Hall House Kitchen Rafter Consolidation & Repair
Salisbury, NC: 2005
The free-standing 1820s kitchen at the Josephus Hall House in Salisbury, NC provided a training project for local carpenters to learn conservation techniques for structural timbers and woodwork. We were, as always, interested in finding the most effective materials and methods for this preservation project, not necessarily defaulting to the "common practices." We began by showing the carpenters the triage diagnosis process to carefully open up deteriorated areas and figure out the type and extent of problems. This was followed by training in the use of penetrating epoxies developed by Conservator Morgan Phillips in the 1970s. For this process we took a new rubber roofing material, TPO, and adapted its use to create a "boot" to cap the end of deteriorated beams, solving a common consolidation problem with technology from another trade. In contrast to the standard practice of cutting out large sections of the original timbers to scarf in squared-off new wood, we incorporated the use of wooden dutchmen, an old repair technique, fitting new wood to the consolidated portions of original timbers.