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Thread: Timber Framing

  1. #1
    Tree Hugger Sponsor brendonv's Avatar
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    Default Timber Framing

    So, I exchanged a couple pm's with PCTree reguarding his timber framed barn he built, that I LOVE. He suggested I start a thread to see if anyone else has ever done it. My tools will be limited at the start, a stihl gas drill and some chisels. I'd like to start with a small woodshed, maybe an 8x8 building with a slant roof.

    A few questions, what kind of wood is best? I'm thinking in the beginning I can use softwood because it'll be easier to work with and light, and of course it won't be sitting directly on the ground. I have a bunch of spruce trees to remove at one of my brothers houses, would those work?

    How do I know what size timbers to use based on species to keep sufficient strength in the wood after the mortises have been cut?

    Anyone have any experience with any books on the subject?
    trees live a secret life only revealed to those that climb them -unknown

  2. #2
    TreeHouser Sponsor woodworkingboy's Avatar
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    Here is one good text:
    www.amazon.com/gp/product/0850333547
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1079.jpg  

  3. #3
    JamesTX
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    This guy used to do it, I think - http://www.gypoclimber.com/member.php?u=226 - but he hasn't been around in a while.

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    TreeHouser Sponsor Altissimus's Avatar
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    Ted Benson over in New Hampshire is the "Beraneck" of Timber Framers (runs a school , sells books , and buildings) .... this style of construction is in vogue right now ... I have a friend who sourced Hemlock for a large barn .... I'd bet Spruce makes strong timbers ...

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    Tree Hugger Sponsor brendonv's Avatar
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    I'll look him up.

    I did some researching today, and found that Forestry forum has a timber frame forum. It looks like Spruce is OK, it has a tendancy to twist while drying I guess.

    I'm hooked on this all of a sudden.
    trees live a secret life only revealed to those that climb them -unknown

  6. #6
    Treehouser Sponsor PCTREE's Avatar
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    Better that than CRACK

    Ill try to get some pics of the stuff I have worked on. My next project is going to be my subteranian house with a timber frame roof structure. I have been collecting timbers for a while, 12x18 beams and 12x12 posts all oak. I like to over build stuff but hey I got the wood. This was going to be a long term goal butI am starting to think about getting on it sooner so we can sell this house and get out of debt... Still havent figured where to get the money to build with though

  7. #7
    Woods walker Sponsor Burnham's Avatar
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    Sell a bunch of Wraptors, Paul.
    "Confidence is the feeling you sometimes have before you fully understand the situation."

  8. #8
    Square peg, round world. Dave Shepard's Avatar
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    Brendon, the best book for you to get to build a shed is Jack Sobon's "Timber Framed Construction". It has plans for a 12'x16' utility shed. The book covers a lot of aspects of TF, especially the square rule method, which is what you will want to use. The book also includes step-by-step instructions of cutting the joints, as well as pictures. Tedd Benson and Jack Sobon are two people that have done a lot for TF over the years. Benson works with a lot of high-end home designs, while Jack is more of a traditional TF architect. I know Jack personally, and will be taking a cruck frame workshop with him this summer.

    If you can, I would try to take a week long TF workshop. You can learn a lot from books, but a workshop will be worth every penny, without question. Jack teaches a traditional workshop the last weekend of september at Hancock Shaker Village, andHeartwood School does many different classes each summer.

    A starter tool list for a white pine frame:

    Framing square
    2" Framing chisel
    Mallet
    Boring machine, T-auger, or power drill.
    2" drill bit.
    Slick
    Combination square
    Tape measure
    Stanley SharpTooth 26" hand saw, or a Japanese Ryoba of at least 300mm.

    I'll keep adding as I think of them.

    I would avoid spruce. It is a very dry wood, even fresh, and the knots are harder then hell, and will ruin edge tools. White pine is a great wood for TF. Hemlock is not bad either, but splinters when it dries. You will of course need to find a good sawyer to give you straight, square timbers.

    I would join both the Forestry Forum, and the Timber Framers Guild forum. There are top notch framers on both sites. Jim_Rogers is the moderator on the FF, and also has good quality tools for sale, I know Jim personally, and his tools are as advertised, ready to be used, and are priced very fairly. I find his prices for slicks to be the cheapest around. At the Hancock Shaker Village workshop, about five tool dealers show up with a ton of good gear. I think there is also a Jim Bode tools website, he has some good stuff as well.

    Ask your questions here, and I'll try to get them answered, if I can.

  9. #9
    Square peg, round world. Dave Shepard's Avatar
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    Hand crank boring machine.



    4" slick, like a giant chisel, used for paring, never struck with a mallet. There are also a couple of hand planes in the shot. A low angle block plane and a rabbet plane are handy for TF also.



    This is a sill for a shed very similar to what you want to build. It is based on the shed in Jack's book.


  10. #10
    Climbing Up Sponsor tblough's Avatar
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    Brendon,

    Here's another extremely well respected timber framing school: http://www.foxmaple.com/workshops.html They have a two part class coming up on 6/1.

    I've actually toyed with the idea of sneaking out of China to attend the two classes.

    Cheers,

    Tom
     
    Still runs with scissors, plays with cars, and climbs trees

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