Tag Archives: reclaimed wood

The Return of The Three Amigos

Each summer we typically hire a few college guys to help us catch up on some of the grunt work around Southern Accents. Our goal is to work them hard! We want them to put in a summers worth of sweat equity… get them as tired and dirty as we possibly can, and then send them back to school! We believe that everyone should have a “Dirty Job” at least once in their lifetime! Last summer Garrett, Boogie, and Kramer worked with us all summer. Apparently we didn’t work them hard enough because they have returned this year for round two!!

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Last summer we nicknamed these guys the “Three Amigos”. In real life, they are the best of friends and have been since childhood. After graduating from Cullman High School, Garrett and Kramer enrolled at the University of Alabama while Boogie opted to head a little further south to Auburn University. We must admit, we all became attached to these three clowns last year and were sad to see summer come to an end, so we are thrilled to have them all back for another round. While all three guys are a lot of fun to be around, they are also hard workers. They’ve done everything from pulling nails and pulling weeds, to sanding beams, loading, unloading, and delivering product. They’ve helped clean, organize and inventory product in our back warehouse as well as help set up for events like the upcoming Southern Makers. When asked what they liked most about working for Southern Accents, they all agreed that they love being able to travel and participate in salvage missions and event setups but the best part of their job was seeing the end result of whatever project they were working on.

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We hope to have the Three Amigos working hard for us in a few weeks at Sloss Furnaces as we set up for Southern Makers. And young ladies… just in case you are wondering, they are ALL available! They’ve dubbed themselves “Bachelors with Bachelors”!

Which Wood Would You Choose?

We were doing a little spring cleaning at the Wood Showroom this week and ran across several stacks of unique wood. Webster’s dictionary defines unique as something unusual or distinctively characteristic. At Southern Accents, unique could be anything from a piece of double beaded shiplap to an unusual color or pattern in the wood. Sorting through the stacks usually starts a conversation about the variety and history of reclaimed wood. Walking through our wood showroom, it is quite interesting to take note of the uniqueness and character of each stack.

Unlike visiting a lumber yard or local DIY store with stacks of raw lumber, looking around our large showroom, filled with salvaged wood, there is so much beauty to behold.  There is a kaleidoscope of color found in the salvaged lumber. Shades of weathered browns and greys mixed with reds, blues and greens from layers of old paint or stain can be seen throughout the showroom. There is a character in reclaimed wood that can only be added with age. Old knots, nail holes, and occasionally small carvings are like battle wounds that help tell it’s story.Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

This photo perfectly demonstrates how we used salvaged wood in a variety of colors to create these accent walls in Garden & Guns Artist Tent at Slossfest.

From barn wood, bead board, reclaimed flooring and large beams, how do you choose which wood is right for your project? While some projects may require certain size or thickness specifications, we like to encourage our customers to browse our selection of salvaged wood and see which stack “speaks” to them. The painted shiplap and colored bead-board have been very popular as wall and ceiling coverings. Salvaged flooring is readily sought after to be reused as it was originally intended. Mantel shelves and matching corbels are cut from old hand hewn beams. Our customers show up looking for the perfect wood, with all it’s wonderful imperfections, to use on an endless list of projects. It doesn’t matter the size of the project, whether you need a single board to build a picture frame or several hundred square feet for a larger project, come pay us a visit! Seeing, touching, even smelling the old wood will lead you to the perfect choice for your job!

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These beautiful heart pine skins have an oil stain that have created a richness to the wood over time. 7″ wide, 1/2″ thick and an average length of 10′, these boards are $5.75 per sq ft.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

This bead board is covered with a variety of pastel colored, chippy paint. 3/4″ wide and 3/4″ thick, this stack of double bead pine wood is available in 6′ and 10′ lengths for $5.75 per sq ft.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Oak skins cut from reclaimed beams. 5 3/4″ wide x 1/2″ thick x 8′ long, $5.75 per sq ft. The boards can be gang ripped to 5″ for an additional $0.25 per sq ft.

Wood Series – Pecky Cypress

Not a week passes that we aren’t asked: “What type of wood is that?” We don’t always know the answer to that question. At times, an antique door or mantel will be covered in several layers of old paint that we have to peel back to expose the wood. Other times, we run across a rare wood that requires a little research on our part to determine the species. Since a majority of our inventory is made of wood, we thought it would be a great idea to feature some of the more interesting species in a few of our newsletters. This week is all about a rather rare and exotic wood, pecky cypress.

