Hand Hewn Beams

Hand Hewn Beams

Our antique beams typically hail from mid 19th century structures, themselves built from 100 year old “first growth” trees. As a result, the beams comprise wood that is at least 250 years old!

Shaped by craftsment using adzes and broadaxes, structural timbers were usually squared. Odd sizes and exotic species are not uncommon in timber frames we dismantle but pine and hemlock were often used due to their abundance and easy workability. Moreover because the end grain of pine was found to be resistant to moisture absorption, thus adding longevity to joints in building structures, it is by far the wood most commonly found in surviving timber frrames.

Our beams have nail holes, worm trails, wear distress, insect scars and joinery pickets. Within days of dismantling, successive ultra violet and rain exposures tan the beams turning their honey brown patina into a protective grey colour. A light pressure wash (even the coin-op car wash will do) will restore the warm barn-fresh brown colour. Sanding or soda and sand blasting, depending on whether you want a smooth or grainy appearance, will also restore the colour.

With pine as the medium, and heavy winter winds and snows as the test, unsupported beam spans seldom exceeded twelve feet. Knee or wind braces serve to diminish the spans and prevent racking of the stucture. As a result, hand-hewn beams frequently display through-mortises or knee-brace pockets. This artful carpentry is part of their charm. Often the craftsmen’s joinery tolerance during construction of these immense structures was 1/16″ – as tight as you might find in a piece of furniture.

Beams are valued according to volume measure on a descending dollar scale reflecting the scarcity of smaller hand-hewn members. The price however, is quoted in cost per lineal foot for ease of calculation.

Size # in. Face # Bd. Ft. per Lin Ft. Price per Bd. Ft. Price Per Lin. Ft.
4×4
16
1.33
5.26
7.00
5×5
25
2.08
3.84
8.00
6×6
36
3.00
3.00
9.00
7×7
49
4.08
2.45
10.00
8×8
64
5.33
2.06
11.00
9×9
81
6.75
1.77
12.00
10×10
100
8.33
1.56
13.00
11×11
121
10.08
1.38
14.00
12×12
144
12.00
1.25
15.00
13×13
169
14.08
1.13
16.00
14×14
196
16.33
1.04
17.00
For beams over 20′ in length – add 20% to the total length/price.
Note: Swing beams are individually priced.

 

IC3348 Swing Beam - 17'' x 11'' x 22' 4''long  - $1450.00

IC3348 Swing Beam – 17” x 11” x 22′ 4”long – $1450.00