Meet Thomas Porter
I am 35 years old, married, two kids, and live in Central Phoenix. I am a woodworker, metalworker, father of two, and husband to the greatest woman in the world (I am biased). Life is never dull. I play in a couple bluegrass bands (yes we’re on iTunes, just search Thomas Porter). Porter Barn Wood and Porter Iron Works are business ventures of mine I started with the help of an extraordinary friend of mine, Craig Suiter. We provide reclaimed wood, slab lumber, antiques, and many other things as well as provide woodworking, milling, blacksmithing, cnc plasma, engraving, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. We are continually growing, but before I get ahead of myself, here’s a quick bio…
I have been woodworking since I was a child. My grandfather used to have a small shop in his garage and I always admired how he could build whatever he felt like. I enjoyed shows like “New Yankee Workshop” and “This Old House”. I’ve always loved building things and as I got older I liked bigger and bigger machinery. I began woodworking semi-professionally in 2005. I’ve built custom furniture and architectural accents for both commercial and residential clients. My background is in art and I love to build new and creative things. This has led me into the reclaimed wood business.
A friend of mine (Craig) was bringing a barn back from Pennsylvania to put on his property in Colorado. He wanted to reconstruct the barn and use a material called “Mushroom Wood” for the siding. He also wanted to get a bunch of old hand-hewn beams from some very old barns and store them on his property downtown.
I had a forklift and he asked if I could bring it down to the lot and unload it. He also thought I might be good at selling some of the wood since he had ordered extra to get the truck to capacity. One thing led to another and eventually we recognized a real demand for quality reclaimed barn wood here in Phoenix. I began supplying some architects and builders with wood for their projects and as it grew more popular, I had calls from other people asking if I could meet them at the lot to get some barn wood for their home projects. What was once a meeting every now and then became a regularly scheduled open yard which became popular with people who began falling in love with reclaimed wood.
I formed Porter Barn Wood LLC in 2012 and set up our business so we could sell to the public even if only for a few hours a week. Ever since, we’ve had a fantastic response and we’re seeing some wonderful projects daily that people are doing using our wood. In addition, many other commercial projects have since been constructed utilizing numerous products that we’ve reclaimed from barns in PA, MI, OH, KY, TN and IA. We’re constantly on the lookout for new sources and new materials that we can bring you. Recently we started bringing back live edge slabs that have become increasingly popular for tables, countertops, benches, and more. Being a woodworker, I love to see the wood in its roughest condition, transformed into functional art. It never gets dull. We also have been able to source some of the slab materials locally after forest fires, control burns, or after bark beetles killing the trees. Our goal is to responsibly use the resources like these and inspire people to do great things with them. Every one of us that works at PBW loves the entire process from barn or forest to finished piece. It’s an amazing feeling to see these projects come to life.
My goal with Porter Barn Wood is to grow as a family business and continue to see these old barns, antiques, and various lumber products become an exciting new way to bring the warmth of wood and nostalgia into homes and businesses. Over the next few years I intend to add products, services, and facilities to Porter Barn Wood that will help us continue to bring high-quality at reasonable prices. I also intend to continue loving it as much as I do now.
If you are in the business of building things with barn wood or are just an enthusiast who loves to work with their hands, we would always enjoy talking with you. Feel free to call, email, text, facebook… whatever. We enjoy hearing from you, receiving pictures of your projects, and seeing what creative things people are doing. If there’s anything we can do to help you, please ask. Thanks for visiting PorterBarnWood.com and we hope to see you again soon!