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The unique pattern seen in this piece of pecky cypress is created by the pockets or recesses caused by a fungus that attacked the tree while it was alive.

Cypress wood in general is rather light in color, has a straight grain and medium texture. Cypress trees are readily found in Southern Swamplands and can be easily identified by their unique ariel roots, called knees, that protrude above the ground or water. These trees are deciduous (unlike most conifers) and drop all their airy, needle-like leaves each the winter. Pecky cypress is rare in that it only occurs in less than 10% of cypress trees and only in older trees. The beautiful and yet unique design in the wood is actually caused by a fungus, polyporus amarus. The airborne fungi sets up after a tree has been damaged. A limb break, lightening strike, fire or any injury that creates damage or a break in the bark can allow the fungi to set up in the living tissue of the tree. As the fungus grows it creates pockets or recesses in the wood. Once the tree is cut, the fungus dies and the pecky can not continue to grow.

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This photo shows a local cypress tree growing next to a large pond. The tree has dropped all of it’s needle like leaves for the winter.

Pecky cypress is a popular choice for doors, ceilings, wall paneling, and table tops. While you can paint this very durable wood, why would anyone want to?!! The characteristics of this rare wood are so incredibly gorgeous it deserves nothing less than to shine in all it’s glory! We currently have approximately 500 square feet of pecky cypress in stock at our wood showroom. The boards are 5″ w x 14′ long x 1″ thick and retail for $8 per square foot. Stop by our wood showroom during regular business hours to view this gorgeous wood!

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In this photo you can see the arial roots, or knees, of the cypress tree protruding above the ground.

Local Reclaimed Wood Projects

A continually growing part of our architectural salvage business is in the area of reclaimed wood. This highly sought after commodity, which is available in salvaged wood planks, beadboard, shiplap, barn wood and salvaged hand hewn beams, is being used in a wide variety of ways. From flooring, wall facades, ceiling coverings, furniture, fireplace mantel shelves, table and counter tops, artwork and more, old wood is being given a new life! In our wood shop, we use reclaimed wood in the creation of many of our custom built doors. While our customers who are using salvaged wood are spread throughout the country, we have recently been involved in two local projects that we want to highlight.

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Our good friends and fellow downtown business owners, Rob and Mary Ellen Werner, recently came to us in search of salvaged, white “chippy” painted bead board. The bead board was recently installed on the front and side wall of their retail shop, Werner’s Trading Company, located on HWY 278. The white wood walls brightened up the front sales area, as well as created a great backdrop for their selection of menswear. When asked why they chose reclaimed wood for this space, Mary Ellen replied, “we just LOVE wood!” They also expressed their belief in the importance of repurposing salvaged material. Werners new wall covering looks fantastic and Rob and Mary Ellen could not be more pleased with their choice of material for this project.

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Another local project that we have been involved with is the renovation of the historic Parker Bank building that is located on the same block as Southern Accents showroom. The top floor of this beautiful old building will be the new residence for the current owners, Ron and Trena Pierce. The bottom floor will serve as an office space for Ron’s business. Salvaged wood has been used throughout the building during the renovation process. Wood slats salvaged from Bonhaven was repurposed to create a stunning parquet floor at each entrance. Upstairs, in the master bedroom, salvaged wood was used to create a unique accent wall that will serve as the backdrop for the master bed. Down the hall, the guest bedroom is equipped with three, custom built bunk beds that will soon be ready for the grand children’s visits! The built-in beds were constructed from salvaged gym bleachers and industrial pipe.

We can’t wait to post photos of this finished project in coming weeks! In the mean time, visit our wood showroom at 250 Janeway Drive and let us show you our current inventory of salvaged and reclaimed wood for your next project!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The gorgeous white wood wall at Werner’s provides the perfect backdrop for their selection of mens wear.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The salvaged wood accent wall will serve as a backdrop for the master bed in the renovated Parker Bank building.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

In an effort to make the best use of their limited space, a set of custom, built-in, bunk beds were constructed in what will be a guest bedroom for the three grandchildren. The beds were constructed from salvaged gym bleachers and industrial pipe.

