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He Preserves History By Re-Using Elevator Wood
"They're knocking Šem down at the rate of one a day around here, destroying some great wood," says Peter Kirk, who's leading an effort to salvage wood from cribbed-type elevators.
The Innisfree, Alberta, woodworker not only wants to save the wood and turn it into "grain leg art" in the short-term, but eventually to renovate an entire elevator and turn it into a crafts store-office-restaurant complex.
Kirk is attracted to elevator wood because of the patterns worn in the wood over the course of 70 or 80 years. "Stored grain wears it like a riverbed. It creates some really exquisite patterns," he notes.
Along with helper Clayton Harrison, Kirk has stripped at least 30 elevators, using chainsaws and crowbars, in the last few years.
He uses the salvaged wood to make everything from common refrigerator magnets to elaborate custom-built pieces.
"Of the ten or twelve big pieces I've built, the most involved was a 7-ft. high, 9-ft. wide home entertainment center in the shape of a grain elevator complete with granary-style sliding doors," he says.
Meantime, he continues to stockpile wood (dozens more elevators are slated for destruction in the coming months) hoping that in 10 or 20 years people will recognize its value as a part of Prairie history and art.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Pe-ter Kirk, Box 359, Innisfree, Alberta, Canada TOB 2GO (ph 403 592-2179).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3