Thursday, January 3, 2013

Take it like a Polaroid picture

Demolition is part of the restoration field. Not every old structure can be saved, although I firmly believe ALL structures are worth saving.

Yesterday, we performed a little demolition in an attempt to allow the cold and rainy weather to pass through before working on the Latham house.

The house is a story an a half timber frame structure built during the civil war era, give or take a few years. The frame was originally hand planed and open to the residents. The walls between the two main rooms were large 14 inch wide boards that were also hand planed and shiplapped together.

Unfortunately, the house was "remodeled" during the 1960's or 1970's in order to turn it into a rental house. This remuddle included installing Sheetrock.

During the rental period, the house became run down and infested with termites, which worked their way up the walls behind the sheet rock destroying every bit of sap wood they could find.

This house would take a lot of work to be saved, but we will be able to ensure a small part of this house survives.

The owner of the house is planning to push it over, but we have the permission to salvage as much of the original floor as we can for the Latham house. As the weather wasn't cooperating, we spent a few hours pulling floor board to see what we would run into.

The boards on the main floor are about 17 feet long and were butt jointed together. The joints were so right that there was no gap at all between the seams.

Closer inspection reveals holes in the floor joists that were augered out to place a large iron rod. Wedges were then placed between the rods and the floor board driving them tight to the floor board before it

The floor boards were readied by planing the surface and then truing the edges. A gauge was used to mark an even line and a rebate plane with a fence was used to bring the material to the gauge line. Finally, an adz would be used to work out material were the floor boards met the floor joists.

We also found this Polaroid photo taken around 1998 and took a current picture of the same view.

And today.

We only took about 6 boards with us today, but we'll be back for the rest soon.

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