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333 West 500 North
Shelbyville, IN, 46176
United States


America's heritage has stood in the fields and beside farm houses for over a century in the form of barns. Historic barns are becoming more difficult to find, and due to the increase in comercially zoned land are being destroyed. Reclaimed Barns & Beams reclaims the wood from these hand hewed, pinned barns that have stood the tests of time. It is our hope that we can transform this wood into vintage farm tables, chairs, ceiling beams, mantles and more. This will give us a chance to keep the history of these barns alive and with us for years to come.

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It can be a crowbar, a hammer, or a chainsaw in my hand. I love the work. There is something exciting to me about being in these old barns. You never know what you will find or what someone else will create from what I find. The work is hard, tiring, and so very dirty, but I just love doing it. 

Reclaimed Barns & Beams provides lumber to those who create using historic wood that has a story.

Is it going to be ok?

angela crouse

It is going to be ok…

I tell myself that at least a hundred times a day. Do you find yourself doing that? You take on something that becomes bigger than you are; Bigger than you ever expected it to become...  And then suddenly you find yourself responsible for things. Making decisions about things you really never intended to know anything about. And with each one you wonder, is it going to be ok?

Is this a good decision? Am I just convincing myself that it is the right thing to do, when in fact it could very well be a horrible decision in the long run? Is it going to be ok? That seems to be a question that haunts me these days.

As so many of you know that follow me, I got here quite by accident. This business, this day to day thing that I am doing, this work: it was not planned. So making gut decisions, not over thinking things and taking chances has worked out fairly well so far. Could that all change?

So what exactly is it that keeps me awake at night?

Do I expand? No, that would be too risky.

Do I buy new equipment? No way. What if business starts to fall away?

Do I hire more help? Never- Then I am responsible for other’s finances.

Do I just take the leap? Maybe, it has worked out this far.

Can I afford to keep moving forward?

Is all of this worth it?

Is this the right direction?

Is it going to be ok?

I spend hours agonizing over my decisions. I know, I am not alone in this. We all have our sleepless nights worrying if we are moving in the right direction.

So, here’s what I decided to do: I added help. I bought equipment. I wrote a check to rent machinery. And I am moving forward. Scared. Nervous.  Worried.

Every single day, I am scared, nervous, and worried that I’ll fail mostly due to the inexperience that so many want to remind me that I have in this line of work. I am often critiqued by those who feel I am WRONG and don’t know what I am doing in social media. It creates doubt. It causes me to think that It will not be ok. Is this TMI? Am I babbling from awkwardness?

Never mind, don’t answer that. I know the answer is unequivocally yes.


But I’m writing this letter as a way to bring you on this journey with me.


Sometimes social media has a way of making a situation appear one way, but the truth is always a little more complex. Aren’t all aspects of life like that?

The truth reveals fear, doubt, and insecurity in embarrassingly authentic ways, but I want to invite you in to share this moment with me as I take new chances, learn, and try to grow. Why? Because I can’t wait to share everything I learn along this journey and continue to move us closer to our wildest dreams and passions. I hope my journey inspires others to take risks and dream big.

 As friends, entrepreneurs, and like-minded people; Here’s to making big decisions...together and hoping It is all going to be ok.


When the Sun Comes Up Tomorrow

angela crouse


The sun comes up and with it a fresh new day. Hope and excitement fill my thoughts. I create a list of things I want to accomplish. The list is long, but that is ok. I have the entire day ahead of me. I grab my diet coke and whatever is appealing on the McDonald’s menu… You relate. I know you do. I have never been a coffee drinker… diet coke is like oxygen to me. I cannot be without it.

I have already answered emails, sent text and chatted with those that left late voicemails. The kids have been scooted off to school. I will either go to a barn, the mill, another lumber yard, the shop or to my office. Invoices need sent and photographs need to be taken. I love the variety of what I do. I am not the kind of person that can do that same thing each day. So the fact that no two days are alike is perfect to me.

I never expected or dreamed that I would be doing this. I did expect to be doing something very different than most. I just always seemed to follow the path not taken. This path was so unexpected. I tell people that I accidentally started this business. That is as honest as I can be. I was searching. Searching for something I could feel passionate about.  Aren’t we all? A place where I could call my own shots. A place where I could follow my heart. A place where I could make a difference. I never dreamed it would be reclaiming barns. (So don’t limit where your search takes you)

So as I continue my day, there is no one to blame when things go wrong. And go wrong they do. Products take longer than expected to create. Shipping gets turned upside down. Quotes get rejected. The weather refuses to cooperate no matter what Weather Bug says each hour will bring... Everyone seems to need things yesterday…. But that isn’t just small business owners that feel these issues- is it? Don’t we all feel them?

