I am, just like everyone else who lives in an historic home, constantly meeting challenges. I provide links to databases and resources that benefit me as well as anyone else in the same situation. I just found out that the Newburyport Preservation Craftsman Directory was broken. No one has said a word to me and that robs so many others who need the resources.
If you find other links on this site broken, please let me know immediately. Some are broken because they are no longer online, others due to software changes by Windows Live. Either way, it pays to be alert since so much information is not available elsewhere. How many blogs and websites are dedicated to historic preservation in Newburyport? One, two, maybe three?
I discovered it because I have a piece of board on my front door that has deteriorated. My first instinct was to completely replace it. After I consulted with those familiar with the buildings in Newburyport, it was recommended to ‘restore’ the wood.
This reminds me of Historic New England and the Little Farm. When I first moved to Newburyport, the organization was still working on the farmhouse. The challenge: the massive support beams in this post and beam structure were hollow from years of powder post beatles and carpenter ants and bees. One alternative would have been to have hewn new beams and meticulously replace them thereby defeating the idea of making the Little Farm an architectural ‘museum’. The outside of the home would look old but everyone would know once they crossed the threshhold the interior had been ‘renovated’.
The solution was to fill the hollow spaces with a resin which would bond to the rest of the original wood. Structural support would be restored and the original beams would remain intact. Now, visitors can explore the interior without fear of collapse of the building.
My situation was hardly a panic but the wood replaced would hardly be of the fine quality that the clipper ship carpenter had laid. There are two great wood restoration products out there on the market. According to the Newburyport Preservation Craftsman Directory, one was Abatron (www.abatron.com) and the other was Protective Coating Company (www.pcepoxy.com). The latter has a distributor network and I was pleased to find the ever-convenient Lunt & Kelly’s carried a wood restoration expoxy from them.
The epoxy has leveled the surface and after sanding, I have primed and painted the area. Voila, a restored and sharp repair job that is authentic!
I noticed the company as well as Abatron also offer products that can restore dryrot and restore shattered wood. I love any product that destroys the constant argument of lazy contractors and ignorant homeowners! You know the argument and so does the Planning Board and the Planning Office and the Historical Commission and the ZBA: "We had to demolish because the wood was wrotten. It was too fargone to restore."
Yeah, tell it to someone who will believe it. I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya’ too!