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Archive for February, 2014

How to take advantage of unsuspecting friends and neighbours….

Over the years at Castle Ring, when we’re busy with one of our projects, we have on occasion had cause to solicit help from friends, neighbours and even random walkers of the Offa’s Dyke. Most people we know are now finely attuned to that look in my eye which indicates I’m about to ask an eight hour favour, and will have a fine and verifiable excuse ready and waiting to trot out.

The trick, I have learnt, is to innocently ask people round for coffee and then spring the frame raising on them having removed their car keys. It works every time but is somewhat dependent on an annual increase of net migration to the Welsh Marches.

Malcolm and Karen were the latest victims and happily joined in the fun with gusto and enthusiasm, holding posts, knocking in pegs and podgers and braving the odd sharp squally shower. Thanks also to new recruit Jacob and grizzled pro Simon.

This lovely cart shed has been designed to house our old vintage caravan in the raised bay, to park a car, for log storage at both ends and as a garden shed. It took 4 weeks to make in the workshop and 4 hours to put up. Let’s hope it lasts 400 years.

Castle Ring Oak Frame Cart shedOak-Framed

Feb-28-14 a las 7:03 pm Jowl Post. Sin Comentarios

Wedge Hoarding

Amongst the assorted items that timber framers like to accumulate are piles of wedges which happen to be the waste bits of wood that result from cutting bevelled housings.

Castle Ring Oak Frame

I’ve tried picking them up and putting them in the woodburner so that at least they are serving a warming purpose, but have found that I can’t physically do it! My muscles refuse to respond to simple commands. What if I need them?

Oak Frame WorkshopWell, the truth is I do need them as they are essential for chocking and levelling wonky timbers. Only I don’t need boxes full of them, just half a dozen would probably suffice. The ones at the bottom haven’t seen the light of day for years.

I have the same problem with my sock drawer – or is that too much information…….Help!

Feb-23-14 a las 6:18 pm Uncategorized. Sin Comentarios

Waist Rails

Half timbered oak frames

Waist rails are the horizontal timbers that span from stud to stud and are more commonly seen in half-timbered frames. They break up the long vertical infill panels into more manageable chunks for wattle and daub or brick infill, whilst at the same time showing off to your neighbours how much oak you have in your frame.

Oak Timber Frame

Fun to do in the workshop as it’s an easy joint to cut and you can churn out dozens in a day. Putting it all back together again can take a little head scratching though…….

Castle Ring Oak Frame

Feb-14-14 a las 4:37 pm Uncategorized. Sin Comentarios


A brief break from timber framing

We’ve just got back from a weekend break in Barcelona where we were able to escape the relentless awfulness of this winter’s weather, and at the same time sample the great food, drink and hospitality of the Catalans.

Highlights included an unprepossessing fish shop/restaurant where you picked your seafood and then watched them cook it. Nothing else. Nada. Just fish on a plate and a bottle of wine. Genius!
Special mention also for the patatas bravas – a tapas portion of fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce that now have a place in my heart. Think I might open a tapas bar in Presteigne…..mind you, we’d have to do all of our business on the only 3 sunny days of the year.

Food and drink aside, the rest of my senses were blown open by the sheer other worldly brilliance of Gaudi’s architecture at the Sagrada Familia (still not finished 122 years after it was started!). We spent a good couple of hours in silent awe – even our poor little digital camera got over excited and packed up after a few pics. I was left wondering what kind of structures Gaudi would have come up with if he had been a timber framer…

Feb-07-14 a las 2:10 pm Jowl Post. Sin Comentarios
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