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Archive for August, 2016

A douglas fir timber frame and reluctant machinery

Well we’ve somehow survived our latest batch of raisings – 3 in the space of a week so we thought we’d share with you in a bit more detail what went right and what didn’t, plus what was fun, and what really wasn’t.

We started off with the raising of a douglas fir frame near Knighton, Powys, with the help of our friend Angus from the local village and his telehandler. The 10 minutes drive from our base at Castle Ring was always going to make this raising relatively stress free; knowing that you can realistically forget stuff and get away with it takes a lot of pressure off….and yes, we were half a dozen pegs short at the end of the day, so no dramas.

What went well? The weather (calm and balmy), douglas fir (less than half the weight of green oak so nice and easy on the back), very local (extremely civilised 8.30 morning start).

Douglas Fir timber frame

Nice, light douglas fir…

Assembling the trusses.

Assembling the trusses.

Timber frame pegging trusses

Pegging the trusses

Remembering to install the handrail and balustrade which is part of the frame...

Remembering to install the handrail and balustrade which is part of the frame…

Floor joists in place

Floor joists in place

What didn’t go so well? Angus’ telehandler had a strop and its stabilising feet literally dug its feet in and refused to cooperate from midday. Angus is never one to panic however, and after some grunting and tinkering with a spanner and an oily rag, he was able to temporarily fix the reluctant beast so that we could at least crane the trusses into place.

Lifting the trusses into place

Lifting the trusses into place

We gave up after that and resorted to manpower to install the purlins and ridge. Again we were more than thankful that it was a small frame and that we weren’t dealing with weighty oak.

Douglas fir for timberframe house

Angus helping out after his telehandler woes

Resorting to manpower

Resorting to manpower

When we raise a frame we are generally fairly relaxed about its initial positioning as experience has shown us that we can move it to its exact location at the end of the day. This we do by “tapping” the posts a tiny fraction at a time. Unbelievably you are able to shift a 20 ton frame by an inch or more if you need to.

We expected to be able to do the same with this frame, especially as it was much lighter. No chance. The friction created by the rear and side plates bearing on the masonry walls meant the frame wasn’t going to budge – a bit like Angus’ telehandler. It was stuck fast and we still had 40mm to move! After a brief pow-wow during which we considered ever more outrageous options, including the use of Chinook helicopters, we decided to try and put some tension on the frame.

There were no available trees so we attached a 5 ton ratchet strap to the back of the pickup while we tapped the frame over. It took about an hour, and involved a great deal of jiggery pokery, but we got there in the end.

Gently helping to move the frame

Gently helping to move the frame

Lesson learnt.

Bright orange frame....you can probably see this from outer space.

Bright orange frame….you can probably see this from outer space.

 

Here’s a handful of photos of this frame in the workshop at Castle Ring:

Douglas Fir timberframe

First crossframe assembled in the workshop with the scarfed soleplate laid up and ready for scribing

Chaos in the workshop as all the component timbers are separated to be tenoned, morticed, drilled...

Chaos in the workshop as all the component timbers are separated to be tenoned, morticed, drilled…

IMG_2656

..then it is all reassembled one last time

The douglas fir frame has a fully joisted floor. Here the joists are laid up on the floor beams ready for scribing

The douglas fir frame has a fully joisted floor. Here the joists are laid up on the floor beams ready for scribing

IMG_2667

 

Aug-11-16 a las 2:41 pm Uncategorized. Sin Comentarios
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