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Old 11-20-2010, 05:32 PM   #1
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The Forgotten Farmhouse


I've decided to finally get off my a** and to post some pictures. I'm a little behind with the pictures, but many more will follow as I catch up.

I've decided that at this point I'm not going to restore it, but instead to first make it livable.

Please feel free to throw in any tips, advice, or questions.

It's worth mentioning that this house hasn't be remodeled or updated in the slightest literally for 30 yrs. The PO's were loaded from selling off the farm land for a development, but were very careful and stingy with it. When we pulled the whole house carpet last year, it had a horse-hair type carpet pad underneath (will post pics soon).


edit: forgot the intro pics.




Last edited by HautingLu; 11-20-2010 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:48 PM   #2
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I've had this partially gutted for a few months and couldn't take not having a front entrance any more. So today decided to gut most of the entrance and see what I can find.

Starting to get curious about what I may find behind the walls.


I really hate taking down plaster (this stuff was in bad shape)


Farmhouse insulation = paper and wood








This entrance is part of a small addition in the front of the house. Seems like I can now get to some of the wiring in the main portion of the house (bonus!)





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Old 11-20-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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(cont..)

This part worries me a bit. You can barely see the red tin (?) metal roof. When I looked up close, I could see some condensation. There was no insulation. I may need to either replace it or coat it with roof coating.


Neighbor planed some of the 2x6's that were behind the lathe. Appears to be some type of pine? No idea really. He couldn't tell either.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:56 PM   #4
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The Forgotten Farmhouse


Lu,
Looks like you have yourself a nice project going. That piece of planed wood looks like doug fir to me.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
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Lu,
Looks like you have yourself a nice project going. That piece of planed wood looks like doug fir to me.
Mike Hawkins
Thanks! A quick Google shows it's probably worth keeping. I have many more pics from the last year, just no energy to post
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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In your last picture that is old growth heart pine and in todays market it is a very high dollar wood and much sought after. Look how close the growth rings are, if you have a lot of it you are sitting pretty. I have installed a lot of the heart pine flooring and it turns out beautiful. The heart pine is harder than todays pine as todays pine grows too fast as the winters are just not as cold as they use to be way back then.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:42 PM   #7
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Lu, I see you have two suggestions as to what your wood might be. Pretty hard to tell from one pic, but both suggestions are a possibility.

Is there any evidence at all of any pitch in any of that wood at all?

The colour does look a lot like Douglas Fir, but the growth rings are pretty tight for fir. Even the older growth fir usually isn't quite that tight.

And Jim's suggestion of heart pine could also well be correct. If you can get a copy of Bruce Hoadley's book on the subject (Identifying Wood, Taunton Press) you should be able to get it right.

The lath and plaster walls seem to date the house back several decades...do you know when it was built?
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:21 AM   #8
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jiju1943 - Interesting. I wasn't expecting to hear that. If I had to guess, I'd bet most of the house is made up of this wood (boards). Heck, my roof sheathing is made of these boards. I think they are actually 2x12's. See the pic below...this is an outside wall where I want to remove these boards so I can insulate it. I'll definitely keep the boards now.

cocobolo - I'm not 100% on the date of the house. It was bought in the 1950's by the PO's parents. One contractor thought some of the house dated to the 1890's because of the sand-stone foundation. It was some kind of cattle/sheep farm. In the late 90's, the PO's sold off their several hundred acres for a development.

Outside wall


Door hardware



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Old 11-21-2010, 12:57 PM   #9
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Wow! So like Jim says, you have some really nice wood there. Keep it, whatever you do.

Best of luck with all the work that is ahead of you!
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:56 PM   #10
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I would for sure hang on to all you have of it also, it don't matter about the nail holes even where it has turned black around the nails, that just adds character to it. Antique heart pine is selling for $7.00-$10.00 a square foot now days, they most times don't sell by the board foot.

My crew and myself restored an ole Victorian built in 1842 and the entire roof was decked in Walnut, some of the boards were 24-30 inches wide. The part that caught my attention was the decking wasn't ripped into straight boards, they just sliced off a 1X and left it the shape of the tree.
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cocobolo View Post
Lu, I see you have two suggestions as to what your wood might be. Pretty hard to tell from one pic, but both suggestions are a possibility.

The colour does look a lot like Douglas Fir, but the growth rings are pretty tight for fir. Even the older growth fir usually isn't quite that tight.

The reason I was guessing the doug fir is, I bought some to make up some thresholds in an old victorian farmhouse I have done a lot of work in. The pieces I bought were quartersawn doug fir and looked just like the picture except no knots or flaws. The grain was very tight together and was actually quite nice looking. Whatever it is, it looks nice, don't throw it away or burn it.
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by firehawkmph View Post
The colour does look a lot like Douglas Fir, but the growth rings are pretty tight for fir. Even the older growth fir usually isn't quite that tight.

The reason I was guessing the doug fir is, I bought some to make up some thresholds in an old victorian farmhouse I have done a lot of work in. The pieces I bought were quartersawn doug fir and looked just like the picture except no knots or flaws. The grain was very tight together and was actually quite nice looking. Whatever it is, it looks nice, don't throw it away or burn it.
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Which reminds me of some flooring going in to a house over on Thetis Island a couple of years ago. Douglas fir...very long lengths...and all absolutely clear. Old growth wood for sure, and it has been cut up to order for a European woman who runs a millwork shop somewhere on southern Vancouver Island. It was all T & G, and if my memory serves me correctly, the grain wasn't quite as tight as what is in your photo.

Definitely the best Douglas fir I have ever seen.

The softwoods which will get tight grain like that are some of the big old pines, hemlock and Sitka spruce. Possibly Engelman spruce as well.

The fact is that we just hardly ever see that sort of wood any more. Nearly all the biggest and best trees are long gone.

The forest companies like to make a big deal about planting three trees for every one that they cut down, but what are three saplings compared to a 150 foot tall Douglas fir?

These days they harvest firs at 70 years, so the days of the old growth forests exist only in history books now.

To be sure, there are a few areas of old growth here in British Columbia, but they are few and far between. Attempts are ongoing to save these areas in perpetuity, and I certainly hope they succeed.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:51 AM   #13
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Guys, what are your thoughts on this flooring? Any idea what type of wood it is? I need to make a decision on whether to continue trying to sand it and go forward with a Waterlox finish, or just accept that it's not stainable and go with a porch paint black.

Thanks






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Old 11-22-2010, 02:02 PM   #14
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I could be wrong but it sure looks like pine to me. I personally like the floor and no paint as it is typical of older farm houses.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:28 PM   #15
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I could be wrong but it sure looks like pine to me. I personally like the floor and no paint as it is typical of older farm houses.
Here's my issue -- the floor is uneven in places with gaps between some boards. When I went at with it a orbital sander that I rented, it ended up chewing sanding discs like no other. I probably was moving it a bit too fast, but this thing would shake and buckle. Therefore, I was putting a set of $10 discs on it every 30 secs or so.

I guess my options are to rent the orbital sander again, try a drum sander, hire a professional to sand it, or simply paint it.

Any suggestions?

edit: what are my options for pine also? Like I said, it's uneven in places so I figured poly was out.


Last edited by HautingLu; 11-22-2010 at 02:39 PM.
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