If we were perfect people in a perfect world, wouldn’t it all be easier. The feeling of being invincible that we wake up with would still be there come night time. But we are not. We are imperfect. These imperfections seem to eat at us as the day drags on into night. By the time the sun has set and the kids are in bed, I have no excitement left in me. I have very little hope left. Instead I am full of doubt… often left asking myself… what was I thinking?

But failure isn’t an option. So, I look forward to tomorrow… when the sun comes up again, when the wave of new hope and excitement set in again, because failure just isn’t an option. The path not taken is such because this is hard work. Going where others have not gone is hard work. If you are on this path, you are not alone. I am excited for you. And I am here if you need someone to cheer you on!!!


Moisture Content and Wood Movement When Building Furniture with Live Edge Lumber

angela crouse

Moisture Content and Wood Movement When Building Furniture with Live Edge Lumber
Wood shrinks and warps as it continues to dry. Ever build a table and look at the top… there are gaps in places there weren’t? Cracks that are new? A slight warp that grew more and more over time?  In fact, boards that are freshly cut from a log (green lumber) will shrink and warp considerably as they dry. Keep this in mind as you consider live edge lumber. Woodworkers, for practical purposes it’s better to think in terms of using lumber that has been pre-shrunk and pre-warped. In other words, I want the wood to shrink and warp before I build a piece of furniture with it, not after. 

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A Valentine message from 1912

angela crouse

While cleaning out the barn, we found a cigar box full of love letters from 1912 and an autograph book with writings from 1886. Frank worked in Little Rock, Arkansas. Cuba lived here at our house. I enjoyed reading their love letters back and forth and learning about their lives. Frank came back to Eaton for Cuba, and they married. I have the letter Frank wrote to Cuba talking about marriage and how he couldn’t wait for spring to come so she could be his wife. I also found a Valentine postcard dated February 13, 1912, from Frank. It’s so neat to have and hold something that was written over 100 years ago. Happy Valentine’s Day to all. I’ll leave you with a quote Frank had written to Cuba. He wrote, “Each day of my life is yours dear and all of my thoughts are to, so if giving were all there was dear I really belong to you”.

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“This isn’t just business: it is personal.”

angela crouse

I love old hard wood floors and the sound of my children running through the kitchen and hearing their bare feet smacking against it.  I treasure the feeling of my handmade table top. It reminds me of my grandma’s house when I was ten. Knowing those things about me doesn’t tell you how long I’ve been in business or how skilled I am at woodworking, but it will help you understand how passionate I am about what matters most... How you feel about your home! It tells me what you want that space to reflect about you.  Maybe you grew up in the country, but live in a busy town now, and you want a piece of country to share with others when they visit and to remind you of where you came from…. Or you are like my customer last week. You purchased a new apartment in the city and it is filled with iron, brick and beams. He wanted his décor to match that. He wanted those that entered that space to feel that industrial look that he loves so much.

I love to search through the piles of lumber to find something you will fall in love with. That wood  for your dream table that will find its way into your forever home. A space in which you will share memories, laughter and tears with your friends, children, and loved ones.  It isn’t about just purchasing a new mantel to replace the old one. It is so much bigger than that. It is about finding just the right piece that reflects who you are. That special memory that has stuck with you since childhood. That design you saw in a magazine that grabbed your attention and stayed with you. A feeling you get when you see something you know is all you.

Knowing you as my customers helps me do more than create a special design or look for your home, and your families. Taking the time to sit and talk allows us to get to know one another. Sharing with me how your home feels and looks creates a connection. What colors you enjoy and what you just cannot stand gives me insight…. Where you drink your coffee, your favorite T.V. shows, your children’s lives... I find out where my customers work or about their pets. Taking the time to get to know each other allows me to learn about what matters to you; your home, your style, and that special environment that you want to design.

The idea that I will create a piece of furniture or an accent wall that will express who you are is almost overwhelming. It is absolutely humbling to think that so many will trust me to be part of their personal space. Because isn’t that what our homes are; our most personal space. Where are able to let our guard down, surround ourselves with things we treasure, and entertain those that mean the most to us. It is an honor to be part of that space.

That is why it is so important that we get to know one another. “This isn’t just business: it is personal.”



