Wood: its Properties, Use + Conservation

Historic Preservation

Fall 2012

John Childs, instructor

In this course, students examined the structure of wood and its physical characteristics, and learned to identify specific wood species commonly used in historic architecture in North America, including both hardwoods and softwoods. Macroscopic and microscopic methods of wood identification were covered. Mechanisms of physical and biological deterioration, including fungal and insect attack, were covered. The history of woodworking, wood products and production, timber framing and joinery, clear finishes and fasteners used in architecture and interior woodwork were reviewed. Finally, students learned historical and contemporary techniques used in the conservation and restoration of architectural wood. The repair and conservation of structural problems in timber frames and interior woodwork, as well as clear coatings, were examined in detail.