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Collection DeTurk
Object Name Print, Photographic
Title Anchoring header for hood outlooker
Description Series of two digital photographic images showing the anchoring header for an outlooker at the DeTurk House.

This “header” {1} is secured laterally into its flanking pair of first-floor joists by mortise and tenon(n) joints, indicating that a hood over the kitchen doorway was an integral part of the original construction. The end-grain of the tenon is flush with the inner surface of the header. A “pin” or “peg” driven through the wood above the mortise into the tenon stabilizes the joint. [See DTR09PH111--1001.01.207 for a detail view of this header after removal of old tenon remnant.]
(n) The reduced-section projecting timber segment at an end of a framing member which fits tightly into a “mortise” [hole] in another member to structurally join the two members. The resulting mechanical connection is typically secured with wooden pegs driven transversely through the joint. A 1797 Chester County “Practical House Carpenter's Directory" uses “tenent" for this element; also “tenant" or “tennent” in the southern tier of the Mid-Atlantic colonies [Lounsbury, Illustrated Glossary…].

The stopped chamfer terminates with a typical vernacular “lamb’s tongue” {2} about an inch from the left [northern] joist, but “stops” about 4 inches from the right [southern] joist because of the framing “intersection” of the header with the outlooker through and beyond the mortise. This visual eccentricity is plausibly explained by the medieval tradition which implicitly defines “framing intersections,” for purposes of locating chamfer “stops,” to include a “virtual” junction of a framing member with the projected section of another member{3}.

The stacked pair of timbers across the center of the photo consists of the [upper and longer] bearing plate [“joist plate”] for the first floor joists, and the [lower and shorter] relieving lintel over the doorway and window openings of the east eaves wall in the lower ground-level kitchen. They are supported by the masonry pier [bottom-center of photo] between these openings, the masonry wall north of the window, and the pier joining the east eaves wall to the partition [“cross”] wall between the kitchen and root cellars. Similar plates are embedded in the west eaves wall and serve the same functions.

{1} “Anchor beam,” in the British vernacular lexicon.
{2} Appearing in numerous instances throughout the framing system of this building as a simple concave ["coved"] bevel, or “splay,” without beading or other decorative embellishment. The "stop" gradually returns the chamfer to the vanishing point at the right-angle edge [“arris”] of the header. For this reason, in the British tradition this form of beveled “stop” has been called a “converging” chamfer, distinguishing it from the abrupt right-angle [horizontal or vertical] chamfer terminations seen in some 17th-century English and Welsh vernacular woodwork. More finely articulated [typically with a curvilinear (“ogee”) profile] versions of this expressive vernacular detail, obviously designated by its undulating namesake, appear in formal and monumental structures on the continent of Europe and in the British Isles.
{3} However, such traditions were not rigidly interpreted; photo DTR09PH133--1001.01.229 shows the chamfer on the joist south of the northern outlooker extending part-way under the tenon of the anchoring header, stopping a few inches from the intersecting relieving lintel; this location of the chamfer stop apparently ignores the “intersection” of the joist with the extended section of the header through its southern tenon. An example of stopping a chamfer, with a simple beveled cove and in conformity with the joinery tradition, appears in the 2d image [Frame # 81709-929] which shows the chamfer on the lower southern arris of the first floor joist closest to the kitchen fireplace chimney breast stopped several inches before the meeting of the joist and the summer beam’s lap-joint with the fireplace lintel.
Photographer Larry Ward
Date 08/20/2009
People DeTurk, John
Print size 6.83 x 5.12 inches
Catalog Number 1001.01.215
Archive Number DTR09PH119
Frame# 82009-986
Search Terms DTR09PH
De Turck
De Turk
DeTurk House
Stopped Chamfer
Lamb's Tongue
Anchor Beam
Relieving Lintel
Chamfer Stop