This Barn Loft cabinet is constructed from recycled wood and tin from the 75-year-old barn that stood on the Raymond Akers place two miles south of Lipscomb, TX. Harness hardware from Anton Bucher’s (my wife’s grandfather) old harness provides the door pulls. The cottonwood support post came from the big trees north of us, near where we found the buffalo skull a while back. Hopefully, some of the spirit of Mr. Akers and Grandpa Bucher can be felt by giving new life to the buildings and tools that they used years ago.
For years the rusted-out shell of the ’35 Chevy had lain upside down in a draw in the bull pasture. And for years I had admired the bullet holes in the back panel. So, before our bulls could finish demolishing the old car, I dragged it home to see what I could fashion from it.
Rather than the standard pie safes with prissy-punched tin; the door handles and hardware and back panel of the ’35 Chevy became the Pie Not-So-Safe Cabinet! All of the wood came from the remains of an 85 year-old barn that stood south of Lipscomb, Texas.
The Circle D Ranch east of Lipscomb on Wolf creek had to replace the old wooden windmill tower. It had stood since the ’20’s but the tower wouldn’t hold nails anymore for new cross braces. Parts of the legs and brace boards became the frame for the Circle D Chifforobe.
The doors are made from corral wood with tin panels from a sheet of tin that blew off of the north side of our old barn. The inside door panels are cut from an old wagon sideboard. Parts from a JCI scissor bit made the pulls and singletree center pulls cap off the top brace.
The Diviner’s Field Cabinet pays homage to our lifeblood of the plains–water, especially windmill water. Sucker rod legs with 2 3/4″ well check feet are braced by tines from Grandpa Bucher’s horse drawn hayrake. The grain tub from an old Gleaner combine provided the door panels and the green trim board was once a combine header board. Sails from a little six foot Dempster mill flank the “cup house”.
While tearing down the 85-year-old Raymond Akers barn south of Lipscomb I came across an old green, or mostly green, door. I started to toss it into the trash pile (sometimes difficult to distinguish from the keeper pile), but my dad who was visiting and giving me a hand, talked me into keeping it. I’m glad he did.
Recycled parts of the old door became the door for Barn Dreams/Seen the Elephant. The wild colored trim came from an old house built in Timms City on the Dodge City to Mobeetie trail. The house was moved to Dugout Creek northwest of Lipscomb where Dick and Delia Hill raised some of their fifteen kids.
The stove legs were found out in a pasture, partly buried, the rest of the cookstove nowhere around. The side panels are made from amber mica.
All of us on the plains have almost seen the elephant at one time or another, but the ties of our old barns and homesteads keep us firmly planted.
There is not much of the roof left on the old Hill homestead anymore, but some of the interior door and window trim is still protected enough to provide the blue boards for the Lone Star Blanket Chest. The red barnwood was protected from the weather by the remains of a lean-to shed on the side of a barn.
The harness hardware came from leftover pieces and parts of Grandpa Bucher’s old harness.
Stockmen know that when a well goes down they will most likely have to replace leathers or checks or a rod. All Checked Out Cabinet brings some of these seldom seen parts of the windmill system into the light of day.
Well checks and sucker rod ends make the cabinet feet; and brass spools out of other checks serve as door pulls and finials. The special striped tin came off the roof of the Akers Barn. It was hot as hell the two days we worked getting that tin off and the buzzard smell coming out of the barn loft hit us each time we pulled off another sheet.
Old reel batts from a John Deere 55 combine were rescued from the trash pile, the John Deere yellow paint still shining through. Blue door jambs and trim from the Hill homestead on Dugout Creek were just the thing to complement the yellow panels. Now that the roof is completely gone off of the old Hill house, the remaining trim is fading fast.
Harness rein-rings serve as door pulls.
When we cleaned up the old corral over on Amy’s ranch, we found a few of the boards that still had a lot of red on one side. And out of the weeds we pulled some tin that the cows had tromped on over the years. Combined with blue ceiling boards from a homestead kitchen, the boards and tin become frames and panels for the Heron Pond Chair.
The legs were once part of an old bridge timber that Grandpa Bucher had nailed to the back of one of our corral sheds to keep the cows from rubbing the tin loose.
There is nothing “faux” about the wood from the old house on Willow Creek. Abandoned fifty years ago, the house hides its stories with silence and layers of dust, empty coat hooks, and rusty door knobs.
The wrecking bar must break the silence, though, for the old house will soon be burned down. Every door and piece of trim saved can go on to tell the stories.
Most of the white fence around the old Parker Boarding House in Lipscomb, Texas, was beyond saving, but the header boards that spanned the gates have become the Chaps Table top.
No faux finishes here. Red corral boards, cracked paint door facing, and an old harness buckle.
Inspired by the first roundtop barns, Barn Dancer rises on steel shod legs made from portions of old bullrake tines. Years ago, Aunt Mary and Uncle Elbridge used the rake to gather up hay and feed on their place. The red barn siding came from an old granary barn on the Half Circle Ranch. The green door and drawer wood was once interior door and window trim from the Tom Conatser house just north of the Canadian River in the eastern Texas Panhandle. The Conatser place was part of the old Springer ranch, the oldest cattle ranch in the Panhandle.
A holddown lug off a worn-out grain truck became the door pull and brass spools out of windmill well checks serve as drawer pulls. The linoleum drawer liners are a 1944 Sears and Roebuck pattern. When the linoleum was peeled off the floor of the old Appel house on Willow Creek, newspapers and Saturday Evening Post magazines were discovered underneath; they had been used as padding for the linoleum and all dated from 1944.
A 55-gal. antifreeze drum that had been sitting around our place for a few years gave up some blue tin for the round top and the door panel.