HISTORIC IRONWORK REPAIRS IN TIMBER-FRAMED BUILDINGS.

Chapter 5

5. Types of Iron Ties. 2/6.

5.3. Plates and strips.
Flat strips of constant thickness used to bind across failing scarf joints (Fig.5.10) or set at angles across corners that are pulling out (Fig.5.11). Fixed with staples and/or nails. They can also be used to prevent studs from splaying apart (5.12).

Strip or plate repair

Fig. 5.10. A plate or strip binding across a simple scarf in the sole plate of Cordwainers, Lavenham, Suffolk. Judging by the poor quality metal which has corroded badly and the simplicity of the scarf, the repair is likely to be 19th century or later.

Strip binding a corner

Fig. 5.11. A strip binding the south-west corner of the Barley Barn at Cressing Temple, Essex. The strip has many redundant holes and is likely to be a piece of re-used scrap and so its emplacement is undatable.

Strip holding two studs in place

Fig. 5.12. A strip repair to stabilise the corner post of Cordwainers, Lavenham, Suffolk. Re-used pieces like this are difficult to date. Photographic evidence or contemporary paintings may be of some use where the house is well-known.

5.4. Flitch plates.
A flat plate that is set within a slot to join two pieces end to end. Hewett records the use of a flitch plate in a scarf found in the top plate of a building at Fressingfield, Suffolk. He dates this to the middle of the 14th century but by his own admission it is a solitary example. (Hewett CA, 1969). As a repair in ironwork, a flitch plate is a 19th or 20th century intervention (Fig 5.13). There is the difficulty of cutting a precise slot in which to house the plate to be overcome.

Flitchplate repair to Harwich Crane

Fig. 5.13. A flitchplate inserted into the failing boom support of the Harwich Crane. A repair effected in 1990 using stainless steel.

5.5. Fish Plates.
A pair of plates placed either side of a failing timber and bolted through. Originally these would have been in timber and bolted into place. Later pairs of iron strips or plates would be used. This is normally a very modern intervention (Fig 5.14).

Fish plate repair

Fig 5.14. A fishplate bridging a butt joint in the top of Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire. Four square-headed bolts are used to locate it. Dated to the mid 1800's.

5.6 Cramps, 5.7 Brackets, 5.8 U-straps.

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