Every journey begins with a single step and it is sometimes surprising what that single step can be. In the case of Mono Centre Salvage and Wood Company, it was a barn door. “My brother-in-law sent me plans for a barn door he was going to buy,” said Matthew Wood, co-owner of Mono Centre Salvage and Wood. “I thought ‘I could make that.’” So he did. With plenty of trial and a few errors, he built the barn door from reclaimed wood and the system with iron from an Orangeville metal company. “It took time but looked really good when it was done,” he said. “And when I put pictures of the door up on Facebook, a lot of people saw it and were interested in one of their own.”
The people at Higher Ground Coffee Company, a specialty coffee shop in Belfountain asked Matthew to build them a barn door for their shop. They liked it, asked him to do more work for them, including a table and a laptop bar with a live edge. The business has continued to grow from there. Recently Matthew got an order for a double set of barn doors.
In less than a year, Matthew has taken in enough orders that he could quit his full time job as an auto mechanic, although he still keeps his hand in part time. Today, most of his workday is at Mono Centre Salvage and Wood Company, working with his brother-in-law, Kris King as business partner. They work in a large shop attached to Matthew’s house in Mono Centre.
“We mostly build custom pieces – a lot of barn door systems for inside the house – and most of the work is reclaimed wood and metal,” said Matthew. Much of the metal for his pieces comes from Hunter Steel Sales. Some of the wood comes from Century Wood Products in Marsville, a company, which specializes in reclaimed wood. “We also deal directly with contractors who are renovating century homes, or taking down barns and such. And we get hardware from various sources,” said Matthew. Occasionally there are unique sources of building material. For instance, they just finished a bench made from reclaimed cedar from an old hot tub.
The Mono Centre Salvage and Wood company Web site (monocentresalvage.com) has some of the products they make, including bar stools of steel and old hemlock, crates, tables with iron legs, and a “Rad Block” which is a block of reclaimed wood, hollowed out to make a sound box for iPhones. In addition, they take on a great deal of custom work, such as a seven-foot table completed recently, with a matching bench that is supported by an I-beam. While Matthew regularly puts in 10-hour days, it’s not uncommon for days to extend to sixteen hours as deadlines for custom work approach. And with the continued popularity of the industrial look favored by loft dwellers and specialty shops, the calls for work continue unabated.
“I like the fact that our products are made mostly from materials that would otherwise be wasted,” said Matthew, “and that they’re made into things that a lot of people find interesting and useful.”