Between making this oak frame, and putting it up at the end of last week
Glyn and Melissa had part one of their oak extension framed up and installed, and to be honest, I’d forgotten about the next phase – a 3 bay garage/studio outbuilding – which was sitting, composting (?) slowly on-site, out of sight, out of mind, somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle between Bearwood, Broxwood and Pembridge.
Imagine my surprise when I got the call to say that they were ready for the frame to be raised…
My initial thoughts were:
– Oh hell!
– This is never going to work
– I’ve lost the drawings
– Where can I run away to?
Remember the scene from Sleeping Beauty that met the Prince after 100 years? Well, it was nothing like that, although it took a while to locate all the packs of oak, buried under years of bramble growth. The wood stack had become its own charming ecosystem and it seemed a shame almost, to disturb all the critters that had made it their home.
But disturb it we did, and so began the process of trying to identify what was what, and what went where. Thank goodness for chisel marks as we gradually pieced together the puzzle.
Five trusses, posts, cross frame and wall frame braces, soleplates, wallplates, purlins, ridge and wind braces.
Rune and Fred provided the willing muscle, along with teenage enthusiasm. Anthony Prout steered a calm ship on the crane, and before we knew it, we were pegging up and admiring a frame that looked like it had been there for hundreds of years.
– Oak is beautiful no matter how old
– You can always find a way (Confucius, or was it Karate Kid 2?)
– Dovetail lapped joints look good, but over time shrink and so aren’t that effective
– The oak had barely moved – we only had to fettle two joints
– Panicking was not really that useful a strategy truth be told
– It’s probably best to ignore the above and try and erect your oak frame straightaway…
If you're considering an oak framed building (or larch, or douglas fir), let's talk. We'll gladly put together an outline quote (completely free, with no strings attached). And we need very little information from you to do so.
Equally, we're always here, at the end of the phone, to talk through your ideas.