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Author Topic: Hickory Timbers?  (Read 7508 times)

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #60 on: April 22, 2018, 03:39:50 AM »
I will be building a round timber barn with lagbolts and metal joinery..  actually have tried hewing a few recently and thats what made my jaw drop seeing how much axe work was in these structures.  Those were some calloused hands and worn out rotator cuffs!   One side of one log was enough for me to build an alaskan mill!  



Did these timbers get treated with anything over the years to keep rot and insects controlled?  
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #61 on: April 22, 2018, 07:05:52 AM »
In those days the farmers did everything by hand and were doing so by a young young age.  If you lived, a big if, long enough to become an adult your muscle structure was simply different than us soft modern gents.  Also, they normally would work on timbers for a year or more while doing other things too.  They'd stockpile timbers until the actual raising work (normally).  Actually getting the barn up was  community affair and people would sometimes come for a week if the location was very rural (like Don's area) so you might have a dozen or more folks working to get the structure up.  Mules were the tractors and they'd have gin poles working leverage.  Then in that area (my own family history is grim in this topic) they might have rented slaves for a week or two to help out.  Lots of richer families that owned slaves rented them out to poorer farmers when they needed them, much like renting any other equipment.  Sad times but that was one way timbers were hewed and it bears mentioning.  Thank goodness for technology.

That said, there are some die hard timber frame fans that hand hew today.  

Point here, don't be too hard on yourself Mike.  They might have had great muscles (because they had to) but if there was any opportunity to exploit technology or other labor savings they took advantage.  Even then the barn might take a couple of years to get built.  They'd have dropped the ax and taken your sawmill in a NY min.  In fact I think you'd have done just fine, better than me for sure.

DonP:  I was wondering how they roofed this barn?  Chestnut/oak shingles?


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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #62 on: April 22, 2018, 02:02:37 PM »
I hadnt really thought of that but i guess youre probably right.


Death by farming firewood for me.  My joints are not up to the task of hewing at all, just not enough miles left.  Ive got to get 30 more years out of this chassis.

 got a pretty good pile of debarked logs now.  Hoping to start laying them out in the coming year and raise as bents with a winch and jinpole off my forklift.  So im trying to make note of how the simpletons of yore made a structure stand 200yrs.
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Online Don P

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #63 on: April 22, 2018, 02:14:04 PM »
Ditto here, the pounder is about pounded  :D

The purlins over the rafters on this barn are hand split, rived, chestnut boards, or laths. It has had from what I can tell 2 shake roofs on it, the first was held on with cut nails, the second with wire nails. I know the Point Hope furnace, the first in our community was in operation by around 1800, but nails could also come in from outside the area. That furnace was started by the family of the neighboring farm to me. The remainder of that farm sold 15 or 20 years ago and passed out of that family's hands, the deed was a large land grant, signed by the king. When they came to the area there were 8 families in this part of the country, animals were brought into the barn each night for protection. I saw the other day where the eastern cougar was declared extinct in Feb this year. The last official sighting was in 1938 with unofficial sightings every year. We have removed most of the predators or really lowered their numbers compared to what the settlers had to protect their livestock from. After the Revolution the first court in the county was held in his barn and he represented the new county in Richmond. I do know he bought a mother and daughter from Africa when down there and released them in his will. He did own other slaves. There is a slave row in the cemetery near the first barn we worked on. Most farms here were smaller subsistence farms though. I've wondered if the real knowledgeable labor force that moved around building these barns was slaves, I don't know. Families were large at that time as well. It amazes me the number of people that lived in those little log cabins, tight quarters, incentive to work outside as long as possible each day.

I doubt these logs and timbers were ever treated. I like to give everything a good borate soak. I think we have 150 lbs or so in the first barn at this point and the owner sprayed again last week, cheap insurance.  You never know what you are getting into in an old building. I'm pretty sure what I scraped through on the floor was lime but have also disposed of some old brown jugs, something to keep in mind when you're working on old stuff.

Offline brianJ

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #64 on: April 22, 2018, 02:32:36 PM »
incentive to work outside as long as possible each day.    

