Bonafide Farm

The beams: Upcycled from obscurity

November 16th, 2009 § 0

When the old house came down, I asked my builders to salvage as much of the old lumber as possible. Among some of the material that wasn’t completely destroyed by termites (such as my main floor beam) were a few of the floor joists, shown below intersecting that decimated beam:IMG_2788Web

My idea was to reuse the joists as decorative beams in the vaulted kitchen space. I spent a rainy weekend outside, sick with a cold and soaked to my underwear, scrubbing 80 years of crawlspace dirt off of the joists. With the dirt removed, the wood revealed beautiful graining, cool knot holes, decorative (as opposed to destructive) insect damage, and beautiful radial patterns from the huge saw blade used to mill it.

Then with family assistance I temporarily hung the beams with clamps to determine their positioning and number. It was a complicated math problem, as each beam was a different length, courtesy of the inept framers who cut them out of the old house, and the length of the shortest beam determined how high up on the wall they all could hang. But all that fussing around was worth it. I have to say, I am thrilled with the result.


A lucky seven fit the space perfectly. And I like the idea of reusing some of the old house in the new home. And though you’ll never see this view once the upstairs drywall goes up, I just liked the way the beams looked from above in this shot that really shows the saw patterns and color variations in each piece of wood. I might oil them some day to make these details stand out even more.


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