Monday, March 17, 2008


Busy weekend- I put together the first floor of bent 1. Since this was the first and I wanted to be extra careful I started by assembling the whole thing without knee braces. When I got everything square, I dry fit the knee braces, and marked where each would fit.

Then I took the whole thing apart, and cut the mortises for the knee braces. Below is a couple pictures of the final assembly with the knee braces installed. Kind of cool to have all the pieces start to look like something.

Next up will be queen posts, thankfully built from smaller beams. Ten by ten timbers are very heavy to muscle around by hand.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Back to work

This weekend I got quite a bit done. I'm hoping to have the first floor of the bent I'm building ready to assemble soon. I hadn't made any knee braces yet, so it was time. I made a few jigs to make things easier in the future, and whipped out four. There's a farmer down the street who has a small sawmill, and sells some lumber. I picked up some hemlock pieces for next to nothing, and they came out fine. The plan will be to mass produce all I will need for the whole house the next time.

I also have almost completed the girts for the first bent. I had to break down and buy a timber framing chisel from which according to the books I've read are among the best. I bid on a few old ones on Ebay, but they were going for half the price of a new one, plus I'd have to go through turning a new handle. Simpler and probably better to order a new one. I think it will make life much easier for me, as I had been using standard chisels up to this point.

I have a slick to use as well, but you can't hammer on that handle. One of the tenons I made this weekend was on a beam that has a big knot going about lengthwise, and I had a tough time getting the tenon shaped correctly with small chisels and a slick.

This is one of two completed girts. Almost completed anyway, just a few steps left to go. I am a little concerned about the tenons that will mount on the center post. They are only five inches long each; should be OK but I'm still worried. I may rout in a hidden channel between the girts where I could mount a metal plate and lag the two girts together. Probably unnecessary, but will make me feel much better when I can't sleep some night, and am staring at the ceiling.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

It's cold, and I'm busy at work

I haven't got a lot done lately. The past weekend was cold, and I had to work.

It also slows you down to have to melt ice with a salamander before you start cutting. Oh well, Spring is coming. I made the center post of bent 1, and it came out pretty well.

Next up; tie beams. Stay Tuned