Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bent is finished

Finally finished bent #1. Only three to go, plus all the joists and purlins. I think with the warmer temperatures and little bit of experience I now have, the rest will go quicker.

Above are the final pieces of bent #1. The joints where the two beams join are called scarf joints, and are a lot of work to make. There is no simple way to do it, and much of the work is done by hand. If you zoom in on the picture, you can see how it works- you drive a wedge in from each side at the middle of the joint, and they're almost impossible to get apart. (Especially when you only have access to one side. Don't ask how I know this.)

The reason I had to do scarf joints in the first place was because logs ~18 feet long are hard to come by, but 16 feet are fairly common. For the next three bents I'm going to find logs 18 feet long if I have to cut them down myself. It will be much quicker.

So here's a shot of the completed bent. Not too bad hey? Unfortunately, I am now out of beams. My sawyer doesn't have my next order complete yet, and is actually trying to find logs big enough. So, I picked up a bunch of wood to make all the knee braces I will need, so I will have them in inventory as I go. I will probably grab some lumber this weekend and try to make a bunch of pegs for when I get to that point. Gotta stay busy.


Lorri said...

Hey Topper,
Greetings from West Hartford, CT. Your grandmother (my Aunt) alerted our family (your Great Aunt Lorraine's) to your blog! We'll be following your progress with great interest. I am amazed so are a real problem solver being able to fabricate whatever you need (the saw horses and the mallet are beautiful). Lots of luck and keep those fingers and toes safe as you go.
Lorri Chapman

topper said...

Hi Lorri,

Wow- I'm getting a big audience! Thanks for all the compliments, and I'm glad you enjoy the Blog.


Anonymous said...

Looking good Topper! It just warms my heart to see that space used and that you've inherited the
"wood gene". Before you know it we'll be planning a house warming!
Can't wait
Love Cairle

Cairle said...

Hey Topper!
Yahoo! Great job! It warms my heart to see you creatively using that space and to know that the "woodworking gene" has been passed down the line and to an obviously willing recipient! Before you know it we will be planning your housewarming party.

neuwave said...

Hey Topper,

Your project looks amazing.

This technique of using scarf joints on rafters is new to me. I've seen them used mainly on long continuous horizontal plates, primarily top plates, where the location of the scarf is carefully placed near the top of a post to minimize the load on the scarf joint.

I'm not sure I would scarf posts or rafters. Is this common practice? I've never seen it before, and it scares me a bit.

Also, keep in mind that if you are framing with green wood, you will get shrinkage and your scarf wedge might loosen a bit over time.

Your joinery looks very well-executed, and I am envious of your large, beautiful shop space!


topper said...

Hi Luke,

Thanks for the comments, and nice project yourself.

I'm not worried about the scarf joint in the rafter as long as it's above the queen posts. I'm looking for the sentence in one of these timber framing books to back me up, but I'm not having any luck.

I totally agree about the wood being green. I know this joint is usually pegged several times, but I'm thinking I may cheat here and put lots of screws in to back up the wedges.


Anonymous said...

Looks great Topper, but it looks like your building the bents around two supporting beams of the shop that your working in. Wheh, sorry to break the bad news to you.

Will you have sides as well? It looks real drafty! - sorry, I couldn't help myself


Grindu betonavimas said...

Topper, your project looks amazing!

Siltinimas poliuretanu said...

Very very great project, thanks for clearing things to your readers.