Initially, we liked the idea of four, 4x6 beams, evenly spaced across the ceiling. When we considered price and weight, we turned to 4x4s. We also looked into faux beams, but woo-wee, those are expensive. In the end, we settled on four, 2x6s, to give the look of exposed ceiling joists.
Here's how the ceiling looked as we got started....
|Before. Eventually that entire wall will be torn down, but for now,|
only the top several courses of tongue & groove boards were removed
We figured we would space the "joists" at 27 inch intervals so that they would be visually symmetrical. What we hadn't realized, was how uneven our ceiling is. Not just sloping, but it bows and dips in several different places. When we held a board flush and level to the ceiling, there were gaps of up to an inch and a half against the wall in some places. Ah, the remodeling joys of a 90 year old house.
|1st two decorative 2x6 "joists" in place.|
Tearing down and re-doing the ceiling was not an option, so the next best thing, was to choose the two most level, equidistant places on the ceiling and put two of our "joists" there. The other two went against the outer walls (which were level, amazingly), as you see in the photo above. This meant wider spacing of the "joists," but we figured adapting was the easiest of our choices.
This decision actually solved another problem for us, that of moulding. Our walls and ceiling both, are tongue and groove, and the individual boards make an uneven gap where the walls and ceiling meet. Unlike drywall, which can be taped and gooped, T&G requires moulding to cover that gap. The "joists" against the walls serve as moulding, while giving the look we were going for.
The "joists" were initially toenailed in place, so for additional support, a 2x10 was notched to accommodate them ...
|Notches were cut from a 2x10 to fit each of the beams.|
... and fitted up against the "joists" and the ceiling like so.....
|This is how it looked after we got it up.|
This gives an exposed beam look, but also covers the gap where the wall was removed. (The small smooth panel you see in the ceiling, is not attic access. It's too small. We figure it was originally where their cookstove stovepipe went.)
The other side of the room was different however, because of the load bearing beam. This is the beam Dan made from one of our fallen pines, and used to replace the support post in the middle of the room. One of the "joists" had to be attached to this beam, but instead of toenailing or running a spike through the beam, he used pegs made from an oak dowel...
|2 dowels were cut to serve as pegs to secure one of the 2x6 beams.|
The "joist" had two holes drilled into the end, which slipped onto the pegs.
|2x6 decorative "joist" attached to the load bearing beam|
And here's how the whole thing looks after the ceiling was painted.....
|After. Exterior kitchen wall .....|
And on the other side...
|After ..... and the opposite wall.|
Funny how a project can evolve like that, and all because of unexpected challenges along the way. At least we're learning to simply take these challenges in stride. :)