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scribing posts to stone  RSS feed

 
galen pettigrew
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Hello
I have recently cut a small Japanese inspired gazebo frame that I would like to scribe onto stone foundations. The stones are already set in the ground and are too large to move. Unfortunately I have made my life difficult by not scribing the posts before cutting the joinery.
Can anyone think of a way of scribing the posts to the stone whilst still maintaining a constant reference height throughout the frame??
 
Bill Bradbury
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Set your reference height with a laser or a string, then cut pieces of paper board to the size of your posts and scribe/cut them to fit the stones. Once the paper fits perfectly, make a mark on the paper at the reference height. Line up the paper and post reference height marks and trace.
 
Robert Ray
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J.C. Whitecloud showed some impressive work on another post, he might have some insight.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Galen,

I am very pleased that you accepted my invitation and joined!!!

The support staff and quality of this forum is much better than what the Timber Framing Guild has to offer at the moment. Especially in the way of "tech support" of the forum itself. I wish the TFG could have the "tech support" this forum has...it really would be great.

Anyway, I think you will really enjoy this group. Many folks here are just starting out and have wonderful ideas about building naturally that may appeal to you.


Hello Bill B.,

I really like the way you are thinking...and that is the correct path yet the method doesn't really work in "live application" in most real world scenarios. I have watched many students in sculpture classes struggle with techniques with "paper templating" just as you described. It does have application...good of you to bring it up...but in this case, not really applicable, or perhaps I should say...too much work and not as exact in most applications when working in the "3D" realm of "post to plinth."

자연석 주초놓기와 기둥세우기 (best I can do in phonetic pronunciation: jayeonseog juchonohgiwa gidungse-ugi) is the what would be described as dropping and building posts to stone plinths.

Here are a few links that should give you the general idea. Then, should you wish, I can answer more specifics.

Hanok students fitting posts.

Geureng 그렝이질 fitting post to stone

 
galen pettigrew
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Thanks.
I think that I have got what I need from pictures. I will only learn more by actually giving it a go. My plan at this stage was to take levels of the highest points on all the stones where the post would sit. Then I would cut all the posts something like 3" overlength (whatever is enough to compensate for variation of the funkiest stone) but making sure that each post is exactly the same amount over length. I would then stand the posts (well bents actually) on top of the stones where they are to rest, plumb and level them. Set the divider the same width the posts are over length and scribe away. Pull it all down, get to work with chainsaw and gouge and then stand it all back up again. Step back, admire my handiwork or swear loudly. Either way I should learn plenty and be able to do it better next time.
Any major faults in my train of thought?
Cheers
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Any major faults in my train of thought?


It sounds like you have a plan of action....

I can share this and will look forward to pictures and more news about your progress.

Taking the "European concept" of bents and applying it to the Asian modality of individual post has never worked well in the past...good luck with your attempt. I hope you are successful, yet can share that just trying to properly plumb and scribe on post is challenging enough without trying to do that to an entire bent several times during fitting.

Getting the "high point" datum will help but without a "centerline, or "line rule" layout modality you are most likely going to have additional challenges. I am not sure if you used a "line rule" method of layout or not? This is a critical step in post to plinth scribing...

Each stone should have a center point indicated on the stone and 4 other directional alignment point marks as well. With this, and the "string line grid" you can get the readings you seek for "high points" and also understand the approximate "offset" at the critical points where the "line rule" marks on the post will strike (or should strike) the stone.

Please take photos as you go and post the here (positive or negative results...we learn either way.)
 
Bill Bradbury
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Jay, could you please elucidate on the line rule layout method? I and probably most who read this post, only have experience with western layout methods.
I can see where this would be more efficient for non-dimensioned lumber, where the outside corners are not the anchor points, but the centers of the posts and the entire building. At least that's my take anyway.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Jay, could you please elucidate on the line rule layout method? I and probably most who read this post, only have experience with western layout methods.
I can see where this would be more efficient for non-dimensioned lumber, where the outside corners are not the anchor points, but the centers of the posts and the entire building. At least that's my take anyway.


Hi Bill,

I would love to...as I am asked this quite often by students and clients.

Whether dealing with dimensional timbers, round, tapered, or otherwise, this ancient method serves well. It even fits into the foundational element of architectural design as often we are designing to the "ideal" centralized element inside a structural member...not the face of that member. Therefore, where a building is perfectly square of some other shape really has no bearing on the modality that is "line rule."

We now know most timber frames had been (and probably are still) built between the Middle East and Asia, and only a very small portion globally are, or ever have been built in America and Europe (other than the “post and lintel” Neolithic structures of the Americas First Nations People.) I know that is saying a lot, considering the quantity, variety, and beauty of the frames here in America and Europe, however, timber framing has been practiced between the Nile Valley and Asia for thousands of years. There is Neolithic evidence that timber framing moved east thousands of years before it moved North and West into Europe. Timber framing appears to have reached a zenith of complexity in Asia, using square trunnel pass through and “dead,” pegging methods and the “center line” or simply “line” method of layout, (still the most common form practiced today globally,) before frames in Europe moved much past post and fork methodology.

