I've included a video to see the situation before me. I have a horizontal crucks log which is ~15cm too short which I must connect to a corner post. I'm thinking I need to create a custom connector to tenon/mortise into both pieces. If my understanding is correct, this joint won't hold structural weight but merely serves to hold it together
Learning how to use a ratchet strap is one thing, however, finding where to learn how to tie ratchet straps for RTF is another. I've made progress using constrictor knots with ratchet straps, however, I find myself tearing up my frame bed, trying to tighten tenon & mortise joints, where I've seen in pictures how ratchet straps hold joints together without any external supports. I've searched youtube and google and I can't find anything on this subject. Anyone have any tie down methods to share?
Thanks Robert, I need to make a single cast of where my home's beams will sit on the boulder, then a cast of that cast which I will use to cut out of the wood. I'm wondering if a paper machė mold would work for the first cast, then plaster of Paris for the second.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I've seen this video, however, I don't see how to apply his solution to my situation, hence I'm leaning towards making molds. The frame raise requires a lot more people and risk, whereas the casts I could make myself.
@John, those round wood poles in the video are indeed crucks, according to Ben Law's Roundwood Timber Framing book, that I'm following.
The second floor would support a sleeping loft, basically a bed, maybe some drawers for clothes, maybe a desk and what not
After more consideration, would it not make more sense to build the framebed first, constructed the crucks frames, then bring in the boulders, and reassemble the framebed around the boulders if needed, then prepare for raise.
Regarding scribing, how would I transfer the boulder's surface onto the foot of the crucks joint while it's lying, if they're both stationary until lift day? Making a cast molding seems overkill. There must be a simpler way.
Lastly for now, I thought I've seen this, I could be mistaken – would it make sense to raise the wall posts with the crucks frame as a single piece on raise day?
I have filled ~60cmx60cm rubble trenches underneath the corner posts outside of the rubble trench. With boulders on top, I was told it will suffice. I figure I would fill the spaces in between the boulders with smaller rocks and lime, though I'm curious if there's something simpler.
If I understand you correctly:
- I the corner boulders in their final places
- I build the frame bed separately to use as a template, possibly, right below the boulders to have less to move (assuming the boulders wouldn't get in the way of construction)
- I would prepare the tenon + mortise joints. and build both frames
- Once the boulders are set, I'd know their height, and how much to cut off each leg of the crucks
- Once the frames are in place, next would come lift preparation
Slowly but surely I'm making way towards starting my roundwood timber frame. With the rubble trench filled, I've already harvested the trees over a month ago and I'm almost done debarking them, and pulling them the last 70 meters to the construction site. I decided I will build my home's frame on large, maybe 1 meter long boulders, which I have yet to order from the quarry. The boulders complicate how I envision the order that things should occur in. Here's how I envision the steps:
Assemble the logs so they don't get in the way of the truck bringing in the boulders
Order the boulders from the quarry
Install the boulders in their final places
Make the boulder surfaces for each corner level
Build the framebed
Build the crucks frames
- Where do I build the framebed in correllation to the house? My understanding is to build the framebed where the house will sit.
- If I build the FB on the house site, should I install the boulders in their final positions, and build the frame bed on top of the boulders?
- If so, it would be less work to lift the crucks legs onto the final resting positions, however, once I'd construct the first crucks frame, I'd have to move it off the framebed to make room to build the second and final crucks frame, might I run out of space?
- Am I overcomplicating this?
In preparing the wood to build my house, I recently discovered you can get the bark off a tree cut in late winte/early spring quicker and cleaner by peeling it instead of using a drawknife, which leaves me with intact sections of bark, instead of loose shavings, which leads me to the question: What can you do with pine or spruce bark?
The bark, while still green, is sturdy and flexible. I'm curious what transformation it will go through with time + drying, and if there are any ways to prepare it for some other uses. I've heard birch bark was used to line the bottom of sod roofs, and I'm curious if anyone knows of what properties these other common tree barks have.
I've read here and there spruce bark can be used for medicinal extracts, I'm guessing, similar to the use of willow bark but I haven't found *how* it's prepared for that.
I found sheep's wool is good as a general mulcher. Some grasses get through, but little and I'm overall very pleased with it, although I dono if I'd use it as a replacement for garden fleece which helps the plants underneath it grow
Good to know the order matters, thanks for clarifying.
As for peg sizes, Ben uses both, depending on the type of joint. The wind brace get two 5/8" pins whereas the major joints like the crucks get a single 1". I'm having trouble finding a 5/8" dowel maker, hence I'm wondering if I could reduce the size of the dowels and increase the number of pegs.
Here's the write up of the framing pins if it adds any clarity, as well as the link:
A temporary pin for use in traditional pegged timber frame building. The pin is used in place of the oak peg during construction and assembly of the frame.
