Sunday, March 16, 2008

Back Into Some Timber Framing

With the first floor stick framing of our house addition moving forward, it became evident that I needed to get going on some timber frame elements that are in the plans. We decided for time purposes that we were going to stick frame the addition, unlike the original section of the house that we currently live in. It is all traditional timber frame jointery cut by hand with minimal use of power tools by yours truly. It took the better part of 4-5 months to cut the joints working nearly 7 days and ~ 40 hrs a week in addition to family obligations and my day job. Given the addition is 2-3 times the size of the current place, we decided to rule out the jointery but instead place a few elements to tie things together.

The original idea for the pole barn (recently nearly completed) was to provide open covered space for timber frame projects and woodworking, and this was the first weekend for timberframing.

It was great to have everything under one roof, including the sawmill and logs since we had showers on and off. I cut the 3 timbers Friday night and Saturday morning and got them into place in the shop. They are going to provide support for a corner of the addition that is open to an enclosed, bumped living space. It is a an 8x8 column with two 8x10 beams coming off the column to make the corner. The main joint is a housed mortise that will be pegged. It will also have braces.

When I put the timberframe tools away a couple of years ago I sharpened and oiled them so things were ready to go. It did not take long to get back in the groove and the timbers fresh off the mill cut like butter. It is all Southern Yellow Pine that has been down for a year but surprisingly there is no spalting or real bug damage. This is the pile of logs that I cut when clearing for the barn. The remainder will be used for the house project and to finish the barn.

My youngest son Jacob joined me in the barn. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but I am going to sleep well tonight.


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