Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Building a Pergola w/ reused Detroit materials Previous Next
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Detroiterbychoice
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Username: Detroiterbychoice

Post Number: 16
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 1:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am going to build a pergola for my deck, and I want to use materials from around the city to build it. I was originally planning on using wood from architectural salvage warehouse (cheap wood!), but they are out of stock. Now I am thinking about rummaging around the packard plant and picking up some columns, etc. I was wondering if anyone here had any better/cheaper/more creative suggestions for me. Here is a link to the design I am working from.

http://www.trellisstructures.c om/pergolas/contemporary-pergo la.html
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 621
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 3:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wouldnt count on much in the Packard, Ill be thinkin about where somethin might be you could use. One thing I do know thats in there, I was talking to fishtoes about these is the end block that lines a lot of the floors in old industrial buildings. For tho'es of you who dont know, endblock are short blocks of wood placed like tiles to cover a floor. The grain of the wood is run vertically to its extremely strong. They usually measure about 2" tall X 5"long X 3" wide. Theres millions of sq feet laying around the city. They would make a great floor. Of course you would be looking down at the "end" of the grain, so you wouldnt necessarlly get that beautiful stained look. I always thought they would make a great countertop, or chopping block if carefully glued and pounded tightly into a frame. Im not sure if that made sense, Its all just in my head.

Detroiter, Ill keep my mind open to what you need, I just have to think about it a while. But finding 6x6 wont be easy, but their out there
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Soulhawk
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Username: Soulhawk

Post Number: 352
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 6:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Damn, I have been tryin to come up with a use for those little blocks too!
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 624
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 7:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are they not so so cool? You have any ideas Soul?
Even if brought together sideways so the grain would show, sanded and stained. That might work. Let me know what u think. Id be down for a recon. of end block. I know of even a better spot for them, much more accessible.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 4373
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 7:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

stealing, stripping, and scavenging from abandoned buildings is historically not looked upon kindly in this forum
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 626
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 7:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Guess we should just wait for the city to do it, yeah your probably right.

Sorry I cant just go along with the norm. MOOO?

(Message edited by django on May 28, 2008)
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 627
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 7:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

here it comes
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 628
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 7:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For the record, I am not opposed to having a change of thought. I recently got ino it about graffiti in the D. I learned a lot about what ppl thought. Maybe I can learn some more. Im not a hard guy to sway. At this moment, I feel like these buildings are falling apart, I dont have a problem with ppl stripping them, it just seems like a natural process. When a building is so beyond repair that its usless, why not scrap it for what little it has to offer. Im open to discussion though.
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Gnome
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Username: Gnome

Post Number: 1333
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 8:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

django, those blocks have survived longer than the concrete and steel buildings. They have been rained on, snowed on, they have withstood fire,flood and neglect.

Why have they survived?

What do you think is in that wood? Sand it and create a toxic dust cloud. Strip it and create a slurry so vile it will eat your finger tips off.

Those blocks carry 100 years of chemicals and oils combined with a tastee seasoning of scavanger pee and bum poo.

Can't wait for din din at your house Django. I'm all in favor of adaptive use of stuff, but some things are better left to the toxic waste landfill where they belong.
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Detroiterbychoice
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Username: Detroiterbychoice

Post Number: 17
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 8:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well I didnt specifically mean to say that I wanted to steal all my materials. ASWDetroit tears down abandon buildings and sells the materials. Im sure they do it legally and Legitimately, but why not do it myself and save the cash. I dont think its right to strip historic buildings either, but I think there is a difference between taking materials from a historic house on canfield, and taking materials from an abandoned structure that bums take giant dumps in on a regular basis.

