The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

FARMA


Council Tool

Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Baltic Abrasives Technologies Nyle Kiln Dry Systems




Author Topic: Old post and beam house that needs work  (Read 782 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jonleonard80

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Location: Massachusetts
  • Gender: Male
  • Fixing 1700's post n beam
    • Share Post
Old post and beam house that needs work
« on: January 16, 2019, 10:56:39 AM »
Hello,
I just finished my first year this January in my old post and beam house. I've found so many things to work on in this house it will take about 80+ years to finish it. I'm getting to the point now where I have to stop doing easy stuff, and get to some of the harder/more involved work. I'm totally hands on when it comes to any project.
I'm not a master craftsman or Norm Abrams, but I want to learn how to fix my post and beam house so it will stand for a few more centuries.

Any help or direction to my questions is greatly felt.

?..Some vertical and horizontal beams are rotted. Do you replace the vertical beams first then horizontal or visa versa?

?...I have 4 beams boxing in my chimney. 2 of them are about 15'. Then 2 smaller beams notched in to the pryor 15' beams on sides of chimey(maybe 5-6' in length)
Are these beams generally connected/built into the chimney?

Offline rjwoelk

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 994
  • Age: 63
  • Location: lumsden sask. canada
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • countrysidefirewood
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 11:08:24 AM »
Pictures would help show the situation. One needs to understand how it went together originally.  Then dismantle it. You may not be able to do it as it was if its mortise and tenon joints. They would have gone to gether on the ground then stood up ,before any thing else was built around it.. Good luck. We have lots of folks on the fourm that can give you advice.
Lt15 palax wood processor,3020 JD 7120 CIH 36x72 hay shed for workshop coop tractor with a duetz for power plant

Offline Jim_Rogers

  • Board Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7143
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Georgetown, MA
  • Gender: Male
  • Keep your chisels sharp.
    • Share Post
    • jrsawmill.com
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 11:25:30 AM »
you could work your way up.
you will need good support first for beam repairs.

Good luck with your projects.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Online Don P

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5289
  • Location: Southwestern VA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Calculator Index
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 05:48:25 PM »
Yup, start with the foundation, is it sound, are the sills level and sound. Then pics of the overall house slowly bringing us in. It is easy to get lost when someone zooms in too tight before we have a sense of the overall building.
A laborer works with his hands
A craftsman uses his brain and his hands
An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline rjwoelk

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 994
  • Age: 63
  • Location: lumsden sask. canada
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • countrysidefirewood
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 07:33:59 PM »
You called it post and beam or do you mean timberframed as in mortise and tenon joinery.?
Lt15 palax wood processor,3020 JD 7120 CIH 36x72 hay shed for workshop coop tractor with a duetz for power plant

Offline Jonleonard80

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Location: Massachusetts
  • Gender: Male
  • Fixing 1700's post n beam
    • Share Post
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 10:22:58 AM »
Thank you all for getting back so soon.
I thank you and my house thanks you.

People have told me since they've seen the house you have to start where the house meets the ground. 80% of sill at my house is 6"x6" beams. (Witch is in a 1 1/2ft crawl space). Other 20% of sill is notched joists on a sill plate.(circa 1850-1900). Its hard to see the 6x6 sill but some of it must be comprised.

This house is an old salt box 1,700sq. Ft. In all. 4 of the 8 rooms in the house have no studs in the walls. Just horizontal beams joining vertical corner beams..
There are carpenters marks( lV) in the attic on the A frames. The A frames are joined by "trunnels"

Offline Jonleonard80

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Location: Massachusetts
  • Gender: Male
  • Fixing 1700's post n beam
    • Share Post
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 10:27:11 AM »
 

 

Online Don P

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5289
  • Location: Southwestern VA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Calculator Index
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 10:54:34 PM »
Its lines look fairly straight in the pic, that's good. The foundation appears to be continuous and smooth, concrete? is it in good condition? probe down with a rod along the outside of the wall, are their footings, how deep.