We Have A Dream

Recently, at one of our weekly team meetings, team member John shared with us a dream that he had. In his dream, one side of our wood showroom had large, clear, glass windows down one wall. The parking lot was full with customers who had traveled from far away. They were lined up outside the glass windows, peering through to watch our guys at work. We selected, milled, and finished our vintage timbers so that they could purchase the salvaged wood items from John. If you visit our wood showroom, you will quickly understand why John dreams about salvaged wood.

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The part of John’s dream where customers are coming from all areas of the U.S. has already come true. Several years ago we placed a world map on cork board and hung it in our front showroom. We asked customers to place pins in the map to represent where they were from. It wasn’t long before our map was filled with pins. While the majority was centered in the SE, there were pins that marked paths from California to New York and Canada to South America! We were amazed at how far so many of our customers had traveled. While many of our customers tell us that they were “passing through” and just had to stop, many others let us know that they traveled to Cullman JUST TO VISIT US!!

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To confirm our map and your pins, we were recently honored to have been officially recognized by the Alabama Tourism Department as an Alabama “Tourist Destination!!” We were thrilled to have received this distinction… a distinction that our customers have recognized for some time! We are proud to serve our State in such a great fashion and will continue to welcome visitors from across the globe!

John’s dream was not too far off! When planning a trip to Cullman, Alabama to visit Southern Accents, you will discover that we have a lot to look at! Now… if we could only get Garlan to install those large windows, John’s full dream would become reality!! Plan a day trip to Cullman soon and come see us!

Meet Resident Artisan – Roger Long

Roger LongAsk Roger Long, our resident artisan, how long he has been at Southern Accents and he will tell you that it feels like an eternity… only because time flies when you are having fun! Roger, who has over 38 years experience in wood work, has been a permanent fixture in Southern Accents wood shop since 2002.

Roger’s career in wood work began in 1974 when he accepted a job with a local door and sash company. Roger developed his skills over the next 14 years building doors and windows. In 1988, a F3 tornado completely destroyed Rogers place of employment, forcing him to seek new employment. Roger sought a job that would allow him to continue to hone his craftsmanship so he accepted a position with another woodworking company where he remained until the business closed in 2002. Garlan recognized Roger’s talent and seized the opportunity to add a full time artisan to the growing Southern Accents team. Roger has been a permanent and much appreciated fixture in the wood shop ever since!

When asked what he enjoy’s most about his job, Roger will tell you that it is the joy he receives upon completing a project. “There is a lot of satisfaction gained from taking a pile of reclaimed wood and repurposing it into something beautiful. Southern Accents gets a lot of requests for custom doors. Often our clients wants something unique or wants to replicate the look of an antique door which I will have to custom build to fit their specific measurements. Seeing the finished product and knowing that I built it with my own two hands is pretty amazing. Before I started my career 38 years ago, I had never turned on a table saw or picked up a router. Now, these are the two tools that I could not live without!”

When Roger is not covered in sawdust, he enjoys spending time with his lovely wife of 41 years, Doris. Together they have two children and three grandchildren. Rogers favorite place to be, outside of home, is St. Simons Island in Georgia. He and Doris pack the lawn chairs and travel to this quiet beach as often as possible. Roger says, “I love to just sit and watch the grandkids playing on the beach. There are always dolphins out in the ocean and a few folks fishing. I never get in the water… just love to kick back, relax and enjoy the sights!”

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesThe quality of work turned out from our wood shop by Roger is nothing short of spectacular. The custom door shown above, one of our favorites, is just one of many that he has built. This particular door was constructed from two large salvaged slabs of wood. Roger was able to turn this customer’s vision into a beautiful work of art.

We invite you to come visit Southern Accents and browse our unique collection of antique doors, mantels, salvaged wood and more. If you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, let us talk with you about the possibility of a custom built project!

The door shown on the left is an antique door. The door shown on the right is a custom built replication. Roger constructed this door in our wood shop from salvaged antique wood.

The door shown on the left is an antique door. The door shown on the right is a custom built replication. Roger constructed this door in Southern Accents wood shop from salvaged antique wood.

Roger Long stands next to one of the many doors that he has custom built for Southern Accents customers.

Roger Long stands next to one of the many doors that he has custom built for Southern Accents customers.

Written by: Lisa Jones

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