Reclaimed timber's variety of natural textures in both hand hewn barn beams and distressed factory beams will add a simple yet stunning rustic elegance to any design aesthetic.
Distressed wood beams are perfect for timber frame homes or to add aesthetic interest to any ceiling.
Antique Beams Specifications
The organic textures and natural warmth felt with hand hewn barn beams evoke a connection to the past, a simpler time that is hard to resist. A bold and distinctly real rustic style.
Typically done when sawmills were unavailable or impractical, hand hewn timbers yield a more primitive appearance. This method required an adze (an axe- like tool with the blade placed perpendicular to the handle) and a broad axe. The broad axe was used to score the length of tree trunks with evenly spaced notches then the adze was used to knock off the pieces of wood left between each notch to create square timbers.
Hand Hewn beams are generally reclaimed from barns, and were all hewn by individuals.
Some beams will display heavier textures or deeper axe marks. This can be attributed to both the species (and its associated hardness) and the original woodworker.
Therefore, high character visibility in reclaimed wood beams includes century old ax hewing marks, original mortise pockets, nail holes, mineral stains, original cracks and splits, and evidence from previous worm and insect activity.
Rough sawn lumber has been edged and trimmed to size, but not surfaced. Generally this implies that the reclaimed piece was being used as a structural member in either a barn or an Industrial Factory.
Although many rough sawn beams are reclaimed from Industrial facilities where the wood beams are distressed after years of use, they are also found in barns.
Taken directly from the sawmill, rough sawn beams will exhibit saw markings and texture that is dependent on the mill and time period. When looking for rustic wood beams for sale, consider rough saw marks from pit sawing, circular sawing or band sawing as an alternative to hand hewn.
This material has already stood the test of time and has unmatched stability and durability.
Expect the material to have width thickness, width, and length variance within each timber and from timber to timber. The patina will range from aged natural brown to weathered grays.
The authenticity of natural aging, natural growth patterns, and worm/insect holes cannot be matched by modern machining and distressing techniques.
"There is strong evidence that high quality timbers can be recovered from salvaged structures. The preliminary studies discussed have shown that these timbers may be stronger than virgin timbers when used in axial compression. They also have the advantage of being dry and stable when erected into a frame." -Suitability of Salvaged Timber in Structural Design, by James Brandon Davis for U.S. Military Academy
Old Growth Pine