Sold 011/24/2018 to Adama K in Wheaton, Illinois (IL)
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With the tenon from the mortise-and-tenon joint still remaining on this mantel, this piece is unmistakably from an old barn. This deep, rich chocolaty hue of brown on this mantel is completely natural. White oak is naturally a wheatish-tan color. However, when the wood sits in a barn environment, it can darken immensely. The dark coloring saturates into the surface and cracks of the wood. This is the real deal — 100-year-old barn beam with no modern distressing here. Interestingly, there is a light line of sapwood, the wood just below the bark, on the bottom back of the mantel. Apparently, tannins required to make the dark color don’t exist in the sapwood.
If you look closely, you can see where the ghosts of the original circle saw that cut these timbers 100 years ago. Back in the day, they would bring portable sawmills, like the one in the ad, on-site to cut the required lumber. You can see the big saw blade that left its mark on this old beam. It also has a great original rectangular size.
The face shows beautiful flowing wood grains and a couple of old nail holes. The top includes a lot more worm trail character and a couple of large, original peg holes. The bottom shows some nice color variation. It does have that sapwood line. We could darken that if desired. And again, we have a few large nail holes for good measure.
This mantel beam came from the Carver Country region of Minnesota, about 40 miles SW of Minneapolis downtown. This is the beginning of farm country. The soil here is rich and runs black as deep as three feet. If you are familiar with the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, this area was known as the edge of the Big Woods.
We can cut off the tenon from the left end if you’d like at no charge.
We can cut this mantel shorter and refinish the ends for an additional $50.
The Tag – Sisters Forsake Teaching To Pilot Planes and Sing; Black Cats to be Mascots. This had to have been from the 1920s when aviation was young, exciting and attracting all kinds of attention. To put it in context, the Lindberg flight was in 1927.