• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Simple Timber Frame...  RSS feed

 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello All,

It has been a while since I create a post. Very busy building season, new student from China living with us, jobs to bid, and other adventures (good and bad.)

I have been taking better pictures this time (well... ...better for me that is... ) than I usually do of projects. I took this project at Sharon Elementary School (where I teach sometimes) as a "volunteer project," to illustrate a simple DIY frame. The project afforded me the opportunity to build a structure that can fulfill the "basic needs" of a starter home, workshop, pavilion (what this one will be used for), small barn, etc.

I was going to do one of my long drawn out "posting" but have been advised against it for brevity, and also me being afforded the ability to have more editorial control of the content for "re-editing" sections, and further updates. This post will be an "introduction" to the frame, and very soon a link to a "blog" about just this frame alone will be created (to my editors chagrin as they think I am giving the "cow away with the milk"...but that is what an editor is suppose to do..) The blog will outline the details of the structure, offer a more detailed venue to ask question about this frame, have links in it to the full blueprint ready CAD model of the frame, lumber list, and any additional information I can add to be helpful to folks that care to facilitate it or similar style frames.

There are a number of things that are very different about this frame from what is in most books currently published on the subject of traditional timber framing, or at least in English that is...

This timber frame is in an Asian style similar to some Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Vernacular forms, though similarities can be found in it from Tibet to the Middle East. It is out of context almost completely to the European styles.

The size is 4.8 meters wide and 7.2 meters long with a 4/10 pitch. (For you "imperial" users that is approximately 16'x24' and ~5/12 pitch)

Its foundation is simple stone scole or plinth that is resting within the matrix of a most rudimentary "Raised Earth Foundation" (aka dias, kidan, podii.)

The lumber in this timber frame is the lowest possible grade for a public school and public park venue to receive Vermont State Fire Marshal and Engineer approval. The frame is comprised of the primary timbers in Eastern Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis with some hardwood splining, wedging, and truss posts in Black Oak, Quercus velutina and Hard Rock Maple, Acer saccharum (aka Sugar Maple.)

A single person can move, joint, and assemble this timber frame employing the most basic of tools and no heavy equipment at all. I have never exerted more than 32 kg (~70 lbs) human fiscal force in moving of jointing any of this frame, vying instead for ramps, levers, and fulcrums, and/or pulleys. Parbuckling, Chinese windlass, Capstains and related methods will be discussed in the blog that could also be employed for larger frames.

I opted for scaffolding to work in place of "shear legs" and/or "gin poling" as it is much faster for a single person to move and disassemble as needed.

I will be posting more "basic pictures" here as the frame is finished over the next week. All questions will be fielded as time allows on the blog, but do please post questions here in the interim, and understand that the "blog" and this post are singularly dedicated to this timber frame as a "boilerplate" for any "DIYers" to use for only "non commercial purposes." Do please be patient I am crazy busy at the moment with all kinds of stuff, so I may be slow to getting around to the blog and responses. Feel free to email me if anyone just feels they really need to becuase they just are boiling over with questions...!!

This is a proprietary frame to "Tosa Tomo Designs" and is copyrighted. So I stress again, this is for only none commercial applications of "self use," and the builders of this frame..."assume full risk and liability" of what they construct.

Isometric View of CAD


Materials Stage next to building site


The stones that started the 6 foundation plinths


Moving one of the larger stones 550 kg (~1200 lbs)



Basic "laying out" of plint stone foundation...


Simple excavation into well draining silt/sand soils of "white river" upper floodplain...


Excavation packed with stones "on end" in traditional format prior to getting packed with gravel and "wetting in."


Wetting in gravel and packed stone before placing plinth stone into excavation. Note: water drained out in under eight minutes.


Full foundation view after the rough stone are set, but before final shaping and final drift pin layout....


Rough plinth stone...


Plinth stone after smoothing...




The link below are all the current photos I have for the project:
Sharon Elementry School Timber Frame Pavilion Photos
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Continued from above...

Positioning first post to be scribed...


Transferring "zero point" onto post from "batten box"


Post resting on plinth after scribing is completed...


