The frame drawings have been approved, a cutting list has been formulated and the oak is ordered and will arrive within about 3 to 4 weeks.
On delivery all the timbers are visually checked for defects – different timbers have different jobs to do within the frame and need to be sawn and graded accordingly. A roof purlin with cross grain could be liable to collapse under a heavy roof load, whereas the same timber used as a wall frame stud (in compression) may be absolutely fine.
Curved timbers such as braces, collars and jowl posts are individually shaped firstly with a chainsaw and then smoothed with a curved electric planer. At Castle Ring we try to follow the natural grain of the timber – this can create more organic shapes, whilst at the same time maintaining the inherent strength of the fibres.
After what can seem a frustratingly long period, saw can finally be put to wood and the craft of timber framing which is our passion can begin. In our spacious workshop, selected timbers are “laid up” in complete frames on dozens of trestles, and scribed together with plumb bobs and reference lines using techniques that haven’t changed or been improved on for centuries. We prefer age-old carpentry techniques that respect the natural grain of the timber. It’s something we’re a bit obsessive about (we even handcraft our own wooden pegs).
Once scribed the joints are cut and machined using a combination of modern power tools, old fashioned chisels and mallets. Joints are then reassembled, pre drilled ready for pegging, and individually chisel marked for ease of assembly on site.
You are welcome to join us at any part of the process to follow progress or even just to be nosey. Be warned though – ask an innocent question about timber framing and you may get more than you bargained for. Best to leave the engine running…
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.