Distinguished Boards and Beams maintains a wide selection of timbers reclaimed from timber-framed heritage structures. A variety of patina-clad original surface textures are available in both hardwoods and softwoods. We are also equipped with a state of the art milling facility to meet your individual project needs.
Original Patina Surface Textures
Custom Milling Options
- Rough sawn to specific dimensions
- Surface planed—S4S, S3S, S2S, and S1S
- Wire brushed
- Lightly burned
Only the Best Quality
We only source and sell the highest quality timbers, because we recognize your need for durability along with the beautiful aesthetics of our old growth timbers, especially when it comes to the timber-frame of your project’s structure. We are involved with every step of the reclamation process, from finding the historic structures to carefully examining each timber and shipping them to our facility in Carbondale, Colorado. With over 15 years of experience providing premium timbers and beams for high-end custom homes and commercial businesses, our staff will help you choose the perfect timber package for your project.
Hand Hewn Timbers and Beams
Hand hewn timbers and beams are some of the most coveted wood products in the world. Staggered score marks on a timber's surface from where an axe chipped the log’s round edges away and visual reminders of early construction techniques such as mortise pockets and dowel holes bring unmatched character to residential and commercial buildings. These timbers recall our agrarian past before the advent and widespread usage of sawmills. The sweat that went into each of these fine pieces of American history can be seen in the rustic, unique, and elegant texture of each timber.
We stock hand hewn oak, ash, elm, beech, and poplar hardwoods. For softwoods, we have heart pine, yellow pine, northern white pine, and tamarack. Very few hand-hewn Douglas fir beams exist. We periodically have other species in our inventory and can accommodate special orders.
Hand hewn timbers are generally square, and the most common sizes are 7”x7”, 8”x8”, 9”x9”, and 10”x10”. We also regularly stock larger and smaller dimensions. Lengths can vary from 6ft all the way to 40ft, and occasionally even longer.
Click here to read more about hand-hewn timbers and our product offering
Douglas Fir Timbers
Home and business owners, architects, timber framers, and contractors all appreciate Douglas fir because of its well-rounded usability, cost-effectiveness, and aesthetic appearance.
- Handsome old growth grain patterns and extraordinarily tight rings
- Stunning wood hues ranging from red to golden brown
- High strength to weight ratio
- Decades of natural air drying virtually eliminate any chance of movement after installation and add an "inner glow" to the wood tones
- Cost effective compared to other timber species
- Readily available in dimensions larger than freshly cut wood
- Dimensions are large enough to saw free of heart center (FOHC)
- Environmentally responsible
Click here to read more about Douglas fir timbers and our product offering
Original Patina Rough Sawn
These timbers are usually offered in either circle sawn or band sawn surface textures. Older timbers that were made before the advent of sawmills can include sash sawn and pit sawn marks. Our reclaimed barn wood siding page provides a detailed look into these these different traditional sawing styles. Species include both hardwoods and softwoods, with Douglas fir, oak, and pine being the most common.
Dimensional lumber is rich chocolate brown with visible circle or band saw marks. Dimensions are as follows: 2" X 4-12", 3" X 4-13", and 4" X 6-16".
Original Patina Smooth Planed
These timbers were originally rough sawn and then planed smooth before their original installation. While they continued to acquire a natural patina over the course of their lives, their surfaces remain smooth to the touch.
Professional Reclamation Process
We carefully inspect, identify, and label each component of a barn’s or other heritage structure’s frame during its meticulous disassembly. Our refined reclamation process ensures that our end-products are only of the highest quality. This is acc=omplished in multiple ways:
- Our careful selection of only the best heritage structures and timbers
- Our insistence on using only professional teams of workers experienced in reclaiming heritage timbers
- Our state of the art milling facility run by experienced technicians
- Our knowledgeable, full-service staff that guides customers through every step of the process to meet project needs
Original Timber-Frame Components
Beams: We have beams that were used as plates, struts, sills, ties, and swings. Swing beams are typically the largest; they span the entire width of a barn and allow threshing floors to not be interrupted by center posts. They also create areas where livestock and wagons can move within a barn.
Posts: We stock corner, side, end, interior, and king posts. King posts serve as the center support timber for trusses and geometric frameworks.
Braces: Depending on a barn’s design, some braces are curved or were uniquely shaped to add a decorative touch to exposed framing. While curved braces can be shaped from straight timbers, some timber-framers prefer to craft them from trees that naturally curved.
For a more detailed list of timber-framing components and definitions, see Timber Home Living's Terminology Page.
Traditional Timber Framing Techniques
Before the age of the steel I-beam, massive old growth timbers formed the integral structure of heritage barns. It’s relatively easy to know when a barn was built and the technology that was available at the time by looking at the surface texture of a barn’s timbers and beams. Staggered score marks on a timbers’ surface indicates that it was hand-hewn; a broad axe was used to chip and chisel away the round edges of a log, and then an adze was used to further flatten it into a useable shape. Circle and band saw marks are indicative of barns built in the following eras.
When building a barn’s frame, timbers were joined together using one of two different architectural configurations: timber-frame or post and beam. The difference is simple. Timber-frame barns were built without the aid of metal plates or bolts; instead, traditional joinery techniques were used, such as mortise and tenon, bird-mouth, and tongue and fork. Post and beam architecture was a later development that utilized metal plates or bolts to join timbers and beams.
The various markings on our magnificent timbers and beams personify America’s heritage, while displaying rich character, sophistication, and elegance.