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Old Gasket Factory Yields Thousands of Pounds of Bookshelves

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By Virginia C. McGuire

Philadelphia Salvage Company owner Chris Stock has odd tastes. Specifically, he likes to buy pieces of old buildings when they're torn down. A 1902 gasket factory at Smedley and Erie in Tioga recently yielded a huge pile of 1,000-pound yellow pine beams. Stock called in a portable machine for milling the beams into boards. All week, he's had a team of guys pulling nails out of the beams and cutting them into boards of different thicknesses.

Custom orders have come from people planning to make flooring, tabletops, bookshelves and kitchen cabinets out of the stuff. So far the project is taking longer than he expected, but his lumberyard, down the street from his shop at Carpenter and Greene in Mt. Airy, has been attracting curious onlookers for days. The only casualty so far is Stock's foot, which had a beam dropped on it early in the week. He's pretty sure it's not broken.

Stock is in a hurry to finish the milling and start setting up for his Fall Revelry event, to be held at the shop this Saturday from 10-4. The 15 vendors will include interior designers, custom furniture makers, local beer, a grill and live music from the retro jazz band the Gin Canaries. And yes, you can check out the old, newly milled yellow pine during the event.

· Philadelphia Salvage Company