historical wood

ScotO Posted By ScotO, Nov 12, 2012 at 9:07 AM

  1. ScotO

    ScotO
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    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
     
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  2. TimJ

    TimJ
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    your wifey is going to love everything about you when your done
     
  3. ScotO

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

    shmodaddy
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    Sep 12, 2011
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    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!
     
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  5. shmodaddy

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    Sep 12, 2011
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    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
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    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
     
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  7. ScotO

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    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!
     
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  8. PapaDave

    PapaDave
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    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
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    So cool! Can't wait to see the finished product Scotty!
     
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  10. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran
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    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
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    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.....
     
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  12. onion

    onion
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    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.
     
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  13. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn
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    This is amazing!!
    I would have this shellac'd and hung (Papadave) Do you have a full size photo of this??
     
  14. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran
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    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.
     
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  15. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn
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    I mean a full photo of the cookie, that would make a great framed pic.
     
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  16. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage
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    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
     
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  17. basod

    basod
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    And to think lumber companies have the nads to stamp "PRIME" on a knotty stud.
     
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  18. mfglickman

    mfglickman
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    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
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    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.
     
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  20. ScotO

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    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
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    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
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    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

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    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!
     
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  24. PapaDave

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    See, it's not just me. Just sayin'.;)
     
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  25. ScotO

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