HAND HEWN BEAMS | TIMBERS

We hold a large inventory of hand-hewn and circle-sawn beams in all different shapes and sizes. Sizes range from 5x5’s through 14x14’s in a variety of species including White Oak, Ash, Elm, Hickory, and Maple. We are equipped to handle antique beam packages ranging from just a single, to a few hundred individual hand hewn beams. We can custom cut, prep, and clean to fit most applications and have them ready to be installed in your home or business. Appearances available range from rustic heavy adz marks, to very refined hewn beams that were hand planed back in the day. Because of the craftsmanship that went into their creation, the preservation of these hand hewn beams is a matter of pride at Antique Beams & Boards.

Different styles

Our timbers all range in different sizes, lengths, and styles from resawn beams, 2-sided sleeper beams, hand hewn hollow outs, and our popular hand hewn beams, we have it all! We continuously work to salvage the most unique lumber we can find, surpassing industry quality standards, and strive to carry a unique assortment of lumber in our inventory. If you’re unsure about the style of beam you’re looking for, or do not see what you’re looking for, contact us today about your project! We would love to hear from you and work with you on your reclaimed wood needs.
If you have any questions regarding our timber inventory, or if you do not see the style you are looking for and are looking for more of a custom look, please contact us directly at your convenience.

Only the best

We carefully dismantle each antique structure in order to preserve the beauty and integrity of each hewn beam we salvage. We personally salvage our own hand hewn beams in order to maintain the highest quality inventory. Interested in learning more? Watch us salvage a large barn in our unique time-lapse video!

The perfect beam for you

Due to our large inventory, and the different appearance in many of our hand hewn beams, we will personally work with you to help you choose what fits best for your project. Whether you are looking for small beams, large beams, or are trying to achieve a certain look, we can help. If you are an architect, designer, contractor, or a home owner, we encourage you to include us in the design phase of your project. We may be able to help you decide which price points fit your budget and put you on the right path.

We’re sure, by your visit to our website, that you know what you want to do with our reclaimed wood materials. However, do you need new inspiration and new ideas to add the extra “kick” to your project? Visit our “Houzz Profile” and give yourself access to thousands of photos and ideas that will certainly spark some creativity in your next big project! As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your current project. We would love to talk with you!

The Process

From removing the barn beams, to making them house ready, there is a lot of work involved! We handle most all of our hand hewn beams and sawn beams the same way when it comes to cleaning and preparing them. We take you through the steps involved in providing top quality hand hewn barn beams for your new home or office improvement. Keep in mind the steps involved may vary depending on the specification and customization of your project.

Step 1 – Power Wash

Over the years, every reclaimed beam accumulates all kinds of dirt and grime on the surface and in every nook and cranny. Beams fresh out of the barn will be a dull brown color, even grey if they have been exposed to the elements. A thorough cleaning brings back the rich brown patina the wood itself has developed over the decades.

Step 2 – De-metal

After 100+ years of use, the beams have often acquired all kinds of “jewelry”. From nails, hinges, bolts, wiring, you name it, we have found it nailed to an old beam. We remove everything sticking out of the surface, and if milling is involved, we pull out the metal detectors and dig out what is under the surface as well.

Step 3 – Custom Cut

This step of the process depends on the project. We have the ability to custom cut your beams any way you see fit. The most common is shaving one side of the beam to fit flush to a ceiling or wall. There is a lot of irregularity in old hewn beams, this step helps out the installers immensely. The most extensive would be hollowing them out to fit over an LVL or other structural member.

Step 4 – Brush Sand

By this point in the process, your beam is cut to your specifications and is ready to be smoothed and cleaned for the final time. Brush sanding not only allows us to clean the leftover dirt and grime from the beam, but it removes all of the bristles and slivers from the exterior as well. After this process is concluded, you should be able to run your hand across the beam without getting any slivers.

Step 5 – Insect Treat

In this final step, we assure there are no past “tenants” in the wood. All beams 24’ long and under are heat treated in our kiln. This process takes about 4 days, gradually bringing the core temperature of the beams above 140 degrees, and maintaining that temp for 8 hours takes care of anything living inside. For beams longer than 24’ (longer than our kiln), we use a borate treatment. This has low toxicity to humans, but kills anything eating inside your beam.

History of Hewing

Hewing a fresh cut tree was one of the most labor intensive and artistic aspects of construction back in the 1800’s and before. Not only was the tree felled by hand, but the log was then squared up by hand as well. As an ancient method of conversion, different methods of each step in hewing have developed in history. If you are interested in learning more about the rich history of hewing and the intensive work it took to create a hand hewn beam, please view our History of Hewing page.

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