I would also add a little more about “lay out” techniques, as they are as important in defining the different forms of timber framing as are the terms, “post and beam” vs. “post and lintel.” Historically, “scribe rule,” and “line rule” are the two oldest (and still practiced,) methods of laying out a timber for joinery. In Asia, where oblique (diagonal) bracing is used in only rare and specific application, “line rule,” is still the dominant form of layout, there by being the most practiced today and historically. “Edge Rule,” (laying out off a selected edge/plane to a conceptual “perfect” timber inside,) and/or “Mill Rule,” (selecting the edge/plane of a near perfectly milled timber,) are both rather new techniques that have been around for less than 250, (maybe 300) years. It evolved after the production of powered sawmills.

As we explore the elements of layout, we must go beyond what is here in North America, and look at the vernacular archetypes of timber craft, which seems to be, like so much of civilization rooted in the Middle East? From all that I have gleaned from study, and all that I continue to discover, the craft of the Timberwright/carpenter went East from the Nile Valley thousands of years before it went West and North into Europe. There it flourished into forms of great beauty and complexity in Shang Dynasty, (1700 BCE,) while the rest of the world was still in, or just coming out of Neolithic periods. The layout methods there, still in use today as one of the oldest methods in the world, are “line layout.” I have not been able to gather yet exactly when, (we may never know,) this method evolved from the progenitor of “edge rule.” In as such, the two methods are often used in concert with each other, as the “line,” forms a single imaginary point inside the timber, that all joinery is referenced from, while a reference edge or plan, is used to execute visualization of the individual joints. Like many with this interest, every day I read and think a little bit more about this craft, and each day I have more questions. Why is the oldest and most used method of layout, still confined primarily to the Eastern Cultures? Why did not the Europeans move to the same logical conclusion about layout? Why did the Saxon cultures develop such elaborate and labor intensive, scribing techniques, instead of the use of templates and reference lines/points? Was this because of the development of paper or just the extra millenia that made the difference? Even the Pacific Northwest First Nations people used a “line and template,” method for layout that predates Columbus and is our own vernacular form of timber framing here in North America. Did this indigenous culture develop this on their own or because of trade with the East over the millenia, as is now being accepted by more anthropologists/historians? The Pacific Northwest and the Ainu People of Northern Japan and Eastern Russia have such similarities as to indicate they have a common ancestor. Did these methods come with them?

As a Timberwright, I was taught the foundational methods of layout first...and of the three primary methods the oldest..."Scribe Rule."

Scribe rule is the archetype modality, still used today, and probably the oldest method; often considered by many, especially in Europe, to be the best method. Some even claim it is overall the fastest, which is debatably from a "side by side" comparison, yet in the hands of a Master Timberwright well versed in the method...it is quick and very accurate. It also allows for the use of materials that are not uniform in nature, as does "line rule."

This brings us to the next oldest method of layout..."Line Rule" or "Center Line Rule. The exact historical chronology of this method is yet to be uncovered but we know that it has been used throughout Asia for well over 4000 years, and perhaps longer. This method is sometimes used in concert with Scribe Rule.

The next, becoming the focal point method for many modern day timber framers (regrettably in my opinion) is Edge Rule or sometimes called Mill Rule. Edge rule grew out of the logic of pre-Industrial Revolution standardization and "dumbing down" the process of building with timbers. It may have even started in the commercial shipyards of the era, yet did not take off there as it did in other timber building crafts. It does allow for a simplistic and rapid approach to building timber structures...especially for the young culture that North America was during its expansion into the Western lands. It allows for, with some accuracy, the formation of a frame from generally uniform materials and a standardization of the "ideal timber inside" a given Cant of lumber. This allows for a uniform layout and cutting of joints.

Oddly enough, many in the past and today will use an offset method of line layout from what is called the reference face or edge. This method, though not "center lined" stops being "edge rule" and once again becomes "line rule," layout.

Here is a friend/student about to access a timber for layout using line rule. They are thinking about the design of the frame; the placement of the member; does there need to be a reference edge or face selected; and whether the "soul line" lines (the one inside the timber) is actually centered or offset.

Here is a friend/student about to access a timber for layout using line rule. The are thinking about the design of the frame, the placement of the member, does there need to be a reference edge or face selected, and whether the "soul line" line (the one inside the timber) is actually centered or offset.


Now that the above decisions have been made the timber is leveled and balanced to the location it rests on for "snapping and wrapping" layout lines.


Vertical Reference marks are created on the end then horizontal...



They primary tools of layout...an ink pot and bamboo pen....


Snapping a line...



View of a laid out end...









 
Bill Bradbury
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Jay, thank you so much!
I will be thinking about this all day, while I glaze windows.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Bill, you are most welcome....

Please let me know if I may elaborate on some portion in more detail.

Regards,

j
 
galen pettigrew
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Thanks Jay
It will probably be a few weeks before I get the chance to put everything into action and post some pretty pictures.

The frame could only be described as japanese inspired aesthetic with most of the joinery sharing far more in common with european/american timber framing. The primary inspiration for the design came from David Yasenchack's gazebo featured on the cover of Timber Framing 99. Seeing as I am completely self taught and that Australia has virtually no timber framing history; having been colonised around the time of the advent of stud framing, my use of terminology is pretty loose. The 'bent' I was refering to is simply two post with a bendy natural edged tie beam joining them together.
The frame was all laid out using centreline layout, although I have removed these lines while finishing and oiling the frame I should be easily able to pick them up again if needed from joinery position and from the crosshairs still remaining on the bottom of the posts. Length of all timbers calculated and cut using centreline square rule approach.

Anyhow I should probably go and make some real sawdust now instead of staring at this screen. I look forward to picking your brain more about Asian style timber framing in future.
Cheers
 
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