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Author Topic: 1/8" in joint...professional  (Read 2279 times)

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Offline Alexis

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1/8" in joint...professional
« on: March 11, 2010, 04:09:08 PM »
Hello all,

recently, I went to a log and timber frame expo in Quebec. It was the first time I could see other people work and compare it to my sobon shed...

I've found that in most joint by the professional company they were between 1/8" and 1/4" loose. When I questionned about it, they all said that structurally, it doesn't change anything and that this gap is standard in their work.

I'm not talking about only one company...

What I learn from this is: I will continue to strive to make the perfect joint, but I gained a lot of confidence in my joinery. In my sobon shed, the joint that were 1/8" loose, I considered that they were "mistake joint" and will continue to try to make as few of possible of these. But I'm convinced, more than ever, that I have what it take to build my own home since my joinery is tigher that the " pro"


Offline icolquhoun

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Re: 1/8" in joint...professional
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2010, 06:32:15 PM »
..."when you want something done right........."
we know how the saying goes, but the fact of the matter is that a LOT of people who want to pay 100k+ for a timberframe just want big rough beams overhead and have no clue as to what keeps the joints together.
I too have seen these joints on less than 10 year old frames around the country, and as compared to the countless 18th and early 19th century frames I have seen in this area, they are horrible.  It reeks of mass production and quickly plowing through work that these days, should be more about the process of building the frame than the paycheck collected at the raising.
Be confident in knowing that no matter how amateur you might perceive yourself to be, there are but a handful of professionals who would give your frame the time, respect, and care that you would.


Offline bub4e

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Re: 1/8" in joint...professional
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 09:06:57 PM »
Crap is crap and that is not something to strive for, but wood is wood even the best joint can open up, one must understand and forgive the material.  Sometimes the best cut joint is not water tight, and gaps are left to allow for shrinkage or movement.  Other times there is nothing you can do, it just is what it is.  Every material has its ups and downs, but wood has too many ups to get overly worried about a little movement.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: 1/8" in joint...professional
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2010, 09:17:45 PM »
I guess they aren't draw boring? ::) :-X
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Offline bigshow

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Re: 1/8" in joint...professional
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2010, 09:18:46 AM »
When I built my frame - I shot for - well I wanted business card thick gaps in the joints at most.  Now, there was no way to know this without really putting it together.  I succeeded for about 98% of the joinery - however the design of the frame and the raising process will have everything to do with it.  We raised an assembled 40' x 16' wall into another wall - in that operation, I ended up with one joint that has a gap of ~1/4"+.  I was a little disappointed - but, in hindsight, my frame ended up not designed to be put together easily.  Which was my fault, but it turned out amazing.

Also, house those joints.  It allows some fudge room when you need it.
I never try anything, I just do it.

Offline Raphael

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Re: 1/8" in joint...professional
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 01:10:45 PM »
I'm wondering how big a 1/4" gap looks after few years dying in.
I seem to have developed a number of ~1/8" gaps where the joints were once drawn completely tight.
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Offline Thehardway

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Re: 1/8" in joint...professional
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 04:51:14 PM »
I am not a professional and I concur with most of what has been said here, however, I would say it depends on the type of joint, and the specie of wood.  Some joints are more prone to opening up than others. For instance, I have had to pull my wedged dovetail joints together and tighten the wedge several times in the last year as the wood shrinks and acclimates.  Mine are made of white oak which was cut green.  It can see significant shrinkage so the joints are going to have some gaps after they dry, otherways you wouldn't be able to get them together.  For more stable species like EWP, DF, or Kiln dried woods, they should be tight and stay pretty tight.
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Offline frwinks

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Re: 1/8" in joint...professional
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 10:10:55 AM »
also don't forget, the expo display frames are assembled/dissasembled several times a year.  Things get a lil' loose with use :o
and you know the ol' sayin' if you want it done right, DIY.... :D

Offline TFramer34

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Re: 1/8" in joint...professional
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2010, 12:13:46 AM »
My two cents on the matter.  In every frame, there are mistakes and gaps, and things that a trained eye can pick out.  When I start to cut a timber, I look at it in relation to its place in the house and whats visable and whats not.  I always strive for the best, but usually if I'm working on say--a main post in the living room, I can justify taking a little more time then I would on a rafter that won't be seen except from 40 ft away.  Likewise, most piece in test fit can be tinkered with to help bring things together tightly. 1/8"or less gap seems to be the general rule I've heard.


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