Texas Connects Us: Family Makes Tables out of Fort Worth Stockyards' Wood

A lot has been built inside Jim Trammell's shop, which is located on his ranch in Weatherford.

"I get up every morning hungry, ready to go," Trammell said with a smile.

On the day NBC 5 photojournalist Mike Richard visited his shop, Trammell was working alongside his son-in-law, Randy Temple.

"Even though I'd been around him for 30-something years, I got to know him a lot better right here in this shop for a year," Temple said.

Together, they built a series of tables and other items out of reclaimed wood from Trammell's cattlebarn.

It's a joint project that started with the following conversation about Trammell's old barn.

"Decided I better tear it down before it fell down on my cows. They all slept under it," Trammell said.

"I said, 'What are you going to do with all that lumber?'" Temple asked.

"I was gonna get rid of the lumber," Trammell said.

"And then I asked him, I said, 'Where did this wood come from?' He said, 'Fort Worth Stockyards,' just like that," Temple said.

Randy confirmed the barn's wood originally came from the Armour and Company meat packing plant, which was built in the Fort Worth Stockyards in the early 1900s.

"So he [Temple] come up with the idea we'd build tables out of it," Trammell said.

They got started building the tables, but there was a learning curve.

"Never did do much wood work," Trammell said.

Trammell's building experience used to be focused on fixing-up '57 Chevys.

"Redone five of them in here, one a convertible," Trammell said while showing pictures of the cars.

When it came to wood work, their first table, "wasn't that good, but we learned from that one. And we wound up building 25 or 26 tables and we got better and better and better," Temple said.

"Just kept a going," Trammell said.

There were also some distractions.

"Get outta here!" Trammell grumbled to a cow waiting at the shop's entryway.

"Spent half the time messin' with her!" Trammell said.

The cow was named "Stockyard" after the wood they were working on.

"She's our mascot, I guess," Temple said.

"Building these tables, she'd wait here every morning for a handful of handout," Trammell said.

Temple also learned about the challenges of trying to tell his father-in law how to do his job. "He don't ever say hardly anything," Temple said about Trammell. "But I said, 'Jim, do you know,'" but before Temple could finish his suggestion, he said Trammel said, "well just shut up and get on over there and do your own thing,'" Temple said about Trammell, while both laughed.

"He knew I was fixing to get on him a little bit about something," Temple said with a laugh, matched by Trammell's.

"You remember that day?" Temple asked Trammell, who nodded with a chuckle.

But the two got in a groove and dedicated a year together in Trammell's shop.

"I know him like a book. He knows me too though," Temple said with a laugh.

Temple was also excited about this project because they got a chance to re-purpose history. "And it may be 200 or 300 years it stays in a family past the Stockyards," Temple said.

Today, there are only eight tables left; the rest have been sold.

Looking back at the decades of things built inside Trammell's shop, the most important thing might just be the relationship between Trammell and his son-in-law.

"He's a pretty good feller I guess," Trammell said.

"And there's not a better guy in the world than Jim Trammell, I'm just telling ya. He's just that way," Temple said.

The tables are sold exclusively at WRARE, which is a furniture, home accents and gift retailer located on the famed bricks of Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth.

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