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A Frame Joints  RSS feed

Posts: 225
Location: Estonia, Zone 5/6
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We're building an aframe cabin this spring so that we have a shelter to live in while we do major restorations on our house.

To learn about building with logs, I decided to start small and built a micro version (see attached).

I learned a few things by doing this.

1. It can be tricky lining up notches.
I started with the top joint and got that really snug and strong. When I did the mortise for the lower horizontal beam it warped the whole thing because they didn't line up! I'm glad I learnt this now and not on a bigger pole.

2. All joints aren't created equal.
I played around with various joints and held them together with my hand then applied various pressures. With the horizontal beam, I didn't do a standard tenon and mortise at first but then realised it had no strength when pushing from above. Since that horizontal beam is going to support a floor that made no sense to not use a mortise and tenon.

3. Pegs / Dowels are super strong!
My micro logs are made of green sticks. The pegs are made of dry matchsticks. Once all together, I applied a lot of pressure pulling and pushing - I would imagine it would be the equivalent of a house being hit by a tidal wave on the macro. The pegs didn't break. I was really surprised how strong it was.

A few questions I have is

What are the best joints for the tip / top of the aframe?

Is the mortise and tenon on the horizontal beam the best type for that?

When making a mortise and tenon, what percentage of the beam can you cut away before you start losing structural strength? e.g. 25% of the radius of either side of a tenon? Or is it not worked out like that?

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Rob Irish
Posts: 225
Location: Estonia, Zone 5/6
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With the ridge pole, is this how to notch it so that it hugs around the a frame a little bit? Then put 2 pegs in joining it to each of the poles in the a frame?
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