That is who we are: moms… entrepreneurs.

angela crouse


The house is so quiet now: they are asleep.  I open my computer to check Facebook, answer emails, and blog. The day will go so fast. I will barely get done what I have planned. Does anyone ever get done what they have planned? They will be awake soon…

I have been up for hours. So much to do! Where to start… I walk through the living room gathering dirty clothes and empty glasses thinking about blog topics that I need to get started. Soon, four of my children will run out the back door in hopes of not being late for school. Only four because the other three got out of Dodge and went off to college or work; truthfully, they found peace and quiet and never looked back. Big families are rarer than they used to be. They are exciting, and tiring; rewarding and challenging, and I love it.

Maybe this is what prepared me best to be an entrepreneur. Juggling a career and a large family gave me the skill set better than anything else to start my own business. I mean you work and you work for your children all for questions and criticism. And like our children as much as we love the businesses that we start, they exhausts us.

As mothers and as entrepreneurs we constantly question ourselves. Are we making the right decisions? Should we spend this money or save it for the rainy day. How hands on should we be? Whose advise do we accept and whose do we ignore?

Like our children our businesses will always be our babies. And when they succeed or fail, we take it to heart. We don’t give up on them; we just love them and work harder for them. That is who we are: moms… entrepreneurs. 


angela crouse

One of my great loves, horseback riding

One of my great loves, horseback riding

I am beyond familiar with failure.

My failures have been public and private.

I do not believe one is worse than the other.  

I have failed my friends, family, and myself.

Not just once or twice, but over and over again.

I have failed more than I have succeeded.

My career, my businesses, and crazy hobbies I’ve started along the way.

 Through a lifetime of failure, I have learned that the fastest way to recover is to start again. I am an entrepreneur at heart.  I don’t quit or believe in giving up. I have this need to keep moving forward. I have lost friends, family, and self along the way, but I have gained courage, strength and optimism.  I don’t fail, I grow.


I am flawed and damaged... much like this old work bench.

angela crouse

I am flawed and damaged... much like the pieces I collect.

Reclaiming pieces from auctions and barns allows me to surround myself with the past. I love taking something flawed and damaged and reclaiming it. Making into something I love. Just like I do with these pieces, I have spent a lifetime reclaiming my own dreams. Repairing myself. We start out all fresh and new, and then life happens, and we become less fresh and new.  I believe that we could become ruined and flawed and simply settle for that in our lives.

Don't you love going to auctions? I just cannot get enough of them. I find treasures like this old work bench. A $10.00 bid made it mine. And after unbolting it from the wall and loading it into the truck, I began to imagine what I could turn this into. 

 I love taking something flawed and damaged and reclaiming it.

 I love taking something flawed and damaged and reclaiming it.

At fist, I was just going to replace the bottom shelf with reclaimed lumber and call it a day. But I could not stop there! I had to get rid of that rust on the steel. I love the look of steel and wood on the same piece. 

Getting rid of the damage on the bottom lumber with reclaimed lumber.

Getting rid of the damage on the bottom lumber with reclaimed lumber.

Look no rust! How nice that cleaned up. 

Look no rust! How nice that cleaned up. 

I stained the boards with Minwax stain. I use a surgical glove (bought at a different auction) with an old sock to apply the stain. Keeps my hands clean and is cheap. 

Reclaim a new future for this piece.

Reclaim a new future for this piece.

The top had an extension chord and a rubber mat for working after all it was a work bench. It took some doing but I finally got all of that off of there. I later attached the electric strip to the underneath side of the table. Cannot have a table without electricity. 

Top needs some work. Some flaws must go and some are too deep so they will have to stay

Top needs some work. Some flaws must go and some are too deep so they will have to stay

Look at that shine. The angle grinder removed all of the flaws. I will use Flood Penetrol to keep that new shine from rusting. 

Reclaiming pieces from auctions and barns allows me to surround myself with the past.

Reclaiming pieces from auctions and barns allows me to surround myself with the past.

The 22 inch barn beam stools make a great seat for the high top 6 ft patio table. I love the look. It is perfect for an outside piece. 

You vision can create a new look. 

You vision can create a new look. 

I used Varathane brand Floor Finish in “satin” because I didn’t want super shinny floors, just a nice sheen. I also used water based because the smell of of the oil based Varathane was out of control — and it took way longer to dry between coats. 

I am flawed and damaged... much like the pieces I collect.

