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.
This activity is now commonplace, with a variety of products from different manufacturers
sold over-the-counter and used professionally. 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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