Tenon

We traveled beyond Muncy yesterday to deliver honey bees to friends. Although the loud buzz which resonated from deep within the hives suggested that the inhabitants were not pleased, they were perfectly well-behaved as I moved twenty frames from our boxes to the empty ones which had been prepared for their arrival. The colony mingled for nearly an hour and then casually, slowly, made its way into its new digs. The weather was, remarkably, clear and warm and Joanna’s sheep-to-shawl team was able to hold its practice session on the front porch. Meanwhile I drove down the road to investigate some abandoned structures. Next to these was a pile of beams which, I guessed, resulted from the deconstruction of either a crib, a shed, or perhaps a small barn. The textures of the wood, illuminated by the late-afternoon light, caught my eye. The top image shows a tenon, its companion mortise lay nearby. These members formed a pinned tenon joint, note the hole in the tenon. All the heavier timbers were covered with the beautiful and weathered telltale marks of the adze which was used to create these rectangular beams from round logs. It has been explained that an understanding of how hand-hewn beams were cut can not only permit the informed observer to recognize the type and age of framing but to even understand just where the worker was standing when a blow from a hand-tool was delivered to a component member. These details, revealed by the beams themselves offer a very personal connection to the age of a structure, details of its construction, and to those who labored to create it.

 

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