Generous working room underneath, that's good. That should be cleaned out of any organic matter and a vapor barrier on the soil if there isn't one, that also makes it more pleasant to crawl around on. Do a full walk and crawl around and take the camera, and plenty of light. A knife or ice pick is also handy to probe for soft wood while under there, poke around the sill/foundation interface, look for water damage, mold, fungi, termite trails, ants, frass, powderpost holes, etc. Take some pics of the different joinery and label where you are. I'd like to see how the joists are attached, look for splitting of the joists at their notch into the sill. Knife back to fresh wood, can you identify species. A plan sketch of the building would be helpful, include the chimneys in the sketch. I'm guessing we are looking at the south and east? Looking at the style and overhangs, is the T bumpout part of the addition? Oh to your original question, typically structural framing is held away from chimneys a couple of inches, but I have seen a chimney with a ceiling joist right through the flue, which wasn't the brightest idea that carpenter ever had  ::)

Just some terminology, beams are horizontal members, there are a number of different kinds of beams for instance a joist is one type of beam. Vertical members are technically columns but most of us call vertical members posts. Generally most people think of a timberframe as predominantly wood joinery where a post and beam has predominantly steel connections, plates and bolts. From the era and your description this would be better described as a timberframe. It looks like you have a nice project.
A laborer works with his hands
A craftsman uses his brain and his hands
An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline Jonleonard80

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Location: Massachusetts
  • Gender: Male
  • Fixing 1700's post n beam
    • Share Post
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 10:02:18 AM »
The foundation is field stone. 

The picture is the south and east corner

The bump out is an addition
(Milled studs circa 1800's ish)

The east room which is the room closest in the picture..is also studded out around the older timber frame
The bump out which is my bathroom, and front hall plus the east room are the only rooms studded out
I'd like to stud out the rest of the rooms in the future so I can insulate the walls

All the timber beams in this house are hand hewn beams. They really look awesome.
Most of the timber frame is covered with horse hair or sheetrock. I want to showcase the timber frame where I can, but have to get the house squared up and solid first.

?---  the timber frame is 200+ years old.
   How strong/brittle is wood that old?

  Someone told me the timber that old is almost turning into low grade steel(petrified) 
?--- how well does old timber like this react to jacking and squaring up?

Online Don P

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5289
  • Location: Southwestern VA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Calculator Index
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2019, 05:23:05 PM »
Is the foundation mortared or dry laid, if mortared is it a soft lime based mortar or has it been repointed with modern hard Portland cement mortar? Mainly is it shifting or sound, how hard is it to remove and replace sections if needed.

Wood doesn't really change strength or brittleness or petrify over time on its own. As long as it hasn't been attacked by insects, fungi or fire it has the same strength properties as new wood of the same species and grade. If overloaded for long periods of time it can take on a permanent deflection "set". There are a couple of wooden churches 5 times the age of your frame, remember an old frame here is a young frame in Europe.

It was not uncommon for the horsehair in old plaster to have come from a tannery and can contain arsenic or other nasties, protect yourself while working around it, clean up appropriately.

If you would like to see the frame inside and insulate you might want to consider insulating outside the frame using SIPs.
A laborer works with his hands
A craftsman uses his brain and his hands
An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline Tom King

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
  • Age: 68
  • Location: Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
    • HistoricHousePreservation
Re: Old post and beam house that needs work
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2019, 01:13:38 PM »
This is one of the things that I do for a living.  There is no set of answers that cover different situations with old houses.  I don't think I've done many things twice on different houses.  Most of the ones I've fixed were much worse than yours.

You just have to dig in, and figure it out as it goes along, and often, a different plan for different places in the house.  Yes, it can be jacked up-pretty easily actually.  If there is enough room for bottle jacks, I usually use 20 ton jacks, not so much for the weight capacity, but because they move such a small amount with each pump.  If there is not enough room for a bottle jack, hydraulic rams, with a separate pump, come in all sorts of heights, and capacities.

Some of the work can be seen on the "Structural" page on my website.  link right below

If timbers are going to be replaced where they will be seen, surface texture is matched to adjacent, old ones, but my work is mostly in museum houses where it matters.  For the hidden stuff, they might be built up of multiple pieces.


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

 


Powered by EzPortal