Barn Beams

July 20, 2018

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These barn beams are being sawn in half, lengthwise, at Phil Weaver's sawmill. 

They have served our farm for more than 50 years, in full purpose, until their host building had to be torn down. They then spent a decade or so in repose, awaiting next assignment. It has finally arrived, as they are designated to add texture and beauty to the kitchen we are building in our new house. They will stand vertically at doorways, and in conjunction with great red stones, will remind us of the magnificence of the past while beckoning great hope for the future. We will clean them, scrape out the rot and cobwebs, and give them a protective coat of polyurethne. They, like us, will soon be engaged in a new chapter in life, which will be more ceremonial than functional, but perhaps just as important, where wisdom replaces physical strength. 

We cut these beams to ten feet in length and then cut each beam into two four-inch-thick sections. Eight beams will go from floor to ceiling in the kitchen, with the flat side against the wall. Our neighbor, Phil Weaver, is an ingenious person, whose home-made sawmill can perform nearly any task requested. The challenge with these beams was the many nails driven into their side, as is typical with flat surfaces in barns. Phil's band-saw does not accomodate nails well, so he saved the worst for last, and through very careful manipulations, was miraculously able to avoid contact with nails. 

What is intriquing about Phil's mill is the band-saw moves through the stationary log, rather than the log moving through the stationary saw. As I was watching him set up, I couldn't figure out how he was going to push the saw through the log. As you can see, there is not much weight to the saw, so the riddle of how it would make its way through oak and cherry logs was perplexing to this intrigued observer.  The answer quickly came enough, when he stepped back to a wooden post, and slowly turned a geared crank, that brought the saw forward by a guy-wire. He methodically and perfectly cut those beams in half, regenerating them from funtional structures on their last legs into works of art with a future... What a master he is, and what a privilege it is to be his neighbor.


Below, sirloin steak, fava beans, hard-boiled pastured eggs, tomatoes, green beans, Blue Oven bread, and Zinnias make for a gratitude-filled and celebratory meal, during the unusual heat of our summer...

We look forward to seeing you Sunday at Hyde Park, Wednesday at Blue Ash, and Thursday at Bexley. 

May we each learn how to recreate ourselves, as can the barn beam.

Drausin & Susan

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