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Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:25 am
It may be difficult to maintain exposed rafters, but it can be done. Many of the classic houses by the brothers Greene of Pasadena, such as Gamble, Blacker and Thorsen, have them in abundance (though not extending as much as the Harris design), and they seem to be in good shape.
Early photos of the Harris house show beams that are either finished with a clear substance or not finished at all. I am not sure the house is still standing, since I have never seen any later photos.
Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:57 am
I had intended to show examples of Greene & Greene protected rafters---and couldn't find a single photo, in Makinson or Current, of such work. Odd;
I know I've seen them: copper molded to the top sides of rounded wood members, attached with many small nails. Perhaps I saw them only in the flesh.
Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:06 am
The Blacker house was extensively repaired with many new rafters. And Southern California doesn't have the precipitation and temp changes as northern states. Of course, all that summer sun may be damaging to wood in different ways than lots of rain.