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Archive for November, 2013


The issue of glazing oak frames is one that can keep timber framers busy arguing into the wee small hours. Of course the problem begins and ends with the nature of oak timber – it’s cut and jointed when it’s green and easy to work, but will shrink and may twist as it dries out over time. Is there a glazing system that can cope effectiveness with such movement and uncertainty and keep the British weather out?

Oak Frame Eco House

Rebating the oak frame to accept the double glazed units is one of several glazing methods employed. As you can see from this massive gable it is very fiddly and adds considerably to workshop time. Definitely time to switch the music off and concentrate hard!

Oak Framed House

Can’t wait to see it up though.

Nov-29-13 a las 4:16 pm Jowl Post. Sin Comentarios

Cheeks and Shoulders

Cutting cheeks and shoulders. Sounds like something you’re more likely to hear at the abattoir than in the workshop.
No blood involved however – at least we hope not!
A frame is made up of hundreds of joints and machining tenons is a repetitive task that we can almost do in our sleep. Nowadays a fancy dan hand held circular saw is the quickest and most accurate tool for the job.

Castle Ring Oak FrameConfidence and commitment are a must when plumb cutting the cheeks vertically, the ability to cut to a line essential for the shoulder cuts.

Rob Dawson Castle Ring Oak Frame

Rob Dawson – Castle Ring Oak Frame workshop


Nov-22-13 a las 3:48 pm Jowl Post. Sin Comentarios

“Shrinkage” – don’t be alarmed‏!

Green Oak and Timber Framing

Timber framers work with green oak because it can be sawn and chiseled easily. Dry oak is merciless and will blunt your edged tools as if you were cutting through metal.

The down side of using wood with a high moisture content is that as it dries it shrinks. Not only does it shrink, but it shrinks in different directions – tangentially (lots), radially (quite a lot) and longitudinally (barely at all). What all this technical stuff means in lay terms is that timbers will invariably develop big splits or shakes, and in addition will twist and cup to varying degrees.

Green Oak

It’s an important part of the framer’s job to be aware of likely movement and shrinkage so that the timbers can be selected and oriented appropriately. In this way the structural integrity of the frame is maintained.

The cracks can sometimes look alarming as they appear, but rest assured, they will settle down, and one of the many extraordinary properties of oak is that as it gets older it gets harder.

Green Oak

Nov-17-13 a las 4:49 pm Jowl Post, Uncategorized. Sin Comentarios

Sand Blasting

Picking up where we left on the last thread…. Your beautiful (and expensive) oak frame which you have scrimped and saved for years, or even decades for, is standing proudly to attention for all passing traffic to see.

Everything fitted, the groundworks miraculously matched the frame, joints are tight…..and yet the damn thing is covered in unsightly staining from mud, water and metal reacting with the tannins in the green oak.

Sand blasting the frame with grit particles is the most popular method of returning the timber to an even clean finish and is carried out by a specialist.

Sandblasting oak timber frameThe grit is blasted at the surface of the oak removing a thin layer and a pale finish – care must be taken not to get carried away otherwise your frame will end up looking like a pile of driftwood in a seaside pub!

Even more care must be taken to make sure your sandblasting contractor is using the right grit that contains no iron particles. Iron blasted at high pressure into the oak will turn your oak, and your mood, quite literally, black!

Nov-08-13 a las 1:01 pm Jowl Post. Sin Comentarios

Oak frames and staining

It’s an irritating fact of life that a green oak frame will invariably require cleaning once it has been erected and made weather tight.

From the moment it is felled and converted into timbers, the oak will start to bear the marks of it’s physical journey from tree to frame.

To start with, tannins in the oak react with iron saw blades during milling producing distinctive blue black stains. Then when we timber framers get our grubby clomid online mitts all over it in the workshop, we leave a trail of pencil marks, calculations and dodgy doodles compounded by copious numbers of highly visible ink lines. Add to this a muddy building site and more Great British weather leeching out tannins to create yet more brown staining, and the frame can end up looking a little the worse for wear.

Green oak - timber framing and staining

But fear not. The oak cleaner is there to help……to be continued!

Nov-01-13 a las 2:31 pm Jowl Post. Sin Comentarios
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