Also no TV or forestry forum to soak up hours each day.    Even with all the hand work the early settlers did, a lot would be accomplished working steady with all those hours available.    Heck even clumsy Brian would get the hang of swinging an hatchet at the correct angle.

Online Don P

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #65 on: May 26, 2018, 10:51:10 PM »
I haven't updated this in awhile. We've dug 6 pier holes to support the posts and beam that will support the new shed roof. We poured footings to a bit below grade and then collected rocks and began laying up the piers. We were close to getting that wrapped up when I got bit in the hand by an angle grinder so we stepped away from that till I healed up, it's about there.

We then dug the old silo tie rods out of a farm trash pile and straightened them. With a little help from the smoke wrench the old nuts freed up and we got them working again. We then cleaned out the loft floors,well they weren't really floors so we supported them and laid some temporary planking and then bored through the top plate beams, inserted the 5/8" rods through some 8"x8" x 1/2" square washers we made and brought the rods in from both plates on opposite sides of the barn in 7 locations spaced down the 60' length. We've gotten some large turnbuckles we'll weld between the rods so we can snug that all up. Right now there are straps around the plates cinched up fairly snug trying to counter the spread and roll the plates have undergone with the rafter thrust over the years.

One plate is rotted down to about 25% and spans 18' over the drive through. Rather than remove roof and replace, the purlins are hand rived chestnut boards, I went to the steel manual and modified the steel beam calc with some C channel design values and sized a C channel for the outer face with an angle iron ledger welded to it to support and reinforce the existing beam. We have that in the shop and took measurements for fabricating that last week. I'll add some more C channel design values to the steel beam calc and update that soon.

This past week it rained most of the week so we brought some logs into the haybarn and made up a few post and bolster assemblies. These will be welded to the stone piers and a new plate beam will run across them to support the shed rafters. We had a break in the weather Wednesday,  so we pulled some sawn stuff out of the haybarn and made more working room then went over and got the Lull out of the mud and manure and back inside the log barn then went out and grabbed 3 more white oaks. We sawed them up Friday so we should be able to finish the post and bolster assemblies this week in the rain.




Offline samandothers

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #66 on: May 27, 2018, 07:38:39 AM »
You have been busy despite the angle grinder bite!  I thought about your angle grinder encounter this week as I was cleaning cross members and cutting off screws on my trailer cross members.  The old decking needs replacing.

Online Don P

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #67 on: July 12, 2018, 06:50:56 AM »
We've almost got the rafters up on the barn shed.




We should finish the commons this morning then we'll saw 4x6 square edged ones for the gable ends and begin skip sheathing. Looks like its going to go down to the wire. I've torn my right shoulder in 3 places, they'll be cutting the 20th so we're trying to get the roof back on and then put this to bed for awhile.




I gave my partner a raise at the end of the day yesterday so he could get a birds eye view.




Offline samandothers

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #68 on: July 12, 2018, 09:02:43 AM »
Sorry to hear about your shoulder, not good.  Barn is looking good.  I like the bat/owl perspective!

Online Don P

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #69 on: August 09, 2018, 10:48:10 PM »
My partner got the roof metal on and buttoned up. There is a lot more work that can be done on this barn but this will really slow down the demise that was underway when we first saw it. Water is no longer running down the logs. It's now a good place for equipment and a few bales. There is a little cleanup to do, I drove the bobcat and loader for a little bit yesterday, then we'll call this done for now.




I've been measuring and drawing a sketchup of the next project, remodel/repurpose of a 1940's gas station that's down the road about 8 miles. I'll be doing a fair amount of phone call GC'ing on it so that should let things knit for awhile.


Offline Magicman

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #70 on: August 10, 2018, 09:28:36 AM »
Congratulations on a job well done.  In that setting and location that crib/barn looks exactly as it should.  thumbs-up
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Hickory Timbers?
« Reply #71 on: August 10, 2018, 09:53:17 AM »
Barn looks much better than at start and I am sure in much better shape!  Glad you are healing and getting better!


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