Forged from solid stainless or mild steel bar, and ground to a smooth finish, with a T-handle (useful for knocking out wooden pegs!).
Stainless pins are recommended for green oak that is likely to be getting wet while the pins are in place, as mild steel, water and the oak's tannin will stain the wood.
My question is, why would a framing pin be necessary in the first place, versus pegging in the oak dowel before raising the crucks for example? As for the belt straps, I imagine it's for peace of mind as well, knowing they won't budge on their way up, or if something happens and they fall down.
In theory it makes sense. What's daunting is not having any experience making jigs and templates, but that's just reason to do it. I messaged the builder from this Pentiddy blog, which shows his build and his advice for building the "Magic Meseg Box" was:
The main thing is to make sure the centres of both the box and the mortice jig match in length. I made my box in two sections that can slide in/out- not necessary really but meant I could adjust the box to the mortice jig.
It is not an easy thing to do well I discovered, but with a bit of practice it gets better.
If I was to build mine again I would make the inner dimensions a little larger so it could take larger diameter logs. You prop/wedge the log in place in the box so the centre of the log sits central in the box...
I came across some advice to get a hold of podgers (framing pins) for RWT. I get that they hold the joint together until the final dowel is hammered, but I'm unclear in what order of events they are needed.
My understanding is that you chisel out the tenon & mortise -> drill a 25mm hole through one of the two (does it matter which one?) -> using the pricker mark the center 3/16" closer to the shoulder on the second log -> drill a hole through that -> nail in the podger. If that's correct, when do you remove the podger to replace with the final peg?
Am I correct in thinking that these are 'nice to haves' vs 'must haves'? Are belt straps still needed if the junction is held via a podger? Lastly, and how many would I need for a small build, could I get by cycling through with 2 or 3?
I came across this documentary and I noticed their technique to peel the bark of birch trees before they fell it the following winter. They make it look so simple. With what they harvest, it's easier to imagine how one would lay sheets of that down for a sod roof https://youtu.be/dIdHG9zyrtE?t=1530
Thank you Glen. In that case i won't play around with other woods...
Regarding the wind brace, in his book he mentions it also but there's no instructions on how to make one, so I guess I'll have to play around. I imagine there's a minimum length, but is there a rule of thumb when it would be too long?
I'm practicing cutting a crucks tenon and mortise, and I'm trying to cut a 30º angle on the mortise, however, I'm having trouble getting parallel lines on the round angle of the log. A flexible metal ruler would do the trick, if I had one, but they're expensive and I feel there must be other solutions I just haven't thought up yet. I can't find anything on the topic on Google either.
So is the batch rocket burn just as clean and hot as the Kuznetsov per se?
I'm looking for a way to combine: a heating + cooking stove with a narrow stairway and a cuddle nest in a 3x4 meter ovular tiny house. I'm wondering what type of stove design would allow that, while requiring minimal cleaning due to cleaner and fuller burning.
@Peter, thanks for sharing your knowledge! So much information :D
Also, are there any mentions of air intake systems? I heard of designing an air pathway from the outside to warm up as it flows underneath the house before it enters the burn chamber, though I haven't found any information on that.
No, I'm pretty much a newbie and I wasn't aware Van den Berg is a known variant. I presumed the image was just one of the larger Kuznetsov variants, as it's really complex visualizing a cross-section of a Kuznetsov stove as the latticework and chambers hide other important visual aspects in a 2D photo, compared to this Vandenberg one.
@Glenn, if I understand correctly, I think it's an *effort* to separate the two by allowing the gases to recirculate until they find their way out.
I'm surprised of all places to find so little talk of Kuznetsov stoves here. Then again, it's a Russian design, which I recently learned from a Russian speaker here in East Europe. If there are any native Russian speakers who could translate, this video explains in great detail, otherwise for the Anglophones, I came across this.
What I gleaned from the video after a slow translation process, it's a stove that achieves double combustion and a ~93% efficiency by separating the gases released from the combustion, light gases (C + O2) from ballast gases (H20 and N) which are heavier, and when mixed with each other, the maximum temperature isn't reached. Furthermore, the separation of gases and the separate chamber allows for a buildup of oxygen that when in contact with the carbon, from the fuel, causes a complete combustible reaction. One major flaw in traditional stoves is the lacking ratio of oxygen to carbon, hence there are apparently no carbon monoxide reactions within this stove because the oxygen is able to build up. Furthermore, it claims that there's no need for a draft (or hardly any draft, In case I misunderstood).
I'm diving into something I've never done before, and I'm looking for mentors/consultants to building my first house, so as not to ensure I'm focusing my attention where I should be.
