Recycling 159 Year Old Timbers

1850 Tower

Pandora Factory 1850-2009

This is our inaugural blog and we have chosen to write about NH Accents most recent and most exciting project. We are purchasing 159 year old  ‘white pine’ and ‘long leaf pine’  beams from the owners of the Pandora Building, 1850 Associates in Manchester, NH.   In an effort to be more proactive in the green movement NH Accents decided to purchase some of these beams and build fine furniture from them.   To date we have purchased 500 plus board feet of timbers, ranging in size from 8″ x 15″ to 15″ x 15″ .  We hope to purchase more as they become available.  We will remove the nails and bring them to a local saw mill for re-sawing into planks and turning stock.

First floor

View of the first floor at 1850 Commercial St

The larger beams are from the lower levels of the building.  As the story goes the ‘long leaf pine’ beams were not available when construction began, so the building was begun with the ‘white pine’ beams and finished with the ‘long leaf pine’ beams.  The ‘long leaf pine’ came from a forest grove that apparently once stretched from the southern tip of West Virginia to Texas and was over a hundred miles wide (over 140,000 acres) covering nine states. See for more information. The folks at 1850 Associates informed me that some of the beams were actually going to be re-sawn for flooring and shipped down to the southern states. Talk about being green.

First delivery of 1850 timbers

Just imagine owning a piece of custom furniture that is constructed of trees that were harvested 159+ years ago.   That was our thought when we decided to explore the idea with the folks at 1850 Associates.  It would be fascinating to know just how many feet that must have walked across this wood, and what stories these beams could tell.  We may decide to build “Shaker” style furniture from the ‘white pine’; harvest tables or fireplace mantels from the ‘long leaf pine’ and custom pieces depending on our customers wishes. If anyone reading this has a suggestion, comment or would like to commission a piece, please feel free to drop us a note.

In addition to the use of recycled lumber, NHA has begun a program to use water based shellac, lacquer and other Low VOC water based paints and finishes.  It is our hope that these products will improve both our shop environment as well has yours.  We will attempt to keep you informed of  this exciting project as well as others in 2010.

So with the holidays fast approaching we hope our inaugural edition of  “Accent on Woodworking” finds you both healthy and fulfilled.  Have a Merry Christmas or a Happy Hanukkah and most of all HAPPY NEW YEAR!