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Old 21st October 2021, 07:46 AM   #1
crescent
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First World War surplus wood used to repair U.S. Capitol

Much of the furnishings of the U.S. capitol were made with mahogany wood - something quite difficult to come by these days. That's a problem because some of those furnishings were damaged during the January 6 attack.

Back during the First World War, the Forest Products Laboratory of the U.S. Forest Service (still in its first decade of existence) did research on the use of different kinds of wood for airplane propellers.

Some of that wood was unused at the time and then remained warehoused (in Wisconsin) for a century, and can now be used for the capitol repairs.

FPL Sends Historic Legacy Mahogany to Help Restore U.S. Capitol

I don't know which is more interesting. The government apparently still has stocks of surplus material from WWI. And, the inventory management is good enough for them to know what's there.
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Old 21st October 2021, 07:59 AM   #2
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I think we all know where this thread is headed. Can we shift it to the Philosophy subforun now?
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Old 21st October 2021, 04:32 PM   #3
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That crate the Ark of the Covenant was stored in? Solid mahogany!
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Old 21st October 2021, 06:36 PM   #4
kookbreaker
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
I think we all know where this thread is headed. Can we shift it to the Philosophy subforun now?
Are we doing the Ship of Theseus thing?
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Old 21st October 2021, 08:49 PM   #5
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Sweet bebbe jeebus...
I know jack all about carpentry and woodworking, but that's near a thousand board feet of inch thick, century old cured mahogany.
I think I need a lie-down.

More than a few woodworkers havin' an "O moment", I should think.

.

On a serious note ...
If the damage on the sixth was that extensive, I'd like to see pics and I'd like them shoved In the face of every damned congress-critter who claims the insurrectionist bastards were merely "like well behaved tourists".
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Old 22nd October 2021, 08:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Are we doing the Ship of Theseus thing?
Preferable to the conundrum inspired by Theseus's colon transplant.
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Old 24th October 2021, 02:34 AM   #7
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In a similar vein, when the Danish fleet was seized and destroyed by the British in 1807, large sections of woodland was set aside to grow the oak trees needed to build their replacements.

However, before they could mature, development in ship building overtook them and they were left in place. They've seen been used to, amongst other thing, rebuild the rotten roof structure of Roskilde Cathedral.

I understand a similar search for mature trees is now being undertaken in France, with a view towards the reconstruction of Notre-Dame.
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Old 24th October 2021, 07:53 AM   #8
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I follow the Acorn to Arabella YouTube channel, young guys building a wooden sailboat from scratch, harvesting oak trees from the family farm. At one point they acquired an old and very rotten boat, Victoria, which they scrapped but not before salvaging fittings and the mahogany interior, which is becoming the interior of the new boat. They also plan to build their dinghy out of it.
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Old 24th October 2021, 11:25 AM   #9
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The luthiers of the US are all wondering how they can get their hands on some…..
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Old 24th October 2021, 01:03 PM   #10
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I wonder: How long can wood be warehoused and remain usable?
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Old 24th October 2021, 01:22 PM   #11
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Is it really good wood or is it just the history of it? We're talking about $12K worth at today's prices aren't we?

ETA: I see it's an "old growth" form that is no longer available. Is it remarkably better than today's?

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Old 24th October 2021, 02:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Is it really good wood or is it just the history of it? We're talking about $12K worth at today's prices aren't we?

ETA: I see it's an "old growth" form that is no longer available. Is it remarkably better than today's?
Just going on extent old growth being protected, I'd think it was extremely valuable. Like the huge century plus old submerged redwoods and such that salvagers search for.

As for quality, I don't know... weather patterns during the decades the trees grew, quality of the selections chosen for the collection, how well they've been stored which I'll give the dept the benefit of the doubt.
I pointed out the dimensions upthread... can anything that thick and a full foot wide be sourced today?
70+ 12 foot by 12 inch planks? I can't see $12k gettin it.

Eta: No, I see you're correct, for today's harvested product. So it comes down to quality differences if any, and the historical aspect of the old wood.
But I doubt they produce a price list.
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Old 24th October 2021, 02:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
The luthiers of the US are all wondering how they can get their hands on someÖ..
Don't know if they'd need the planks, but I bet they'd love an unobserved hour to explore the storage facility.
I wonder how exotic the collection gets.
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Old 26th October 2021, 03:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Are we doing the Ship of Theseus thing?
No we have to wait until the 2 Visions show up for that one....
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Old 26th October 2021, 03:31 PM   #15
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Seriously, a lot of damage was done to the historic Capitol Building furnishings by the "Peaceful Protestors" of Jan 6th. Something that their supporters like to ignore.........
And they are not easy to repair for the reasons in the thread.
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Old 27th October 2021, 02:46 PM   #16
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Sometimes you don't want to repair. Perhaps it is better to leave the damage as a lesson.
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Old 28th October 2021, 11:50 AM   #17
sackett
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Sometimes you don't want to repair. Perhaps it is better to leave the damage as a lesson.
Perhaps some damage can left as a display, with signs explaining who did it.

Bluntly worded signs, if I get to write them.
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Old 28th October 2021, 06:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Sometimes you don't want to repair. Perhaps it is better to leave the damage as a lesson.
I could imagine them leaving some of the damage visible, or at least looking slightly different than it looked before. I know that when repairing historic artifacts it is common to keep the repairs slightly visible so that future historians can still tell what is original or what is from the repairs. They might, as you say, also leave some damage unrepaired for the same reason (to preserve some of the physical history of the attack) but I would think that would be mostly for minor damage.

Think of a future Capitol Building tour guide pointing that out: "See how the wood on this part of the door frame has this little arrowhead branded on it? That's how the Park Service marked wood used to repair the damage from the January 6 attack". (When I worked for the NPS, branding wood with the NPS arrowhead logo or just the letters "NPS" was a common way of marking repairs to historic structures. Just little brands in out of the way places, you had to look to see it).

I would also not be surprised if I found out that some of the "repairs" are being used to cover security improvements. Wooden doors being replaced with thicker wooden doors, or wood veneer over steel doors. Reinforced doorframes. Thicker window frames with stronger "glass" (or whatever is used in "bulletproof" windows). Repairs will not always be "in-kind".
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