Reclaimed Beams & Joists
Whether for architectural, structural or aesthetic purposes, antique beams and joists reclaimed from historic structures offer an unmatched appeal perfect for historic or sustainable restorations. We carry a large selection of beams and highly recommend visiting us to view your many options in person.
4–Sided Hand–Hewn Beams
Dating back to the 1800s or earlier, reclaimed hand-hewn barn beams are typically cut and shaped with hard blows by an ax or chisel. The result is a rough, rustic look. Hand–hewn beams will normally have mortise pockets in them, as they were most often part of the upper framing of a mortise and tenon structure. The pockets can be “plugged” with wood, but many people leave them as-is. Beam sizes typically range from a 5″ x 5″ to 10″ x 12.”
A “summer beam” – the main beam in the floor system of a barn or log home – runs the length of a structure and the floor joists rest upon or tie into it. It is the largest hand-hewn reclaimed beam available and can measure up to 12″ x 12″ wide and be 30′ – 40′ long. In addition to the size, what makes them very desirable is that they have very few, if any, mortise pockets. However, there is only one per building, so reclaimed summer beams are the most expensive and least available type of beam.
Sawn beams have a smoother finish. There are several saw marks ranging from vertical, mill or circular saw. Sawn beams can be dimensional, such as a 2″ x 6″ through 2″ x 12″ floor joist, or can be any size from a 4″ x 4″ to a 12″ x 12″ if they are part of the upper framing. Like hewn beams from the upper frame, sawn beams will likely have mortise pockets. Dimensional sawn joists will not have mortise pockets, but will most typically be only 2-3″ thick.
Reclaimed wood joists are rough-sawn material originally used as supports below floorboards in homes and barns. They are rectangular in size and available in both hard and soft woods. Joists are commonly 2″– 3″ thick, 6″ – 12″ wide, and 10′ or more in length. Joists can be installed structurally or decoratively across ceilings, adding interest to any room. Their depth makes for excellent shelving and mantle pieces.
“Sleepers” are the beams most typically used for the floor joists in a barn. They are usually hewn on the top and bottom and have natural edges on the sides. One advantage to using a sleeper vs. the upper framing is that there are no mortise holes in sleepers. Log cabins also have the same types of logs. The faces (hewn part) range in size from 6″ – 14″ wide and they are typically 6″ – 8″ thick. Lengths can be up to 30.’
255 Route 313
Perkasie, PA 18944
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Restoring History. Preserving the Environment.
“The pioneer’s love of wood and his skill in using it, as well as surviving examples of it, are fast disappearing. To try to revive an understanding and adoration for wood seems as hopeless as trying to bring back the horse and buggy. But to revive the eloquence of those times is indeed worthwhile.”