Pine trees for floor joists

This was a new one on me. Pine trees sawn in half. Still had the bark on them. 100 year old house. (Lots of the “joists” were termite damaged. You’ll note some fungi on them too.)

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But it did work for 100 years

I have run into a similar situation. Pine trees with bark in the basement for floor joists and the same for roof rafters. The kicker was a basement bedroom built over a full water cistern. 8’ x 7’ and one foot deep.

The floors were level as a roller coaster, but yes, they did work.

In Realtor eyes that is call character lol did you need a rope to go from one side to the other?
Got to love the old places

Hey, they tried to level it out a bit. When the end of the girder rots off, just prop it up. :smiley:

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Thanks for sharing Joe.
I build rustic furniture and enjoyed the pic.

14 years ago I restored a Jap Minka farmhouse which was dismantled and shipped here. They would use similar methods ranging from rudimentery for the attached ‘barn’ to very intense furniture grade joinery of timbers including large tree limbs that had been shaped generations before harvest for use in building construction, a man would start working them at a young age for his hoped for grandson. These would be hand hewn into various components, much of which had to be repaired or replacesd with absolutely no building plan, just parts. Japanese joinery is very complex and beautiful. After most of the work was completed, a visiting Japanese Master Carpenter who had 3 aprentices with him told me that I had achieved Japanese Master Carpenter status with the restoration work performed. Not bad for a stump jumpin’ back woods damned Yankee.

Great story…thanks for sharing :smiley:

I actually see quite a few of those in this area Joe.

yep… we see a lot of those as well…

Yeah you guys have lots of furniture makers up there.
What else is there to do. (hehe)

I find a few in my area,100 + years ago My hometown became a boom town after the Chicago Fire. Tons of logging, many milled locally. Those who couldn’t afford to mill their logs did it by hand. Like with an Adz, or crosscut to flatten them out. A skill largely lost. We may need it again soon

First house I purchased in 1980 (and which eventually led me into HI) was approximately 180-200 years old. It had 9-10" spruce logs adzed on one side for floor joists. Over the 2 centuries, they had rotted about 1" in many places from summer condensation due to evaporation from the dirt floor and high water table 5-6’ below(even though the house sat at the top of a hill!).

I bought an old house in 1993 that was constructed this way. Great old house, WELL over 100 yrs old. The floor joists were 8" diameter hemlock, adzed on one side. There was some evidence of pine borer beetle damage, but otherwise, sturdy as a conventional floor system. I eventually replaced them with 2x10 floor joists lag-bolted to the monstrous 10x10 sill. Nothing wrong with these old adzed joists, unless they’re rotted or have insect damage, or they have a poor bearing on the sill (or IN it). Very common in this area.