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Author Topic: timber frame without tenon and mortise  (Read 6093 times)

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Offline kimouette

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timber frame without tenon and mortise
« on: July 08, 2015, 03:02:14 PM »
Hi,
I am planning my timber frame and i was wondering if i could skip the use of tenon and mortise. I would make the housings and screw all the joints. My only concern is about the hold of the screws when the wood twists. Has anyone tried this method for a whole house frame?

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 04:06:08 PM »
If you have building codes and permits, I don't think that will fly.  At a minimum, you will need some steel brackets.  This variant of construction is referred to as Post and Beam.  Google that.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline kimouette

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 04:21:57 PM »
Ok thx,
but Post and Beam on google looks like timber frame. And i am not trying to change the plans i already have. I'm just trying to find the easiest way for the joints(buy or not the chain mortiser and save or not a lot of time). So what i'm asking is if anybody did try this method bolts or long screws instead of steel brakets in place of a tenon and mortise for a whole project.

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 04:46:22 PM »
The answer would be best given by an engineer.

Each joint/connection would have to be reviewed for stress and number of screws and placement would be critical.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
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Offline kimouette

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2015, 05:00:22 PM »
NOOO :( :( :(
Not the enginneer. He was supposed to give me shop drawings but instead left me with half the details and no shop drawings. Had to stop paying him but not complaint on his part. I guess he likes fast projects with no fuss. So i guess ill just go ahead and buy the mortiser. It will cost less than another enginner checkup.

Online beenthere

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2015, 07:45:43 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.

Click on your forum name and your profile will come up, and then you can put your location in there. It will help with answering your dilemma. Things are different in different country's and within a country.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline kimouette

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2015, 09:41:30 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.

Click on your forum name and your profile will come up, and then you can put your location in there. It will help with answering your dilemma. Things are different in different country's and within a country.
Ok done

Offline Carpenter

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 01:21:10 AM »
     Yes, it can be done sure, (I'm not saying that you should do a timber frame house without mortice and tenon joints, I'm just saying that it can be done.)  Several years ago as a young carpenter I had a prospective customer who wanted a timber framed house.  I had never built a timber framed house but, I knew if we got the frame that I could do the rest.  I happened to see an ad in a news paper for a company that among other things included timber framing and they were not far from me.  So, I set up a meeting.  As it turned out the guy did do some very interesting projects with timbers, mostly with dug fir, and he sort of specializes in bridges, although he has done several commercial buildings and houses.  I showed him the preliminary plans and he asked "are these through joints?"  I told him that they were traditional mortice and tenons.  He said that they were a pain in the neck and that most of the time they used joinery like you were suggesting, just a housed joint with lags.  He also added that the plywood sheeting would give some bracing effect and help hold the building together.  Which is true for a stick framed house, and I'm sure that you would get some bracing effect with a timber frame as well, but a timber frame is supposed to be a free standing frame.  His projects were approved by an engineer and he showed me a chart that he has to follow for the bridges to prove it, some of these are vehicle bridges and require state approval by an engineer.  So, I am saying that it is possible to just use metal fasteners.  And, I'm not saying that he just used lag bolts either, there are several metal fastener systems available and some are hidden, or structurally approved and made to look like mortice and tenon joinery.  In certain cases a metal fastening system may even be superior.  I say that because of a Timber framers guild project that I worked on were there were some metal fasteners in the truss assembly that were in tension, I think they were made by timberlock, I was told that they had to use those fasteners to meet the engineers approval. 
     Personally, I prefer to use traditional joinery where possible.  The wood all expands and contracts together, in a perfect world and the joints stay tight.  However, with metal joinery the wood expands and contracts due to moisture and the metal expands and contracts due to heat, so I can see how those joints may work loose through the years.  I don't know that they would fail in our live times though.  But, I like to think that my buildings at least have the potential to last 1,000 years. 

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 11:29:24 AM »
<<snip>>
But, I like to think that my buildings at least have the potential to last 1,000 years.
I'm shooting for 500 years ;)
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 12:24:15 PM »
Traditional timber frames have been built with mortise and tenon joinery for many hundreds of years.  They are time-tested and have been built that way for a reason.  My thought is that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.  There is just something beautiful about traditional methods of construction.

There are several quotes that could be taken from the commencement speech referenced below, but I particularly like this one:

“There are philosophical goods that follow from building traditionally, because when you fashion iron or carve stone, lay a foundation or plaster a wall, erect a timber frame or square up an opening, you have no time for and no interest in modern philosophy.  Traditional builders instead naturally incline to Aristotelian metaphysical realism, and disincline to subjectivist notions of truth and beauty, which is the ideology of people unacquainted with craftsmanship and its full implications.  You, however, know that matter is real; you know and respect its properties; you know what good work is.  You know something true about the world.”

