Saturday, September 5, 2009

Restoration Work on the Keith House

This summer a few restoration projects have been started on the Keith House at Graeme Park. The first, undertaken by the state, is the restoration of some of the window and door sills and framing, which were badly rotted in some places. The original sash were removed so the work could be done, giving us an opportunity to see the 18th century construction, including the boxwood pulleys, ropes, and weights that aided in the opening and closing of the sash. The channels housing these mechanisms where hand chiseled out of solid pieces of wood.

The door jambs were repaired using a dutchman repair to piece in new, solid wood where it was needed and retain the old original wood where we could. Resin helps to reinforce the older wood where it was beginning to deteriorate but was still salvagable. The repairs are apparent on close inspection, but this is considered desirable so that future generations may distinguish the original 18th century work from the 21st century repairs.
The project also includes repainting of all the trim in a blue just slightly different than the current blue. This is based on the paint analysis done in the 1980s. Some of the new paint color has already been applied, but there is still more to do.
A second project that is underway is on the gables of the summer kitchen. The paint was badly peeling and Mike MacCausland offered to take on the scraping and repainting for the Friends of Graeme Park. Since the summer kitchen is a reproduction building, the work can be done by volunteers.

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