|Project by lew||posted 01-02-2015 01:33 AM||1195 views||2 times favorited||12 comments|
This past summer, our town rebuilt the cupola that sets atop “The Old Jail”. The Old Jail was built in 1818. It survived the burning of Chambersburg, by the Confederate Army, in 1864. I was fortunate enough to get a piece of an original hand hewn beam from the restoration. Out of that beam, we turned 100 pens; made a couple of presentation boxes and gavel. We had the wood approximately dated from the early 1700’s by a professor at the Pennsylvania State University’s Forestry Department.
As you can imagine, the wood was very dry and brittle, but amazingly still smelled strongly of pine when cut.
This particular beam had been split open for removing old square cut nails. The nails were then arranged on a display board to be placed in the Jail’s museum.
When the carpenters created these beams, each mortise and its’ corresponding tenon were marked with a “carpenter’s mark” so they could be correctly assembled at the site.
A carpenter’s mark can be seen on the side of the beam to the left of the peg hole. The marks were most often in Roman Numerals because they were easy to make with a chisel. It is upside down but the mark is “VI”. I made an inlay of this mark to help associate the finished piece to the original beam.
The gavel is about 11” long overall and the head is about 3” long and about 2 ½ “ in diameter. Finished with several applications of rattle can lacquer.
Thanks for looking!
-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.