Most simplistic (and inexpensive...) method of scribing contour of plinth stone to post...


Starting to raise first bent assembly...


Lowering onto plinth stone foundation...


Close up of very simple ringing attachment for timber through its mortise with strap and wood block "chuck."


Raising last "Bent Tie"



Corner post joint assembly from outside of frame...


Corner post joint assembly from inside of frame...


Middle post joint assembly...


View of building site on average day...


"Helpers" describing the events to one another...and routinely asking many wonderful questions...My future troop of timber framers...
 
Bill Erickson
steward
Posts: 1133
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
130
books chicken forest garden hugelkultur hunting wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can see them just fine. Looks like a sweet build, Jay.
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1492
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
19
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beautiful. Daunting.
If I understand the connections, they seem to require precision. The timber looks expensive, and like it is from old trees.
This gives me pause,as I would be afraid of wasting either the money or the, excuse the expression, life force , with novice efforts.

The foundation, on the other hand seems achievable, and in fact,inexpensive compared to a Portland cement foundation.
I would love to see the stone working tools you use.
Actually I would like to see all of the tools you use. Second to the stone work, the lay out tools, those used to craft and orient the site itself are the most intriguing.

Am I understanding the these steps correctly?
-Starting with the smooth plinth stone set in place, a timber is set, plumb, on to the pin that is protruding from the plinth stone.
-The coin is used to transfer the line of the "smooth" but not perfectly level stone to the post.
- The timberwright cuts(carves?) the base of the post to match the stone.
- The post is set back on the plinth stone , and is held in place by gravity and the pin.
- The batten box is(already was) built plumb and level. The zero point denotes a plane in space which common vertical measurements can start from, since real life has no flat planes unlike graph paper😉
-The posts are taken down (? are they?), and the proper "slots" are cut at at the same distance from the zero point(now likely a line)on each post.


So, am getting it? Another thing, the board and batten also"hold" the "center point" of the project, a point from which all horizontal measurements can start?

Thank you for your time and knowledge, you are always so generous with both!
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi William,

Don't let it be "Daunting" to you...

You can do it!! It isn't as hare as you think...just attention to detail, and keeping track of things..."First timers" will often just keep little check lists to keep track of things while they work...

If I understand the connections, they seem to require precision. The timber looks expensive, and like it is from old trees.
This gives me pause,as I would be afraid of wasting either the money or the, excuse the expression, life force , with novice efforts.


The "precision" comes with the attention to detail and the "line layout method." Follow simple steps and this frame is extremely easy to cut.

Timbers of this grade are very inexpensive. About 1/2 the price per board foot of a very inexpensive 2x stud at the local "box store" and locally grown and harvested. Old growth is not something I work in unless "reclaimed lumber" or from managed sustainable forests and harvests.

Use what you have and can get...I have done many frames out of wood from "fire wood" piles...

The foundation, on the other hand seems achievable, and in fact,inexpensive compared to a Portland cement foundation.
I would love to see the stone working tools you use.
Actually I would like to see all of the tools you use. Second to the stone work, the lay out tools, those used to craft and orient the site itself are the most intriguing.


I will cover more detail later in the blog...

Regards,

j
 
Paul Wertenberger
Posts: 18
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That looks great Jay, ok so how did you transform the rocks from jagged to smooth? I was showing this to my students and they couldn't grasp that those rocks were the foundation!

Paul
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Paul,

Aaaah the stone...I love stone...and got a bit carried away there on this little project.

So, this being a "donated frame" to one of my local schools I teach in sometimes, it was done on the "cheap" (aka teeny-tiny budget.)

I got a quarry owner friend of mine to donate the stones and drop them off here. He was going to give me really nice stones, but I didn't want to take advantage of our friendship and knew also that folks out in the world that may wish to DIY this have to take the stone they can get...Sometimes that mean a..."big ugly rock,"...and boy...these rock on this little frame...!!!...THEY BE UGLY!!!

