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El Barto

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My parents had the local carpenter make a mantelpiece for them about 25 - 30 years ago in the house I grew up in. Some friends now live in the same house and the mantel is still there so I paid it a visit to see how it'd been made and try to glean any information from it.

Well, on closer inspection it appears to be a brace from an oak frame. This I found very interesting because it gives it a whole life before it became a mantelpiece. Unfortunately the carpenter in question died a while ago so I can't quiz him about it. My mother asked for pegs later on so she could hang our Christmas stockings from them but neither she or my father seem to be aware it was a repurposed brace.


But that it has survived so many different owners, a handful I imagine, is testament to what a lovely feature it i.













As I was strolling down memory lane I decided to wander up a track nearby to some farm buildings I used to play in as a kid. I always found this wall unusual - brick pillars and chalk.

 

MikeG.

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Yep, that looks like an out-of-place brace. It's a great example of why sapwood shouldn't be included in anything made of wood!
 

ColeyS1

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MikeG.":3nl6ljvi said:
It's a great example of why sapwood shouldn't be included in anything made of wood!
How so?


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El Barto

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MikeG.":2peuv4ik said:
Yep, that looks like an out-of-place brace. It's a great example of why sapwood shouldn't be included in anything made of wood!
Not necessarily, there are historical examples of sapwood being used in buildings all over the place!
 

Trevanion

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MikeG.":206y2xj5 said:
It's a great example of why sapwood shouldn't be included in anything made of wood!
Depends on the wood, with some timbers it’s the reverse where the sapwood is the usable part and the heartwood is useless, I think the base timber (Radiata Pine) for Accoya is like this.
 

El Barto

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ColeyS1":3tvmvhnm said:
MikeG.":3tvmvhnm said:
It's a great example of why sapwood shouldn't be included in anything made of wood!
How so?


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Because it isn't rot resistant and contains sugars and other delights that attract insects. But, in small amounts, such as in the photo above, it's insignificant and has no impact on the structural integrity.

But because it is prone to attack, people tend to think that an entire piece of wood might be rotten and full of insects when actually it's just a small amount of sapwood on the outside while the heartwood is solid.

EDIT: I'm referring principally to oak and timber framed buildings here - not all woods and sapwood!
 

MikeG.

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El Barto":3v4ifihn said:
MikeG.":3v4ifihn said:
Yep, that looks like an out-of-place brace. It's a great example of why sapwood shouldn't be included in anything made of wood!
Not necessarily, there are historical examples of sapwood being used in buildings all over the place!
Yep, they're the bits that rot and get eaten by woodworm.

edit....sorry, our posts crossed.
 
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