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Author Topic: Timber Frame Layout Methods  (Read 6519 times)

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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Timber Frame Layout Methods
« on: March 06, 2013, 10:47:17 PM »
"Line or Center Line Rule"


The following is a brief break down of this method of Layout that presents as originating in the Middle East and advancing in Asia.  It appears to date back to approximately 2800 BCE, and evolved from the lofting methods of "scribe rule." 

I will try and present this as a photo demonstration on a current job we are doing.  Please feel free to ask as many questions as you would like.  I will do my best to answer them.


This is the timber to become a post seen as red in the diagram above.

Jeff is assessing and considering the layout to be completed on this timber.

Layout tools, (minus chisel)

Jeff is trimming to lengther

Perfect cut in under two minutes by hand, ( ;D he likes to stay in practice ;))

Jeff snaps the second ink line.

View of both lines on timber.

Now he levels the timber, (note: in this method, there is no lofting required, no direct scribing, only templating, and leveling is quick-only in one direction.)

Jeff drops the vertical line.

Now he crosses the horizontal.

close up of finished cross.

Now the other snap lines will be added, and joinery layout can be completed.  From beginning to end, including the assessment, hand saw trimming and "snapping and wrapping all lines," Story pole and layout of of joints, (with back check) and cutting of joints, less than an 1 hour 30 minutes.

P.S.  Someone asked about leather on tool handles?  I don't like gloves most of the time and when it's cold leather feels good on the hands. Plus it gives a firm grip.  ;D

"To posses an open mind, is to hold a key to many doors, and the ability to created doors where there were none before."

"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline timberwrestler

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Re: Timber Frame Layout Methods
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 09:23:37 AM »
Thanks for that Jay.  My questions on line rule revolve around how deal with less than ideal situations.  So lets' say that the bottom of the plate is out of square (or level).  And let's say the tie is twisted, and is also not square at the joint location.  What is your approach to deal with this?  I can speculate on how I would deal with it, but I'm curious of your approach. 

I'm also interested in your statement that line rule evolved from scribe rule.  Without any historic references, I would imagine that it would have evolved independently. 


Offline frwinks

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Re: Timber Frame Layout Methods
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 10:27:40 AM »

Jim had a great thread on dealing with out of square sticks a little while back, check it out here:
Dealing with out of square timbers in Timber Framing/Log construction

and a great vid by Timbeal on mapping/lining a stick

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