Teaching > Architectural
Conservation II (HP 482) >
Wood Conservation — Previous Questions
- Label and identify features exhibited in transverse sections
of (1) a deciduous and (2) a coniferous wood from the pith to
the phloem. Note the differences and similarities between the
- Your significant other, in an attempt to stump you (yo!,
pun intended), hands you a log, and axe, a razor, and a 10x
hand held magnifying lens. S/he asks you to cut the log into
three sectional planes and to name the sections. S/he then quizzes
you on all the visible elements of the wood that are evident.
Show him/her what you know by drawing and labeling the three
sectional planes and each element visible by eye and/or at 10x
- What are the components of wood. How to they contribute to
or inhibit biological attack.
- List and describe at least four (4) conditions which promote
biological attack of wood. How can you control each condition
to minimize the decay of wood.
- Outline the procedure for employing epoxy systems for filling,
consolidation, and structural work. Address materials selection,
execution of work, safety precautions, etc.
- What saws were employed in milling lumber. When. Illustrate
and describe what evidence of each particular saw blade you
would expect to find on lumber.
- According to Alex O’Donnell and Jeff Moore, what are
the ten major agents causing deterioration of museum collections.
(Leave aside matters of funding and politics.) How can they
be addressed from a conservator’s perspective? Propose
at least one potential solution for each problem.
- The owner of an 1871 Italianate structure discovers that
the sill, and several other timbers, exhibit ‘rot’.
As an architectural conservator, explain step by step how the
distraught owner should approach this problem.
- You have been hired by the owner of a 1817 Federal frame
structure, which is occupied by a family with young children
and a pet goldfish. Upon preliminary inspection, there is evidence
of considerable ‘insect infestation’ in architectural
and structural elements. How should the owners approach this
- List and briefly describe the steps and options a conservator
has when proceeding with the duplication of historic wood moldings.
Specifically mention tools (or machines), techniques, products,
and services (craftspeople, etc.) you might require.
- What are the properties of brown rot, white rot, and dry rot;
which woods do they prefer; what do they consume; and what is
the evidence of each.
- Discuss the evolution of wood ‘manufacturing’
(i.e.: Milling, planing, molding) in America, citing specific
advances in technology and how they affected period aarchitecture
(structural and architectural elements).
- What is the relationship between: temperature, relative humidity,
equilibrium moisture content, and fiber saturation point.
- Based on our site visit to Coggeshall Farm Museum, explain
the knowledge gained through the rake-making experience. Be
as specific as possible.
- Discuss the differing philosophies and methods of architectural
photographers as contrasted with others who photograph architecture.
- Describe the construction and tools (be specific, detailing
use of each tool) used to make a window sash.
- Illustrate (using two examples of machinery) the development
of wood-milling machinery in the 19th century and describe how
they affected the production of architectural woodwork (citing
two architectural examples).
- List and describe (illustrate) the principal stresses causes
in structural members by external sources.
- List and describe the load demands placed on a structure.
- Explain and illustrate the concept of bending behavior with
respect to a wood beam.
- Describe the relationship between moisture content and fiber
saturation point of a wood.