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Author Topic: Timber frame layout square  (Read 3299 times)

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Offline rjwoelk

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Timber frame layout square
« on: March 02, 2018, 05:01:52 PM »
I have been looking a getting one of these, what is the benifit of one kind over another. I wish there was more info video showing how to use one, say timberframe headquarters one to others.
So far I just use a square and combination square.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 08:07:13 PM »
Have you seen my YouTube video?

Jim Rogers 
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Offline opticsguy

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2018, 12:22:51 PM »
OK Jim, what You-tube video?  
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2018, 01:12:53 PM »
This one:



Jim Rogers
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Offline flyingparks

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 08:16:38 PM »
These must work great. Price is a bit high for me. I made something slightly similar out of plexiglass. It sounds better when it hits the ground. In fact, I make a bunch of templates for a particular frame out of plexiglass. It makes laying out joints so much easier and faster...and in my case, more accurate. One day I'll pony up the dough for one of these Big Als but for now the one I made for myself works just fine. It didn't take very long to make. When I pull my tools outta storage in coupe months I'll post a photo.

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2018, 02:22:02 PM »
The other one that is available is from Timber Frame HQ.  I'm trying to find out if there's a video that explains the features.   I bought the one that Jim shows.  This Timber Frame HQ one came out after I'd bought my Big Al.  I also heard that the Big Al is not available.  Maybe that was/is temporary, not sure?
Timber Frame Layout Tool - Timber Frame HQ
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Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2018, 02:41:46 PM »
At $250.00 Canadian, I would like to see a full video of everything the TimberFrame Headquarters unit can do, I asked them about it when it came out, but they still have not made one. 
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2018, 04:02:42 PM »
Big Al all the way. That new fangled contraption compromises the features of the original tool in exchange for a heavier, more expensive tool.
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Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2018, 05:33:50 PM »
Is anyone selling the Big-Al anymore?  I don't see it on the TFG website.
e aho laula

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2018, 09:32:51 PM »
Old style Big AL is still being made and sold by Vintage Tool NE
It is available in this site's for sale section
I will try and do a video about the new one
Jim Rogers
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Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2018, 10:07:59 PM »
I haven't found it either, but it would be a cinch to whip up a few of these on our Sharp. I could even incorporate ideas that others have found useful. Personally I think a simpler tool is a better way to go. I especially like some of the thoughts Jim Rogers brought forth in his video.
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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2018, 06:01:14 PM »
Timber Frame HQ just posted this video on his Layout Square.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2018, 01:35:17 PM »
Thanks for posting that. I found my video camera and my lapel mic but the voice recorder I use with the mic's batteries are dead. I need to get new batteries so I can do a video.

Jim Rogers
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2018, 02:04:39 PM »
Here is a video showing some tips and features of the new Timber Frame Head Quarters layout template, that I have nicknamed the "new AL".....



Sorry about the windy audio quality.

Jim Rogers
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Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2018, 03:19:16 PM »
Thankyou Jim. 
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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2018, 02:17:20 PM »
Nice video, Jim. The tool is on the long list.

Offline TimFromNB

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2018, 07:41:18 PM »
Update: See next page for update on replaced square.

Hi Guys - apologize for the long post in advance! ;D

I bought one of these a while back. Only started using it today as I am starting my layout. I double checked my measurements with my framing square and combo square and noticed that on one side of the TF layout square, the measurements on the timbers are off. Not by much, but considering the price I paid plus shipping and import fees to Canada, I am slightly disappointed. The other side is almost spot on. I kept it stored standing up and without something else weighing on it (not saying it's impossible I somehow bent it).

There is a slight curve to it, and the base is not 100% square to the ruler grid.



 

On the side of the base that is out of square away from the ruler (left 1st in picture), there is no problem with measeruments because the zero mark of the base registers fully with the timber edge. See below (using 2x for example).



 

However, on the side of the base that is out of square towards the ruler (right in 1st picture), the "zero" mark of the base can't make contact with the edge because is out of square and the edge of the base is touching but not the inside corner of the base. Hence the offset I am finding in my measurements. If I press the base into the timber (very hard), it almost fixes the problem (I am pushing it back into square). But it springs right back when I take the pressure off.



 

Below shows the offset. You can see on the "1 1/2, 2 1/2, 3 1/2" scale that it registered spot on at 2 1/2" from the edge. It is the "1,2,3,4" scale that is off. Pencil is sharp and up tight to the square's slot.  

Should I worry about this and try to straighten/square it up, stop using it, or am I splitting hairs and should just keep on trucking?






Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks,
Tim

Offline Roger Nair

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2018, 11:36:15 PM »
Tim, I would check the lines at 2.5 and 5 with a digital caliper and verify the deviation of the marks and the machining on the tool.  2.5 looks close to dead on and 5 looks somewhere between 1/16 to 1/32 off, however parallax in the photo maybe an issue.  I would try my best to account for the source of error and then call or email the dealer.  Errors of machining over a 1/100 would give me cause to complain.  Also give close consideration to user error or loose technique and pay close attention to line offset to  scale edge when marking on the inside edge of bar vs outside edge of bar, that could be a source of accumulation of error.  How the pencil is pointed and held should be critiqued.  
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2018, 10:18:01 AM »
One of my first lessons I learned in timber framing was the difference between measuring instruments.
The instructor drew a line on a timber and then asked each student to bring their tape measure over and measure the line. Not many of them got the same measurement.
The lesson was use one measuring instrument on your frame layout and use it for only layout.
Here at my shop/yard, I have two tape measures. One I use at the mill and another that I only use for timber frame layout. If my layout is off, by some minor amount, the entire frame is off by that same amount everywhere. It really doesn't make that much a difference.

Now, I have the new layout template and the old one. I use both at times depending on what I'm doing.

I have just checked my "new" layout template to see if mine matches yours or if yours is just a "bad one".

When I measure both sides of my new one with my steel combination ruler I get the same error you get.
See below:


 

now the other side:



 

As you can see in the second photo the line for 2" lines up with the line on the template.
In the first photo the lines are off a fraction.

Now, understanding what I said about different measuring instruments being different let's now look at this again:





In the above picture the 2" mark is dead on.
In the below picture the 1" mark is dead on. As mentioned the angle of the camera makes the other lines appear to be off.



 

So, which is right? The steel combination ruler or the wooden folding ruler.

My point is you will get different measurement using different tools.

When I use my new layout template to layout, say a tenon:



 
I get a line along the 3" space/slot. This line is of course a pencil line.

Many years ago, a student asked me: "where to I make the cut? on the right side of the pencil line? on the left side of the pencil line?"

I once as my timber framing teacher this question and he told me to cut the pencil line down the middle. Can you do that? with a hand saw or a skil saw?

I don't even try.

One teacher taught us to use a knife and knife the line. The knife line is absolute. I knife all my lines and then I cut next to the knife line with my skil saw or hand saw. And then if it's not completely accurate, I pare away the wood to the knife line with my chisel, slick or other cutting edge tools.

We want to be as accurate as we can be, because when the timber dries, things shrink and gaps open up. So you need to be as accurate as you can when you cut your joints. But there is a limit to how accurate you can actually be.

If you really feel your template is out of shape then I would suggest you contact the seller.
Good luck.

Jim Rogers
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Timber frame layout square
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2018, 11:11:49 AM »
We want to be as accurate as we can be, because when the timber dries, things shrink and gaps open up.
 
Jim, I defer to you vast experience but I still wonder.  If both pieces in a joint are of the same type of wood (soft or hard) and of the same initial MC, wouldn't the shrinking of each piece offset each other.  That is, the tenon shrinks as well as the wood around the mortise.
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