1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

historical wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by ScotO, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    As many of you know, I've been doing a big project in my living room with a total overhaul and a huge stone fireplace. Several years ago I tore down a barn that was built up on the mountain in 1868 to use the beams and boards in my house renovation. Last night, I went out to my barn where I have several hand-hewn pine beams from that barn to pick out a good beam to make stand-offs for the fireplace (the parts that will hold the mantle up). I was amazed at how many annual rings were in that beam. In a 9" by 7" section of that beam I counted over 136 rings! That tree was standing during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the Civil War to name a few events! Anyway I had some scraps and decided.to try them out in the stove, and let me tell you I was amazed at how that stuff burned. I threw some small splits of it on during the evening to take the chill off, we had lots of windows opened before bedtime! And for the heck of it, I threw two 9" by 7" by 22" chunks in at bedtime, it was still cranking some serious heat with a nice bed of coals when I left for work this morning!! First time I've ever had an overnight fire with pine and I was impressed......

    Pic of the stand-offs in the wall. This was the wood I used in the stove last night....



    2012-11-11_22-01-16_339.jpg 2012-11-11_22-01-21_224.jpg
    Beardog, Thistle, fishingpol and 11 others like this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,207
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    your wifey is going to love everything about you when your done
  3. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Either that, or she'll kill me if I DON'T get it done!! ;)
  4. shmodaddy

    shmodaddy Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Messages:
    231
    Loc:
    So IL
    Scotty the rings are the first thing I look at the after felling a tree and the same thoughts go through my head. Man this thing seen the I civil war and the like. I often wonder if the tree could talk about whatever has happened around it what it would say!!!! Ok so hope you all don't think weird now. Those beams will look awesome I wish I had 1/4 the creativity and construction skills. You all have.

    Sent from my rooted and eclipse running X2--thanks nitro-- if im posting on here I'm probably supposed to be working! I can't help im addicted to HEARTH.COM!



    Sent from my rooted and eclipse running X2--thanks nitro-- if im posting on here I'm probably supposed to be working! I can't help im addicted to HEARTH.COM!
    ScotO and woodchip like this.
  5. shmodaddy

    shmodaddy Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Messages:
    231
    Loc:
    So IL
    Scotty the rings are the first thing I look at the after felling a tree and the same thoughts go through my head. Man this thing seen the I civil war and the like. I often wonder if the tree could talk about whatever has happened around it what it would say!!!! Ok so hope you all don't think weird now. Those beams will look awesome I wish I had 1/4 the creativity and construction skills. You all have.

    Sent from my rooted and eclipse running X2--thanks nitro-- if im posting on here I'm probably supposed to be working! I can't help im addicted to HEARTH.COM!
  6. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,482
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    That Barn Wood is worth some serious $$$.....my Wife is slowly refurnishing the house with Barn Wood Furniture.....the store claims a minimum 120 year old Barn Wood
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  7. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I sold alot of it after we renovated the main house and used the best of it, and I made a nice chunk o' change! I have enough to finish the living room project (I picked the best of the best and saved it), going to look at another barn this winter. Too many irons in the fire!
    Backwoods Savage and Beer Belly like this.
  8. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,739
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    I thought this might have something to do with an old guy on Viagra.
    Guess I was wrong.
    And, I'm glad.
  9. Blue2ndaries

    Blue2ndaries Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    697
    Loc:
    Oregon
    So cool! Can't wait to see the finished product Scotty!
    ScotO likes this.
  10. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,020
    Loc:
    Richmond, VA
    Less than a year after we moved to SW Colorado, lightning struck a juniper near our house. The volunteer fire crews extinguished the fire, but cut the tree down in the process. Because that area of the country is semi-arid, trees grow very slowly. I cut a 6-inch thick cookie from the juniper, which measures about 15" in diameter, about 40" up from the ground.

    I knew a dendrochronologist who worked at the Tree Ring Lab in Arizona. He showed me how to count the rings, using a hand magnifier. I cross-checked my count with a formula that the USFS and archeologists in the area use for dating junipers, based on the tree diameter at that height. Both results show that the earliest ring on the tree was formed in 1506 (+/- 10 years), which is when Christopher Columbus died, about 100 years before Jamestown colony. P1040421 (800x450).jpg

    I keep the cookie here in my study in Richmond, one of my favorite souvenirs of the desert southwest.
  11. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    Very nice Scotty - great to see the old wood getting a second life. That's whats so amazing about those old growth trees they were cutting hundreds of years ago... As they got bigger and old those rings get closer together and the woods gets so much denser. Some of that old pine is so hard it almost feels like hardwood.... old growth wide pine floorboards can take a beating that modern farmed wood would never stand up to.

