Cannery Under Construction: Finders Keepers

nails and scarf

While the construction crew is hard at work preserving the structural integrity of our building, they are uncovering some really interesting finds. The nails featured in the photo on the left are from two different time periods and the scarf on the right is a unique construction strategy used in times past.

The two nails on the left are flat, handmade by a blacksmith and likely date from the turn of the century. The one on the far right has a thick round shaft with a square head and likely dates from around the 1940s. Throughout the past century, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery building has undergone a number of structural shifts. The dates for these nails coincide with the inception of the building in 1894 and the expansion of the Herring Reduction Plant in the early 1940s.

The Seismic 2000 team was pretty excited about the scarf featured on the right. This is how beams could be finished, tapered on either end forming what is called a scarf. A scarf from one beam would fit with a complimentary scarf from another beam, making it a scarf joint (refer to the image below). This is an old construction technique used when the material being joined is not available in the length required.

When the team replaced the rotting beam in the Herring Reduction plant area of the Cannery, with a new one, they finished the end with a scarf so the new beam could compliment the old one next to it.


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