Monday, April 24, 2006

Barn Bones Explained

(Image courtesy of

In a previous post I made reference to replacement purlins provided to us by Scot Hanning at Maine Antique Structures. Since that post and others to come will in all likelihood make reference to the different timbers in our barn frame, I thought a quick primer might make sense. Since the image attached (from The Barn People) has good definitions for most of the pieces, I will simply refer you to this excellent diagram.

So, why did we need replacement purlins? Although you can't make it out in the top photo, the purlins in our barn were in rough shape. This is not uncommon since they support the roof and over the years rain can sneak through and rot them out. At some point in the not-too-distant past someone had set about to strengthen these rotting timbers by attaching sawn timbers to either side of each purlin, not unlike splinting a broken bone. As soon as we began to show an interest in the barn Scot made it clear that he would provide replacements for these pieces cut from old wood so as to match. When our barn is re-erected what will be visible from below will look just like they had been there all along.

No comments: