advice sought: roughening beam to look like rough sawn lumber

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I think you must make a decision between rough sawn, rough hewn, and distressed. Probably need to try a sample of each to decide. The advice you've received so far will help with each. Rough sawn will require resawing or roughing the face with a saw (duh), bandsaw, chainsaw etc. Rough hewn requires hewing the timber with an adz, plane, scoop, gouge, or whatever you have. Distressed is cutting, incising, beating with a chain, drilling worm holes and smearing with various "staining agents." It's the look you're most comfortable with. For me I would narrow the beam on a bandsaw by one kerf each side for the rough sawn look. I have powerwashed soft woods for a raised grain look, but I don't think thats what your looking for. I'm a big proponent of 4.5" Makita grinders, but you'll really have to be "random" to get a desired effect. Good luck. Tell us what you decide on.
Jerry
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I guess what I want is a beam that looks old barn beamish, weathered and distressed are prolly more what i had in mind than rough hewn. Just something old and natural looking rather than 2 by 10's glued together. I've had lots of good advice, however, it's up in place so it's kinda difficult to put it through a bandsaw now. My wife is skeptical about sand blasting - seems a bit messy. Perhaps the chain saw would work (I'm going to have a sore neck tho'). I'm still kind of partial to the concentrated wood brightener - you know, the stuff for cleaning an old deck. Might make the appearance look stringy and fibrous but that beats smooth.
I'll let you know how it turns out.
-Doug
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sandblasting is likely to be your best bet. have it done by a competent contractor. they'll handle keeping things clean.
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You can try a steel bristle brush. This will wear away the soft wood between the grain. Dent it with a hammer, etc. I use tinted wax (Briwax) in the cracks to add age.
The brush works with soft woods - e.g. pine.
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What is this Briwax and how does it look? I'm planning on staining the beam a sort of raw umber (dark brown) colour - the tinted wax sounds interesting. The brush is what I have tried with a drill, however, it doesn't cut away at the wood very deeply. Which is why I thought the brightening agent would be a good idea to help break down the wood fibre. The chain saw idea is also something I will try. And as Fly-by-Night said - I'll test first.
thanks all. Doug
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Briwax is one of several brands of finishing wax. It comes in several different colors, including: clear light brown Goldon Oak Rustic Pine Tudor Brown Dark Brown Antique Mahogany http://www.mannwoodcare.com/briwax.html has it for $12 for one can, $22 for 2, which seems to be a good price. I have never ordered from them before. I have paid about $15-$16 a can.
It's a wax, and you can put it on any surface. If the surface is porous, the color will absorb better. In other words, it works better if the wood isn't finished. At worst case, you can have clumps of wax in the corners, where there would be little wear. I like it for simulating age - it can be used to add "crud" in the crevices. There is a solvent used (there is a new low odor blend called Briwax 2000) and after drying, the wax becomes harder.

Depends on the wood. Maple and cherry has a very hard grain, and it is not very porous. Pine is soft, and you can distress it easily with a stiff brush. You have to go with the grain, as the softer wood is distressed, and the harder rings remain.
I was thinking of those stiff steel wire brushes they use to scrub brick and welding joints.
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[...]

sand blasting isn#t a bit messy. It's very messy.
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Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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This is more just FYI/future reference for anyone, since you have the beam in place already. I found this by accident (browsing Bosch's website):
Rustic planer blades http://www.boschtools.com/tools/tools-detail.htm?H 5983&GX037&IY707
Don't know if such blades are made for the more "generic" 12-15" planers out there, but it's pretty cool in concept...
-Chris
Doug wrote:

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Contact Sheridan Forest Products in McMinnville, Or - That's what they do for a living...
Schroeder

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