Learn How You Can Install Antique Beams in Your Modern Home

The “Smarter Every Day” channel on youtube typically posts about how your brain or engineering works; the kind of science content you might also find on VSauce or Bill Nye. In a change of pace, he explains in his most recent video that he has a soft spot for woodworking. He and his wife have found a store in Coleman Alabama with antique reclaimed building materials, and fell in love with some hand-hewn beams they’d like to install in the ceiling of their modern home.

He captures bits of knowledge that “Southern Accents” have learned about building and reclaiming, including the reasons for certain materials or techniques. For example: hewing is a process of using a large flat ax to produce a squared beam from a round tree, a technique used for centuries before saw mills. Many of these techniques, such as standing on the beam while hewing, or mortising with handmade wooden pegs, are the kinds of techniques lost to modern tools and convenience. They even tell you how to correctly handle insects living in the wood that might be dormant for years.

Destin has a reputation for getting into the details in his videos, and this one is no different, showing the notching process and the real problems they faced trying to get the beams installed, unlike most DIY shows which just show things that scripted and rehearsed. It doesn’t look easy, but by the end of the video seeing what he runs into might just give you the confidence to try something like this on your own.