Meeting Joseph Neal who runs Barn Savers
My current gig (outside of Blue Collar Voices) is a short-term 7-month construction job in Minnesota.
As I was in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I had to drive pretty much straight north to get to Brainerd, Minnesota – and Springfield, Missouri was just a little jaunt east along the way.
I had first interacted with Joe well over a year ago, and we had recorded a podcast episode.
Alas, this recording was completely unusable. The audio was poor on BOTH sides, and there was at least one dropped call.
Fast forward to spring 2021 and I asked Joe if he was up for meeting. He was definitely up for it, so I added his location to my travel north.
On April 12, 20201, I got to his shop a bit before he did, and got to meet some of his employees. I wandered around looking, and man, was there some really great wood. One of the things I really loved was the huge beams, but it all is pretty freakin’ great.
Once Joe was able to meet me, he showed me around, showed me the processes.
I remembered that I have a handsaw with a broken (and deteriorating) handle that I am going to make from a piece of oak. I asked Joe if he had any scraps that matched my needs.
Joe cut off what I needed from an Oak board – meaning I get to make my saw handle out of OLD GROWTH (most likely), and certainly reclaimed lumber. Way cool!
Joe also gifted me an old, old rusting license plate, and some old nails.
And we went to breakfast and hung out and talked. There is a lot of depth to Joe, and he is a very caring person – and that is pretty cool.
Yes, we still have a podcast to do over. And we will discuss Barnwood life. 🙂 It is a hard business, but Joe is successful at it. And just SURVIVING is pretty awesome, but his diversification helps keep more wood in use, rather than being wasted – which brings in more pennies.
I’m absolutely glad I got to meet Joe in person. I’ve met several people in real life now that were on my podcast, and every time, it is a plus.
Thanks for meeting my Joe, and taking time out from your day to show me around! I’m definitely gonna enjoy our podcast recording session, once we can make that happen!
Info on Joe and Barn Savers:
(it is worth checking out the pics!)
A few more pics from his shop: