft shows, so I could always market stuff alongside my honey since I will already be at these markets.
So what would you make to sell if you were sitting on these kinds of materials? How would you go about marketing this stuff?