This is what we started with! The floor in this room was burned
around the edges but otherwise it was effectively boiled for very
many hours as the fire burned and the firemen poured 1.5 million
gallons of water into the building.
As you can see, the decorative elements are very thin - between
2 and 3 millimetres thick. Why? Because, in order to create the
pattern accurately with furniture grade joints, the repeat elements,
particularly those circular pieces, had to be extremely precisely
cut to a dimensional exactitude not possible with thicker timber.
The thickest timber that could be cut accurately by shaped knives
embedded into a former was 3 mm. Thicker than that caused tearing
of the face and the back of the timber. The way the elements were
made was to pass the veneers through a machine something like a
mangle but with the shaped blades embeded within the top roller.
Similarly, the elements which made up the Greek Key pattern were
stamped out, rather than cut out. This was evidence by the faintly
crushed grain on the underside of the elements.
From these remains David Gunton had to identify the original woods
used, make detailed measurements to enable redrawing and then recreation
of the pattern exactly as made originally in 1854.