Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hand Hewn Timber Beams

The moment I've been waiting for. Installing old timbers as "beams" to create a rustic feel for the kitchen, which will later be contrasted by clean white glass mullion cabinetry. I can't wait to see it all together but this was the first step.

All in all, it went pretty smooth with only a few challenges as every project must unveil. There are a total of five and these "beams" do nothing that a beam would usually do structurally, other than look cool. They were purchased at Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage and I was told they came from an old barn in Southern Oregon.

The hand hewn, or rough hewn, helps the old timber look even more rustic as if it's been sculpted. The lower exposed part of the beam is actually the rounded part of the tree.

The bleach container seen at the bottom was for killing off the algae that developed after sitting in the Oregon rain.

The big challenge was the mortise and tenon to join the beam that ties into the header. The mortise part took a good hour or more of chiseling out. I even came home on my lunch break, just to knock some of it out to make it less tiring to do in the evening. The tenon was a piece of cake, actually pretty fun.

Here's the tenon part. The first picture is marking out what needs to be chiseled away. I made cuts in to the beam with my circular saw to help move it along. The last picture is the end result of the tenon, or at least before I had to round up the corners to get it to fit. Whoa! How'd that beer get in there???

Here's what the final mortise and tenon joint ended up as. It's doesn't get more 19th century...

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At 9:36 AM, Blogger dynochick (Jan) said...

Very nice.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Sharon said...

Wow! That is going to looks so nice.

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Julio said...

Those beams look great! I am really impressed with all the work you've been doing lately...

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Renovations Raleigh NC said...

WOW that is going very very Nice i love you work.
Thank you for post.

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous timber sales said...

I am doubting on using old timber as a beams. does it bare all the roofs weight?

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Thanks for the compliments!

These beams are just for show and do not bear any weight.

At 7:31 PM, Blogger lauren said...

I love the beams. It's going to look great.

Lauren from

At 11:53 PM, Anonymous O'Brien Timber Floors Melbourne said...

Hey, this is great work, you've gotta love the "rustic look", which is now becoming so popular, so much more character than the modern look in my opinion. :-)


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