This was a project designed to most efficiently utilize floor joists and rafters from a barn we dismantled while looking for land. We laid out usable members and sought to make an intriguing gazebo that would act as a shady, breezy and bug free outdoor living room. This also gave us another chance to practice a small building to hone skills and techniques. Again we used reclaimed as well as locally milled lumber and a reclaimed metal roof.
We designed a trapezoidal building with a screened in porch and a covered deck. When I asked some conventionally trained builders for advice they said I couldn't build a trapezoid. It would just be too hard. Well, it was more complex than a rectangle, but also pushed my limits and has more esthetic appeal.
The walls are 2x6 spaced at 4' centers (to accommodate 4' wide screens), with the lower 2' in slip straw covered by cedar paneling inside and oak 1x8s on the exterior (both milled locally). The roof was a little tricky due to the trapezoidal shape, but was a great exercise in figuring out rafter layout. We sheathed it in reclaimed corrugated metal.
The roof for the deck was built after the 1x8 rough sawn oak was laid on as decking. We used round cedar posts and a beam to support the roof coming of the main building. A through mortise and tenon to connect the post and beam was my first attempt and timber joinery. We made sure to include generous overhangs to create a fully shaded interior most of the year (summer sun can be way too much at times).
- Plane rough sawn wood to be used as decking. We used green unplaned oak and found the variance in thickness to be acceptable for such a rough outdoor space, but really would prefer if it were planed and seasoned before install. The 1/4" gaps left between boards got a LOT bigger once the wood shrunk.
- Don't install screens alone. I did install some of the screens alone, and this created unsightly ripples and sags. An extra set of hands would allow for better tension to be maintained. Aluminum screen was used to avoid insect damage.
- Creating a faux stud allows you to span more than 24" in slip straw. We added a 2x4 between 2x6 studs and used a paddle bit to make 4 hole about 4" apart which we threaded with bamboo harvested on an adjacent property.
- Account for taper and bow in round wood. I leveled the top of posts and found once I put on a tapered beam, the rafter were not level and the roof line sagged. Not so great...
As you found out, green wood will shrink but for timber framing this is actually a desirable trait since the joints used in timber frame construction will actually get tighter instead of looser as in standard stick construction.
I love the use of repurposed wood.
We love visitors, that's why we live in a secluded cabin deep in the woods. "Buzzard's Roost (Asnikiye Heca) Farm." Promoting permaculture to save our planet. you can call me Dr. Redhawk
You know it is dark times when the trees riot. I think this tiny ad is their leader: