Friday, 14 June 2013

Beam There and Done That

Dry rot has an insidious quality. One of the drawing room beams looked OK from above,
but after clearing away the surrounding rubble, it turned out to be rotten to the core. How could I possibly replace this massive 8" x 5" beam, given the cost of new timber and the unobtainable imperial sizes?

Suddenly an even larger beam which had toppled from the floor above, came into my view. This was even more rotten at one end but considerable longer. "Could we", I suggested to my builder,"cut this big rotten beam down to make a new smaller one?". Anyhow, thanks to Bill Pitt of Kirriemuir, this is precisely what was done. He cut the big rotten beam down to fit into the position of the small rotten beam - note the intricate cutting to fit a stone corbel at one end and an iron slot at the other! The re-fashioned beam, which we treated against future rot, dropped sweetly and sharply into position this morning.

It was a good conservation karma moment, enjoyed by all.

old beam looked OK from above

but was rotten to the core

replacement beam (cut down from large rotten beam) cut to fit iron slot

replacement beam cut to fit stone corbel

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