Reclaiming pieces from auctions and barns allows me to surround myself with the past. I love taking something flawed and damaged and reclaiming it. Making into something I love. Just like I do with these pieces, I have spent a lifetime reclaiming my own dreams. Repairing myself. We start out all fresh and new, and then life happens, and we become less fresh and new.  I believe that we could become ruined and flawed and simply settle for that in our lives.

Or we could create a new vision, a new belief, a new look with our job, relationship, opportunity, thoughts... Get rid of the things we see that we don't like and keep the things that we do.

It is not simple. Removing flaws.  It is not easy. Ignoring the damage.  Flaws and damage take great effort to remove and some we will just have to keep.  But we must keep trying. Leave the past behind and Reclaim a new future.  

How to create simerhinf beautiful #reclaimedlumber

A photo posted by Reclaimed Barns and Beams (@reclaimedbarnsandbeams) on

Just who am I?

angela crouse

Just who am I? I wanted to take a moment to share some answers to some of the questions I get.

What is it like having seven children is the one I am asked the most? I know it really is unusual, right? What was I thinking? I always wanted a Walton like family. For me being an only child at home growing up, I craved the busy sounds that a house full of children brought with it. Boy did I get that. There is always someone looking for something that only I can find. Many of you relate I am sure. Someone always has a story to tell or a problem to solve. I often feel like a detective, nurse, chef, and counselor. One of the boys’ friends asked me if I felt like an Uber driver. He nailed it.

I love to plant things. Gardens, flowers, trees… Anything outside. Nothing inside. The tendency here is for me to exhibit my overachiever abilities. I could plant a few tomato plants, but no. Instead I put out 25 tomato plants. Overachiever abilities are hard to suppress.  So, I make salsa, chili sauce, spaghetti sauce. Canning is something a dear woman taught me when I was in my late teens. I have loved it ever since. It goes along with my Walton like lifestyle.

Do you travel: Too much. I used to love to travel. Too much of a good thing though is bad. With my corporate work, I had to be on the road extensively. Planes, trains, and automobiles often all in the same day were my norm. Give me my porch swing and a fire in the fire pit, and that is as far as I want to go.

Some of my loves are Chicago- {I’ll always travel there!} Sunrise only to compete with sunset. Veggie pizza, and the smell of rain in the spring.

I am somewhat of a tom girl. Explains the barn deconstruction a bit, doesn’t it. Football, cannot get enough of it. Roll Tide- another love of mine. And horseback riding,  I am ready anytime.

Bossy and loud… I am very loud. I just like to talk and laugh. We only get so many trips around the sun. I want to enjoy them all. It seems there are enough sad and negative people in the world. Why be another one.

Why start a business with everything else you have going?… why not!

Reclaiming Barn Siding

Posted by Reclaimed Barns & Beams on Wednesday, November 2, 2016



Ideas Welcome

angela crouse

Looking for a little help here!

We have clients that want large live-edge tabletops joined.  We don't have a large jointer, and it's not in the immediate budget.

Has anyone had success with using a hand-held router to join large slabs? 

What was your setup?

We have clients that want large live-edge tabletops joined. We don't have a large jointer, and it's not in the...

Posted by Reclaimed Barns & Beams on Tuesday, October 25, 2016


angela crouse

Sometimes when I walk into these old barns, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed.  The expansive height and the weighty beams are really beyond imagination in those first few steps through the barn doors.

Despite the urge to jump right in with assessing and measuring, I take the time to just stand or sit in the loft and absorb it all.  I take a moment to imagine the amount of work that went into raising that barn.  I can feel countless hours of the crew of workers calculating, moving, sawing, and working together in rhythm to stand these enormous beams upright.  The hum of hammers and saws in unison putting the siding on and sealing it tight enough to weather decades of storms, rain, wind and snow.

I take the time to imagine the conversations that occurred here, over coffee or a milk pail, maybe a single lantern or light bulb breaking the darkness before dawn or helping a farm hand during a long night caring for a newborn.

Within minutes, the overwhelmed feeling is gone and I realize that this barn is begging to be used again.  Its stories told again in your space.  We are working as fast as we can to save these stories before they are gone.

Up comes the loft flooring!

angela crouse

Amazing wide boards were used as the loft flooring in this barn. It has been kept in terrific condition. The saw marks are beautiful. I cannot wait to see what this turns into.Contact me to order. 

Marietta Barn

Day 3 of deconstruction- Progress being made, one board at a time.

angela crouse

The stall walls are coming down. The interior of the barn is being taken down one board at a time. We leave the beams and then move to the loft area. Taking up a lot of the flooring and any walls in that area. Next we will move to the siding.  Hot day for hard work. 

