Made in Arizona: Phoenix shop gives new life to wood recovered from East Coast barns

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- People may have heard the old saying "something old is new again", and that's especially true at Porter Barn Wood in Phoenix, a reclaimed materials supplier and a full custom woodworking and metal fabrication shop that specializes in old barns.

The wood comes from out east, and the material is given new life, via new creations that are made in Arizona.

"Sometimes people just wander in and go, 'what is this building?'" said owner Thomas Porter."We're here local in Phoenix, and I don't think a lot of people know there's something as ridiculous as us here in Phoenix."

Old wood from broken down barns across the country are taken to the facility to be deconstructed, and then made into something totally different.

"It's very complicated, but we try to make it as simple as possible," said Porter.

Porter said they can build anything for anyone. There's no project too big or too small.

"We've built stuff for Disney, we've built stuff for Microsoft, Amazon, Intel," said Porter.

Porter's work can also be found all over the state, in hotels like The Moxy, restaurants like Sip Coffee and Beer House, or attractions like the Holiday Rental House at Cityskate.

"Everything here has an incredible story," said Porter. "So, whether its a 300-year-old piece of wood from an old barn in Pennsylvania, or we had the factory floor out of Milwaukee, we had some wood that came from Johnny Cash's backyard, there's all sorts of cool stuff that has made it onto this lot and out, in the form of furniture or different pieces, so we get excited about it and so do the people that come in."

Repurposing wood is the main gig, but the 25,000 square-foot (~2322.57 square metre) facility also doubles as music venue.

"I'm a bluegrass musician and I love music, and so, we have this old cabin here in the showroom from 1760 from Pennsylvania when bands are traveling through," said Porter. "Since we don't get a lot of those bands in Arizona, when they come through, I'll snag them and they do house concerts here."

Whether it's for a concert or a project, Porter gets excited to meet new people. So, the next time people are walking by the shop on 7th, Porter hopes they decide to stop by.

"We're just as fascinated by the stories of the barn as you are," said Porter. "The people are great, the city is thriving. I love it here. I don't think I would want to do it anywhere else.

If you have an idea about a product made in Arizona, we'd love to hear from you! You can send us an email to madeinarizona[at] We may feature your idea on an upcoming edition of Made in Arizona, which airs every Friday on FOX 10 News at 4.

Porter Barn Wood