Posted by: PearlSBuckHouse | 02/25/2010

Preparation for Beam Placement

The following photos are of the top side of the east-to-west summer beam that supports the floor of the Pearl S. Buck bedroom. This beam ends just under the hearth of the west fireplace of the bedroom. The west fireplace is one of the oldest in the house, dating from the original 1825 construction. The east fireplace was added during the family occupation of the house, and is angled in the opposite corner of the room.

In the photos, you can see the preparation of the existing summer beam for the installation of a W.E.R system. The photo shows the beam after a large circular saw was used to hollow out the center of the beam. After the saw carves out the channel as needed, a member from the restoration team is photographed as he chisels the bottom portion of the beam. This will provide a level surface for reinforcing steel plates and epoxy to be added into the carved out hollow.

Before pouring the epoxy, all cracks and holes in the wood must be sealed with Plasticine to prevent epoxy from leaking. After pouring in some epoxy, the reinforcing steel plates are added and the remaining open space is filled up with more epoxy.  The original floor boards are put back into place once the W.E.R. system has fully hardened.  While this activity will create a stronger, augmented, solid beam, reinforced with steel and epoxy, our future visitors will be hard pressed to find any visible evidence of the work that has been completed.

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