Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The sill "clamp"

As Jason and I were tearing apart a room yesterday in preparation to repair the rear sills, we came across this bizarre piece of 1800's ingenuity.

This chuck of wood acts like a clamp to hold the two sills together. The second sill was added probably about 30 years after the first. Normally, some sort of dovetail key is used but since they had to connect to an existing section of house, they had to come up with another method to secure the new sill.

The "clamp" was thin enough to slip under the existing floor boards and then rotated so that the notch straddles the sills. A massive wedge was then inserted to cinch the two sills together.

You can also see the chamfer that allowed the piece to be rotated down.

I really enjoy taking stuff apart and seeing how it was put together 200 years ago.

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