    I wish I could find it now... there was a post on one of the old house forums where a guy took a photo of the end grain of a 300 year old floorboard next to the end grain of a board from the 50s and a modern board.. All pine. The difference was amazing, you wouldn't believe its the same species of tree.

    The sight of a 150 ft oak tree or a 180ft eastern white pine must have been something to see.....
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  12. onion

    onion Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    175
    Loc:
    Ohio
    Pretty amazing as I'm sure your workmanship will be. I have a great big white oak out back that is probably 200+ years old (at least that's what the forester said). I've often thought about the likelihood of President Grant (who lived nearby for a few years) or Tecumseh (who roamed these parts) passed by/saw/touched the tree. Probably minimal chance but fun to think about. Maybe someday I'll get a core of the tree and actually date it.
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  13. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,488
    Loc:
    South of the beloved Patriots
    This is amazing!!
    I would have this shellac'd and hung (Papadave) Do you have a full size photo of this??
  14. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,020
    Loc:
    Richmond, VA
    Well, it's not shellac'd and hung, but it's sitting near me on top of my bookcase. Not sure what you mean by full-size photo. You mean higher resolution, or a photo of the entire cookie? With digital cameras, photos are easy to provide!

    I should add that such trees are very common in that area. It gives you great respect for the tenacity of species that can survive in such a harsh environment. I swore after living there for 5 years that I would never complain about too much rain again. Drought causes such long-term suffering and death, extending for years. Floods are typically over pretty quickly.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  15. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,488
    Loc:
    South of the beloved Patriots
    I mean a full photo of the cookie, that would make a great framed pic.
    ScotO likes this.
  16. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,689
    Loc:
    WNY
    We used some reclaimed barnwood for part of the flooring here. That and old garage sheathing, along with what was originally here. We burned off the cut offs of the barn floor, it was quite dry!

    One note to those that want to use barnwood, try to know your source. Barns don't just house horses and cows, many times there's equipment and general chemicals stored there as well. Know what you're bringing into your house! Ours came from a local source, a hayloft that had only been hay storage. Had to power wash the mouse out of it still though, lol. Well, power wash then treat with vinegar just in case there were any old mold spores since the hayloft had been left with some old hay, open to the weather. Also, watch when planing it, it tends to have hidden bits of metal and broken off nails and such :p
    Beer Belly and ScotO like this.
  17. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    937
    Loc:
    Mount Cheaha Alabama
    And to think lumber companies have the nads to stamp "PRIME" on a knotty stud.
    ScotO likes this.
  18. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    676
    Loc:
    NW CT
    While a cool story, this does not make me feel good about how flammable my house would be if it were to catch fire...egads. American Chestnut post and beam construction from 1758...shudder.
  19. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    937
    Loc:
    Mount Cheaha Alabama
    Everyone's house is flammable to some degree.
    The lack of fireblocking if not done during renovations would be the difference between total loss and slavageable.
    Figure your house had open hearths burning for ~350yrs and is still standing. An unattended electric heater could bring it down anytime, I'd place my bet on the woodstove being safer if maintained correctly.
    ScotO likes this.
  20. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Basod is right. It's amazing how long some structures (like yours, mfglickman) have survived. I mean, think about all the variables for a structure to 'live' that long. All the winters, springs, summers and falls. All the fires that were built inside that house, all the high winds and deep snows.......all the different insects that could have and probably did invade it at one time or another.....all the history it has endured. I am fascinated by old things like your house. Those things really seem to give the house not only character, but also a 'soul' in a sense. All the babies and elders that have grown in that house, all the meals, all the laughs and tears....all the Thanksgivings, Christmases, and Easter Sundays...

    Ok, I'll stop. I'm getting carried away. I just really love colonial houses!
  21. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    591
    Loc:
    rondout valley ny
    a beautiful renovation scotty. if i remeber coorectly...wasn't that supposed to be done by thanksgiving? just sayin'.:cool:

    this is a really enjoyable thread. makes sense that those of us that spend so much time handling wood can appreciate its beauty too.
  22. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,739
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Wait a minute...what did I do? I don't deserve to be shellac'd and hung. I'm too young for that.
  23. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Thanks, OT. Yeah, it's looking more like Christmas now, though. But we are moving right along, hitting a speedbump here and there but all in all, it's going pretty good.

    I love the natural feel and coziness of real wood. Got it all through the house. Hemlock beams, oak floors, walnut staircase (most of it reclaimed from antique houses). Also love the feel of real stone. Lots and lots of that in here, too!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  24. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,739
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    See, it's not just me. Just sayin'.;)
    ScotO likes this.
  25. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Tell him you have the 'hung' part down. But you'll pass on the 'shellac' part.::-)
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

Share This Page