As a European inhabitant, I don't have access to making payments to the British rwt companies, that I came across, and I'm wondering if someone could give a pointer where to look for the opportunity into an in-depth consultation?
Thank you really Markus for the resources. Yea, I also considered birch bark & sod. It would be the ultimate in eco. Most important, you need to make sure the frame can support such a heavy load. I'm putting that option off until I'm more confident with loads. Second, you need to know when and how to harvest the bark (I believe nowish is the best time to do so). I wish there was more information on this topic.
Otherwise, I'm wondering if there's room for creativity here to possibly double up smaller poles in some secure manner to achieve the height needed to insulate and cover the roof.
PS. I dug into the report on plank roofs and applying pine tar to them. That's genius too, I wonder why this is so rare nowadays. I wonder what's the best way to insulate them then? If you were to insulate with straw, would you add the straw right before covering the roof or after from underneath somehow. I never much understood roof insulating…
Thanks for the detailed answer Yaron, and the rest for pointers of pole thickness. I realized I forgot to include the windbraces on this latest design, though I'll play around with what you say to ensure there's a clear diagonal force from the roof to the base. I've considered a triangle house, and if I could get the materials, I might go for it. For the roof, I dug through the roundwood timber framing book and the internet to find examples for roofing, and unfortunately, I can't find anything using round poles that works for a northern climate. In the book, their examples use milled lumber that's taller, to allow for roof insulation, which in my case will most likely be straw, hence you're right I need lighter weight, and also more height.
Regarding your note about the cruck going against the corner pole, in all the examples I see, they have them side-by-side like here
I've updated the design. If anyone knows of a northerly example using roundwood for an insulated roof, please share!
Unfortunately, my previous profession lends no insight into the structural properties of wood, so I'm searching for information regarding how thick my roundwood timber should be. I'm Following Ben Law's book for roundwood timber framing for a cruck design, and I'm in the process of gathering the wood for the coming season.
The house is ovular at the bottom with an 3x4 meter interior. Add 30cm to each side to get the distance between the base of each cruck. The height of the roof almost 6 meters, and the cruck poles are almost 7 meters longs. The roof will be wooden shingles, but considering this is 55º North and we can get considerable amounts of snow, how thick should my poles be? What's the minimum I can get by with? Of course, I'm gonna add on to be safe, but I'd like to get an understanding of the structural integrity of wood. The wood I'll build with is European Spruce (Picea abies).
To be helpful for any future cases, all information regarding the title is welcome, even if it doesn't fit my specific case, though I am here looking for answers :)
I'm by no means an expert compared to the rest of the guys on this forum, but a beginner learning through mistakes. Since log scribing information is so hard to come by, I started documenting my findings. I give rough introduction to it here
For anyone else watching, if you have any pointers that I'm missing, feel free to share. Since the information is hard to come by, I'm unintentionally reinventing the wheel…
You mean to tell me the standard building practice with synthetic materials and concrete isn't wasteful? I think it depends on how you're building. I see the Ben Law approach to building a house and I can't see where it's being wasteful, unless you consider all the extra time that goes into doing things by hand, instead of sending it off to a sawmill, but that's a matter of perspective, same with it being fun or not.
That's exciting Shelly, and motivating to hear there are others trying to do the same thing as me, all coming from our own unique pasts.
I'm curious how you go about searching for help, as I have that difficulty, being easier to offer help than to ask for it. Further, are you documenting your process somewhere?
I don't mean to hijack your thread, however, I'm in a similar situation with my house, only that I already filled the rubble trench without adding a pipe. What are my options besides waiting until I construct an extension through which the pipe would go?
Here's some progress on the tiny house. With a lot of guiding from Glenn, I discovered the style I want to build the house in. I found Ben Law and his round-wood timber framing materials which answered the biggest questions I had regarding how to build a gabled roof using the fir trees from the forest nearby. I spent all summer digging and filling a rubble trench foundation.
Before I launch the photos I'd like a second opinion on the order of building, regarding flooring and insulation. I'm building this house with only reclaimed, donated materials, hence I'm avoiding buying synthetic materials like for insulation, so I'm wondering how best to insulate the floor, and when to do it. Ecologically, I only know of clay slip & straw insulating but I don't know if this is viable for floor insulation, and I don't know how thick to insulate. I think, I'd add the insulation once the roof is built to prevent rot. Anything I'm missing.
In Lithuania thyme is mostly used as a medicinal tea to ease coughs. Also, I read it lowers blood pressure, and as stated above, it's anti-viral. However, unlike oregano, you shouldn't drink more than a cup or two because some compounds in it build up in the body, and it does more harm than good at excess (according to a biologist friend), whereas oregano tea is even tastier to me, and you can drink it to your heart's desire.