This paper addresses an area which has been less a science than a practice for as long as man has been
using wood. It has been thus with all human endeavor: in the absence of a reproducible standard,
technology does not develop and even fundamental advances in the quality of an art or practice may go
unrecognized. Further advances, agreement on methods of measurement and goals, none of these things
happen where there are no reproducible standards.
In 1972 Steve Smith invented the modern technology
that restores deteriorated wood and the products that implement that
technology. After twenty years of proven performance he conducted
the scientific research that defined that science and set out an open
standard for products that would do that. In 1998 he published that
information in this paper. This activity is now commonplace, with
a variety of products from different manufacturers sold over-the-counter
and used both professionally and as well by amateurs. Yet, there are
no agreements among manufacturers, users, property owners, architects
or structural engineers as to exactly what is being done, or how,
or with what result. The reason for this is that there has never been
any such thing as a standard piece of rotten wood.
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page last updated: April 2014