Some years ago I was walking through an old Victorian house that was being renovated. In one room where the original wall framing was exposed, I found a curious bit of workmanship. One of the two-by-four studs had been carefully notched about halfway up, and a small hardwood wedge had been driven in. After a moment’s study, the reason became clear: The two-by-four had been badly bowed, and rather than cutting it up for some lesser purpose, the Victorian carpenter had used an age-old but effective trick to make it straight again.
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