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/06/1358/

e aho laula

Offline timberwrestler

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2015, 11:00:30 AM »
Yes, you can absolutely do it, but you'll need an engineer.  What you really need though is an engineer that is familiar with timber framing.  Google the Timber Frame Engineering Council, and you should be able to find someone licensed near you.

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2015, 10:30:06 PM »
What you have to understand is that the joints in a timberframe are under varying stress conditions - shear stress, bending stress.  Tension, compression, and torsion.  The engineers job is to calculate the stresses in each joint, and verify whether the proposed timber size, tenon size, shear area created by number of pegs, etc will handle the stresses with a margin of safety.  You have to do the same thing for bolted post and beam connections or any other fastening method.  If you were not happy with the engineer you were working with, find someone else. There aren't many engineers with the proper timber frame experience.   Fire Tower Engineered Timber is one that is.

The thinking that removing mortise and tenon joinery in favor of post and beam bolt and plate connections, or any other joinery method, is largely a false one.  Fabrication of the post and beam connection plates, locating them and laying out bolt holes and and connection details will take you as long as doing mortise and tenon.  To the novice it's often perceived as easier to do post and beam or another connection mechanism, but it's not.  I think that is stems from intimidation and lack of experience in cutting mortise and tenon joinery.  Once you got comfortable with layout and cutting, it's not intimidating.  Take a week-long timberframe workshop will go a long way to assuaging  your apprehension.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
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Offline pep

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2015, 07:05:03 AM »
Check out Timberlinx
Lucas 827 w/slabbing bar
JD 410B
Wood Wiz Surfacing Attachment

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2015, 09:58:54 PM »
Check out Timberlinx

That is the way to go, when you don't want to do mortise and tenons. Very strong and well engineered.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline venice

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2015, 08:54:58 PM »
re: Timberlinx

Looks like IKEA...  ;D

They claim it is stronger than mortise and tennon. How can this be with forces contributed to a smaller area? Is there any scientific proof? I did not look into the technical details yet. Just a thougt.

venice

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2015, 11:12:41 PM »
The engineering council of the timber framers guild has been doing some "joint busting" tests at just about every conference for years. Some of these test have been on "timberlinx" connections.
I don't know if they have printed up any specific reviews of these connectors, but I have been present and seen these connectors after the "wood failed" not the connector as a result of the joint busting test.
I would trust these connectors without question.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline venice

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2016, 03:03:01 PM »
A very belated Thank you Jim. I read your post before and thought i replied to it. Apparently i did not.

Thank you. venice

Offline bigshow

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2016, 08:30:19 AM »

The thinking that removing mortise and tenon joinery in favor of post and beam bolt and plate connections, or any other joinery method, is largely a false one.  Fabrication of the post and beam connection plates, locating them and laying out bolt holes and and connection details will take you as long as doing mortise and tenon.

Wow, Yes.  Imagine doing that on out of square timber too...
I never try anything, I just do it.

Offline MbfVA

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2017, 05:30:24 PM »
 Waking up this thread for a question:

The line just quoted looks like a word is missing.  Perhaps he meant "The thinking that it's cheaper..."?

I think some folks who are good at things like joinery think that anyone can acquire that skill. I used to do a pretty good job with tax returns & counseling  as a CPA, but I don't delude myself into thinking that all someone has to do is take a weeks course to learn how to do it well.

 On the other hand, using Timberlinx and a drill and a jig, I have a feeling  that with the skills I already have for basic carpentry, I can probably get a lot closer  to competency a lot faster.

When somebody quotes me $90 a square foot for a very basic two-story box timber frame, I'll guarantee you there's a lot of skilled labor cost in there.

 I also promise you that I would use Timberlok units wherever the engineer would approve it.   Far cheaper where it fits.

I sure wish it was easier to put in and edit posts on my iPad. This wobbly window stuff is for the birds.   And sometimes voice recognition truly takes longer than putting it in by hand, but that's before you fight AutoCorrect.  Rant mode off.

Offline MbfVA

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Re: timber frame without tenon and mortise
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2017, 05:45:08 PM »
 As an aside, there is a true dearth of acknowledged timber frame engineers around. I looked on the timber framers guild website, and there is no one listed anywhere near us, though I am guessing that from there very paltry list of Virginia TF builder members, that organization has not penetrated the market here.

 If anyone on this list knows of a good engineer for same in the Charlottesville – Richmond area, please chime in.

There are some PEs associated with timber framing builders, but you can imagine their lack of love for do-it-yourselfers.   The builders want that $90 per square foot.  Or more.

The Charlottesville area has plenty of money to spend, so not everybody has the same reaction I do.  We were turned away by at least two designer/architects who would not work with self contracting owners.  On the other hand I have offers of help from at least two class a contractors  both of whom have some timber framing experience, on an hourly basis. It's that hunting thing, and the mother of one of them used to work for us at the restaurant.


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