SOLD to Michael in Michigan
December 7, 2018
December Here’s a gorgeous, naturally streaked, white oak fireplace mantel with lots of character. White oak starts out as a wheatish tan but can become nearly java black in a barn environment. Because this was a sill timber, it was very rotten and rough looking to start (see pictures). However, with the rot resistance of white oak, there was some solid wood hidden underneath. We removed almost 2 inches off of the top and bottom. This revealed some wonderful streaked color. On the face, we removed less than an inch. The dark, strong patina remained on most of the face with some nice highlights around a knot. We carved into the face following some rot lines to clean things up.
As mentioned, this particular piece was a sill timber from an old barn. It was a big beam that rested on the cement or stone wall foundation upon which they built the rest of the barn. You can imagine it was pretty wet right near the ground. They used white oak for sill timbers and fence posts back in the day because it has a good natural rot resistance. The wood was probably sawn on-site with a mill somewhat like the one pictured.
This mantel beam came from an early 1900s vintage barn between Waconia, MN and Cologne, MN. About 40 miles SW of Minneapolis downtown. This is the beginning of modern farm country in these parts. The soil here is rich and black and runs black as deep as three feet. This was also the Western edge of what was once referred to as the Big Woods. If you have ever read Laura Ingalls Wilder books, you’ll see references to these very woods. The original beam had traces of hand hewing. This barn may be older than I thought or the material was re-used from a previous barn.
We can cut this mantel shorter and refinish the ends for an additional $50.
It can be shipped anywhere in the lower 48 states via FedEx Gnd for $75.
The Tag — BF Goodrich – First in Rubber. Snappy Facts about Rubber. This add was from the late 1940s. The mention of, “In war or peace…” and the illustration style provide the clues. The last paragraph says, “Bees upset many plans for cross-pollination of fruit trees until BF Goodrich developed a ‘spider web’ rubber spray as a blossom protector.” I’m not sure they’d want to be advertising that nowadays.