Wooden gutters.

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Boringgeoff

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Yesterday, in Perth WA, I attended an event for elderly folk to showcase the many options available in retirement. Five of us, members of the hand Tool Preservation Society of WA, had a display which as usual drew a large amount of interest.
One gentleman told me an extremely interesting story about his carpentry apprenticeship in England in the mid 1950's. It involved the fitting of wooden guttering to houses which, to be honest, I had never heard of before. He said a length of 6 x 3 would be run through a machine which would cut a 2" trench in the upper surface and a decorative profile on the front face. He and his boss would climb ladders with the guttering on their shoulders and place it in the holding brackets. The lengths were joined together by a 2" recess chiseled into the butted ends and a strip of lead hammered into the recess. The finished gutter was then sealed by painting with pitch. He said the gutters had to be replaced every ten or twelve years.
A most interesting conversation and one of the reasons why I love attending these type of events and listening to people with experiences which are rapidly disappearing.
Does anyone here have any anecdotes, photos that you'd like to share on this subject?
Cheers,
Geoff.
 

AJB Temple

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I can probably find some. Wooden gutters were fairly common at one time and can still be seen. For example there are some at Igtham Moat (a Manor House) and at Great Dixter (on the old barn). They also sometimes appear on churches. Oak gutters will last a great deal longer than 10 or 12 years. Sometimes they are lead lined.
 

Jameshow

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Quite common in Yorkshire. Most Victorian houses would have them.

They are a pain to paint or maintain.

Often replaced with plastic or seamless metal guttering.

Cheers James
 

AndyT

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I think there are still a few in our ordinary late Victorian street.
 

johnnyb

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usually called spouting around here. I replaced a bit last year. a terraced house had persistent damp in one bit. After a heavy downpour the seemingly perfect spouting had developed a void at the back allowing water to pour down the wall. firstly one length stretched between 2 Houses about 20 foot. it was blooming heavy and apart from the leaky bit extremely sound and took 10 mins to saw!
 

AndyT

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I should add that using machinery to make it sounds a bit lazy... If you ever come across a wooden plane with a symmetrically rounded sole, the size of a jack plane, with a handle, it's probably a gutter plane. There's also a small, tightly curved gutter adze, now much favoured by spoon carvers.
 

dannyr

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You can still have wooden gutters fitted as a fairly standard service for ordinary houses here in South Yorkshire -not pricey - usually painted inside and out. They have lead (or zinc or plastic) ends and downspouts.

They were everywhere on basic terrace/townhouses and common enough that one profile of plastic guttering is a copy for direct replacement of a section.
 

Woody2Shoes

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I think the ones at Great Dixter are lead lined, from memory. Modern lead-lined gutters have a substructure of timber (OSB/ply and carcassing timber) - I've built some. The romans (and I guess others subsequently) often used elm for conducting water around the place.
 

Woody2Shoes

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usually called spouting around here. I replaced a bit last year. a terraced house had persistent damp in one bit. After a heavy downpour the seemingly perfect spouting had developed a void at the back allowing water to pour down the wall. firstly one length stretched between 2 Houses about 20 foot. it was blooming heavy and apart from the leaky bit extremely sound and took 10 mins to saw!
The (Doric) Scots call them 'rones' (gutters) and 'spoots' (downpipes)!
 

Phil Pascoe

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Gutters here are "launders". My friend, a landlord was spoken to by a tenant who said he'd been approached by his neighbour who asked him to borry him a ladder as he had tobs in his launders. He had no idea what the chap meant.
 
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Boringgeoff

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Thanks for all the replies, very interesting. He said they used an expansive bit to bore a 3" outlet to insert the "pop" which is what we call the outlet here. He did tell me what type of wood it was but I've forgotten, it wasn't a well known name like oak.
Cheers,
Geoff.
 

OldWood

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Since 1975 I've lived in a Scots farm workers cottage and it was only this summer in going to sort out a large wasp byke in my roof, that I noticed a feature in the party wall stonework that I had never spotted before.

I'd always suspected that the cottage had gone through more that one major renovation in its lifetime, and the fact that there had been a timber laid into the edge of this wall at 45 degress confirmed that it had been built with a thatched roof. In projecting that angle down, the original wall height was around 6 feet, which can bee seen in the stonework in some places.

The connection with this thread is that I mentioned this to the local bulder, also an older gentleman, who talked about the rones being made made of wood, and were sufficently low that maintenance was easy.
 

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