So, as a stone carver (and fanatic about beach stones and rock climbing) I have developed this little obsession with "beached stone." (aka water and sand warn) I have learned/taught myself how to take really "ugly rock" (if there is such a thing??) and make it look the way I want. That is about the only thing on this project that is a "little" outside the scope of what most DIYers would bother with. I can teach it, and will outline the tools and steps in the blog. Each stone took between 3 and 5 hours to take from "ugly" to beautiful beach stone effect.

The basic steps are:

3 lb, 150 year old, "Trow and Holden" sledge hammer (what I use for everything from carving wood and timber framing to shaping stone.)

A basic stone set (again "Trow and Holden") of a "Point" "Set" and "Trace."

A 25 mm "D" and 12 mm "B" series pneumatic carving hammer (note these are also vintage and well over 100 years old)

9 and 6 point "bushing head"

12 mm Rondel tip chisel

110 mm (4.5") diamond smoother (fine grain) and diamond cutting head on angle grinder

More to come on methods later...

Regards,

j


 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6796
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
266
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Dale,

Thanks a bunch!!

This frame has been a long time coming (and in development) as a perfect little "boiler plate" frame that any DIYer can achieve with limited skill sets. I have worked very hard for a number of decades now streamlining these ancient methods as I have learned then, and "boiling them down" into key essentials of "means, method and material." Now I have finally arrived at (for a basic frame on simple foundation) a 1,2, 3, etc recipe for just about anyone to effectively jump right into timber framing a structure. As said before, there has been (is!!) a number of great tomes out currently that cover timber framing. Most, unfortunately (in my view) only focus on "European systems," or are to limited in scope, or too technical in nature. Many outline an approach that is not always the easiest to achieve good results with for beginners, nor can take advantage of...bent, crooked, round, tapered of other such timbers. That was always the stumbling block for me in thinking about teaching this to others, and what resources folks have available to them...which usually...is not....always the best timber.

I haven't the time at the moment to finish up and launch the blog, as work is piling up on me and I am getting an overwhelming interest in this frame from other sources besides just my friends here at Permies.com...I will get it up in the next few months (I hope) as it would seem there is already a number of folks that want to try this frame out for their own needs and wants...

Warm Regards,

j
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6796
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
266
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd like to see more photos and less hair splitting.

This started out well. I hope it can be steered back on course.
.....
A new topic can be created to go over various details.

 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6796
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
266
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A whole lot of tangential arguments have been removed from this thread. I'm sure they represent hours of head scratching and typing.  Please stick to the topic at hand. When someone is presenting a structure that they have built,  let them finish.

 Everyone is free to create their own thread where any number of hairs may be split. You can drop in a link to the new thread. Do this if it is something that pertains to the thread that it is being added to. This works much better than piling mountains of information in the wrong place.
 
Matthew Connors
Posts: 47
Location: Acworth, New Hampshire
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jay-

Is there a resource or step by step on setting foundation plinth stones? Or maybe you can tell me if the following is correct..

- Locate your hole
-dig until a few inches below "frost line"
- lay pea/drain rock at bottom of hole and fill to a proper height for the next step
- set in vertical rocks allowing a height to accommodate the plinth stone
-"wet in" (please elaborate)
- lay plinth with slope for draining.

Thanks in advance for your help.

I should be beginning this work next week. A build thread might be forthcoming.

[quote=Jay C. White Cloud
The stones that started the 6 foundation plinths

Moving one of the larger stones 550 kg (~1200 lbs)



Basic "laying out" of plint stone foundation...


Simple excavation into well draining silt/sand soils of "white river" upper floodplain...


Excavation packed with stones "on end" in traditional format prior to getting packed with gravel and "wetting in."


Wetting in gravel and packed stone before placing plinth stone into excavation. Note: water drained out in under eight minutes.


 
Rob Bouchard
Posts: 41
Location: BC, Canada
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jay your work is amazing...I signed up just to see more.
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1333
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
55
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Man, I need to take a class with you. I am one of those people that has trouble translating what I see written into a useable skill, even with pictures. I pick things up very quickly if I am shown how to do them once, so hands-on learning is almost a necessity for me.
 
Have you seen Paul's rant on CFLs?
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!