What blocks are you guys talking about? I cant think of them. Anyone have a picture?
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 630
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 8:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LOL, I thought about that too, I thought about sanding them down, but then you wouldnt want to seal it with a poly., your prob. right. They seem like such a useful medium, There has to be a good use for them.
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Craig
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Username: Craig

Post Number: 809
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 8:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Assuming that you can find them legally, create laminated 6x6s from 2x6s or 2x8s. Clamps, glue, and a plane should give you what you need. Also, if you are any kind of mason you could create the columns from recycled brick - with white headers you'd have an elegant look worthy of Mt. Vernon.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 1644
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 9:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Try the Habitat for Humanity Restore on Greenfield near I-96 for building supplies. I'm afraid that scavaging them would take far too long and you would run into both moral and legal consequences if you are actually taking things that belong to someone else.
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Detroiterbychoice
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Username: Detroiterbychoice

Post Number: 18
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 9:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Brick is good idea! I am no kind of mason though. Well I guess I am a mason, just a very bad inexperienced one. ha ha
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 633
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 9:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Craig has it. Thats a great idea, if your willing to put in that kind of time. Getting the brick, building the columns. It would be a lot of work but damn that would look kickass.

Detroiter, I dont have any to photo. There just small blocks of wood used as flooring in thoes old industrial bldngs. Their uniqueness is that their used with the grain running vertically instead of horizontaly, this gives them much better strength. The dimensions are listed in an above post.I have no idea what kind of wood they are and would really like to know. Ill try and grab a few "illegally"
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Detroithabitater
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Username: Detroithabitater

Post Number: 144
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 9:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've been told that those floor blocks are treated with nasty chemicals for durability, fire retardant and waterproofing. I've also been told that they need to be Hazmat disposed of. I would check into that before you introduce them into your living space.
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 636
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 9:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good to know, thanks D. Ill think twice about that project now.

I had a feeling they would probably be "taminated"
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Rrl
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Username: Rrl

Post Number: 965
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 9:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A couple thoughts:

Unless you plan to stain or paint this pergola, standard lumber (pine, fir) will not last for more than a few years in an unfinished state. Rot and insect infestation are the likely culprits.; I would suspect any scavenged materials will likely be of this wood type. Even if sealed, it will require regular maintenance & upkeep.

For lower maintenance, pressure treated, or slightly more costly cedar would be the materials you should use. For the ultimate in performance (and price), redwood would be the tops. My father's house still has a redwood fence in great condition which was installed in the late 1960's.

Re: scavenging. It is my opinion that if you do not have the expressed consent of the property Owner from which you are picking from, you are stealing, no better than the copper and metal scrappers which plague the City. Keep looking for legally obtained materials.

Look in the exurbs too; many times old barns which are demo'ed due to development or outlived usefulness can yield high quality, old growth materials and often have nice sized beams (+6x6) for your columns.
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Southwestmap
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Username: Southwestmap

Post Number: 1021
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 9:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Speaking of Detroit Building materials, what is the business on Trumbull or Rosa parks called exactly that: "Detroit Building Materials, LLC?"
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 641
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Southwest, do you mean the place on Grand River X Warren? Behind the gallery. Across the street from 3741 Gallery. If so Ive been in there. I dont think they have what your lookin for but they do have some very cool things.

I like Rrls idea of finding used barn lumber and the like. If you ever found something to dismantle Id be down for a day of work to get some of the lumber.
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Southwestmap
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Username: Southwestmap

Post Number: 1023
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 2:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, that is the Architectural Warehouse. The place I am thinking of is on either Rosa Parks or Trumbull, but south of Michigan Ave. Says "Open to the Public." Name is Detroit Building Materials. I only drive by when closed so am wondering what is in there.
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Jasoncw
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Username: Jasoncw

Post Number: 504
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 2:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think that the end block floors can have problems from expanding and stuff. They work but from my understanding there will be gaps between the blocks. They are comfortable to walk on.

Don't steal people's buildings. Even if they are not maintaining the buildings like they should, it is still their building, and it is still their scrap. Just go to the store and buy wood.
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Django
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Username: Django

Post Number: 644
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 3:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You might want to check out this free ad I saw on craigs list. Its cedar.crhttp://detroit.craigslist.org/ zip/697747259.htm

If my link didnt work, it under the free section in detroit.
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Mdoyle
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Username: Mdoyle

Post Number: 416
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 3:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The end block is likely soaked in creosote. Its a wood preservative used on telephone poles and railroad sleepers. Its some pretty nasty oily stuff and can cause some health problems if there is a prolonged exposure to it.

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