Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Barn Restoration Project, Part II

In early March the crew (Dave and Carmello of Kronenberger & Sons Restoration) poured a new concrete floor. This involved the removing of the older dirt floor, digging down a few feet to lay a gravel bed, installing reinforcements, and pouring the concrete. Sometime in the past forty years the original foundation was replaced by a concrete one. However, they kept the dirt floor intact. Interestingly, the 2 X 12 boards used as the forms for the poured foundation were then re-used to replace two deteriorating upper central cross members. At the time of the pouring of the new concrete foundation, the barn’s sill plate (that part of the structure that sits on the foundation) was also replaced with red oak. No doubt this was due to extensive dry rot and insect damage. There is also evidence at this time of some diagonal braces being replaced as well as “dutchman”(selective cutting and patching of framing) and modified scarf joint repairs of upright posts.

Selective post and beam replacement. The barn needed to be "racked", using a “come – along” racheting device, to make the barn plumb to facilitate post repair. This involved the wrapping of a chain around the walnut tree outside the barn and racking the barn to achieve a properly upright perpendicular. All post replacement and repair was accomplished by the first week of April. A considerable number of the barn’s original posts and beams required either complete or partial replacement using shiplap joinery or “dutchman” repairs. This involved the cutting out of the damaged wood and affixing a matching wood patch. One post, for example, required a full seven feet of repair, without, however, replacing the whole post of twenty-four feet. In addition, two central posts that had been sheared off sometime in the past have been restored.
On 20 March the roof was removed, to be replaced by a standing seam metal roof at a later date.
The re-siding of three sides of the barn commenced second week of April. Most of the exterior siding is too far gone to reuse. Only the eastern side facing the Hartman Education Center will retain its original siding. Selective repairs of the eastern side may be made with boards salvaged from the other three sides. The eastern side features a dove cote, a window and two doors. Replacement siding will be a red cedar stained to a hue compatible with the existing eastern side.



Davis said...

Dear Ted,
Will the landscape center offer the public some gardening advice on historic gardens?? When will the project be completed?

ted gaffney said...

The Rafal Landscape Center will be completed and opened to the public in early June. I expect Kronenberger & Sons Restoration to have their work complete by the first week of May. At that time the plumbing and electrical will be brought into the barn, and Keith Ragone will begin installing the exhibitry.
One of the goals of the Center is to educate the public on historic gardens and the local grange traditions. We will be conducting hands-on demonstrations and lectures that will focus on this subject matter.