Reclaimed Barn: What it is like in the beginning

angela crouse

Follow us as we share the why, the how, and the what that we do.

I will walk you through the barn on our first day visiting it. This is what this barn looks like before we start deconstruction. This particular barn has a lot of damage to the roof. It would be extremely expensive to repair or replace it. The homeowners have decided to have it taken down while the lumber is still good and before it becomes too dangerous. 

Join me on a walk through, won't you! 

Live Edge Shelf- Reclaimed Lumber

angela crouse

The live edge wood is very popular and looks so great. A shelf, a table, an accent piece in a room are just a few ways people have used live edge reclaimed lumber. 

This reclaimed piece was hand sanded to get to the beautiful grain that you see. 


Both sides are beautiful and will display as a shelf or table in your home. It is a unique piece and sells for $95.00. Email me at with questions. 


How to Reclaim Your Living Space

angela crouse

Do you want your living space to reflect your style? 

Living in an apartment or with newly painted walls often creates restrictions when you are trying to transform a room into a space that reflects your style. You may want to add reclaimed lumber to your home, but are not able to hang anything on the walls. 

 If you cannot hang shelves or frames on the walls, how can you incorporate reclaimed lumber into your decorating style? 

Reclaimed Barns and Beams wants to help you with a few creative decorating ideas. 

Above is a reclaimed board from an 1880 barn in Southern Indiana. It is not ideal for hanging on a wall as it is warped in the center. Often reclaimed lumber has character flaws that keeps it from being used in certain projects. We did  not want this piece to go to waste. Placing it on top of the kitchen stove allows us to use the antique wood and creates a new space for spices to use at ease when cooking. Another great idea is to place a large board on top of your front loading washer and dryer. It just gives that space an antique look. 

Do you have a space in a corner of a room and you are just not sure what to put there? 

This wooden box was left in an old chicken coop in Southern Indiana. After washing, and washing, and washing we found a great antique piece under all the mud and dirt. A little sanding and some sealer brought out a beautiful color in the wood. We turned it on its side and placed it in the corner of the kitchen. Now we have a great bench. 

Try adding a shelf above a window. It is great addition to the room. Create a space for a collection of old bottles, or perhaps a  place  for family photos or plants. 

Often people want a way to display photos, but do not have the walls space. An easel with an antique picture frame will make a great place to add photos. Or with a light frame with no glass you can create a unique look and still not damage your walls. 

We would love to help you with your decorating needs. If you have an idea and want us to help you create it, we would love to help you do that. Or if you have created something special for your home and would like to share it with us, we would love to see it. 


Live Edge Wood: Chinkapin Oak, a species of white oak

angela crouse

Live Edge Wood: Chinkapin Oak, a species of white oak

Origins: This was part of a tree that was selected for removal by foresters at Morgan-Monroe Forest in Indiana.
Reversible: Both sides of of this slab have their charms so we have prepared both sides for display. One side shows more live edge, the other side gives more surface area.
Defects: There is a metal cleat that was put in to the slab to stop a crack from growing and it has been left.
Some tool marks from the cant hook that was used by the loggers have been left in the wood. (These appear as tears in a couple of places in the live edge part of the slab.) We all have our scars but the challenge is to make something beautiful out of them.
Treatment: Both sides have been stained with golden oak stain and both sides have also been sealed, including the live edge. Several cracks radiating from the spots where branches emerged from the tree have been filled with epoxy that was dyed with black ink. This helps to give a more flat surface as well as to preserve the wood.

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A Video?

angela crouse

What is it you do?

So many ask, "What is it you do?"

I thought a set of videos would be helpful... 

So here is the first. I promise they will get better. I just wanted to share what type of barns we deconstruct.

Click image to view video

Click image to view video

Yep, we actually take the barns down one board at a time. Our hope is to cause as little damage as possible. We scale beams, rent lifts, and use any tool that will make the process easier. Our crew is small, but we are mighty. 

We take barns down in trade for their lumber. Some are thrilled to find someone that will take down a barn for them and move it off their site. Others, understandably so, would like a return on their barn. We just aren't at that stage in the game yet. If we ever get there, we will let everyone know. 

After the reclaimed lumber is down we take it back to our shop. There we de-nail it, clean it up, trim off the unusable parts and prepare it for sale. It is easy to say, but it is actually a great deal of work. 

Thank you for following us and watching us grow as we are Reclaiming our dreams.

More videos to come...