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Author Topic: So much for cabin fever  (Read 11959 times)

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Offline ohsoloco

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So much for cabin fever
« on: March 31, 2003, 09:40:25 AM »
It seemed as if I would never get out of the house to do anything the way the weather was going!  It finally started to warm up (and then we got a couple inches of snow yesterday...hopefully the onion snow).  Regardless, the other week I fired up the mill for the first time since Thanksgiving weekend to mill up some larch into timbers for a grape arbor.  This is my first attempt at timber framing, and after the trial fit everything looks as if it will go up just fine (it's lifting everything up that will be a pain).   Made thirty-some white oak pegs last night with a framing chisel, and sharpened up the auger bit to drill the peg holes.  All the mortises and tenons were cut with power tools, but I'll drill all the peg holes with my brace and bit......no noise, just the sound of shaving wood  ;D    

Last night while I was finishing up the frame, a guy from a tree service called to tell me he'll be taking down some trees real soon....going to pick up some walnut logs in the morning  :)

So now is the time to make up for the past few months when I wished I had things to do....now I'll be wishing I had some free time.

Offline Mark M

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2003, 11:08:05 AM »
Can you show us some pictures? sounds like an interesting project. I am hoping to build a log cabin and have been looking at a dove-tail jig. Found a good one but it is pretty expensive.

Mark

Offline IndyIan

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2003, 02:19:28 PM »
I'd like to see some pictures too.  I'm curious on how you can up with plans for your arbor, did you just make them up on paper or use AutoCAD?  I'm going to build a shed this spring and I'm still at the planning stage, trying to figure out what joints to do where and how to draw them.  
The snow is finally out of the woods so I can do some milling once I figure out what I'm going to do! :)

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2003, 09:04:34 PM »
The plans started out on paper...I was even making up shop drawings for each timber.  Got sick of that, especially since the frame is so small (about 8ft. square).  I will definitely take some pictures when I get it up, but then I have to learn how to post them  :-/

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2003, 01:14:44 PM »
Okay, let's try this again....got a little coaching from Jeff B on this one.  The pic is in the photo gallery, now let's see if I can actually put it in my post.  This was raised on Wednesday...I'm just hoping that it turns as dark red as the tamarak lumber that's stickered out back.  



Offline ohsoloco

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2003, 01:15:11 PM »
Thanks Jeff  ;D

Offline Jeff

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2003, 01:27:03 PM »
It worked!  Now you just need to lighten up your pictures some.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2003, 01:29:24 PM »
Yeah, I need to do some playing with the optimizer to see what it can really do....before my 30 days run out  :D

Offline Jeff

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2003, 01:34:08 PM »
Tom must have been lightening as I typed!
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Ezekiel 22:30

Offline Tom

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2003, 01:36:27 PM »
Yep, I wanted to see what it was. :D 8)
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Offline IndyIan

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2003, 01:17:26 PM »
Very nice frame! 8)
How did you make the mortises?  I'm thinking of using my 1" peg hole auger in a brace and bit(no electricity where I'm working) and then squaring up with my chisel.  At a timber frame course I took I used a nice miakita chain mortiser.  Worked well but I can't afford to get one at $1500!  

Offline Tom

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2003, 01:26:43 PM »
Logwizard is making a narrower tool that might work for mortising.  Check out www.logwizard.com   or

http://www.logwizard.com/logmaster.php3
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Offline IndyIan

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2003, 07:40:58 AM »
Thanks Tom,
That's a good idea.  It looks a bit wide but I'll get the details on it.  Most of the mortises I need are 2" wide.
I guess I could always practice my plunge cuts alot. ;D  Might take a while to be able to get within a 1/16" :)
I'll have to try the brace and bit in green white pine but I think it should go pretty quick.    

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2003, 09:24:08 AM »
I sharpened by 1" bit with a file, and it cut really fast in the brace when I was boring the peg holes.  By the 32nd hole I was pretty pooped, though.  If you build a frame with a brace and bit you'll look like popeye in no time  :D    I purchased a 1-1/2" auger bit from LeeValley and used a right angle drill to bore the holes for the mortises, then cleaned them up with my framing chisel.  Lee Valley doesn't sell 2" auger bits, any idea where I could get one?  

Indylan, you could get a beam boring machine that is cranked by hand, but you'll spend at least $100 on a descent one.  They're on ebay quite a bit.  Those chain morisers are slick!  Cut a nice mortise in a minute or so.  Where'd you take your timber framing course?  And what are you planning on building?

Offline IndyIan

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2003, 03:44:03 PM »
I did check out e-bay, some of the borers are going for reasonable money.  Lots of chisels too.  We ended up getting sorby framing chisels from lee-valley.  Cut nice, but now I know to look for the socket handle instead of the tangs.

I took my course at Cowee Mountain timberframers, my girlfriend and I did a week course.    http://www.timberframeschool.com/workshop.html
The price was right and it was very hands on.  Since you've cut your own frame it would probably be a bit boring but you could probably still pick up lots of pointers from the crew there.  We didn't get to assemble or raise a frame either.  For us it was good as just learning to read and layout the plans on the beam was a challange at first.  The braces had me so mixed up at the time :D  After doing about 10 of them I did figure it out!
The plan for this year is to do a 10 by 14' shed, practice all the joints and raising it.  In a couple years after raising the funds we'll do our house and a small barn.  
I am getting interested in recycling beams from old barns.  There are 100's around here that aren't being used and the foundation crumbling away.  Dry wood isn't as nice to work with be probably easier then hand hewing all those 40' 10 by 10's :)
Have you found any good forums on timber framing?  There are 2 in yahoo groups but they aren't very active.  

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2003, 04:35:16 PM »
Wow, you drove even farther than I did to do your timber framing training!  I also went to Cowee Mountain Timber Framers.  I was there for three weeks from mid-June to early July....learned a lot of great stuff from Mel...don't know if he was there when you were.  Some of the crew went to Ohio to do a raising while I was down in Franklin, we stayed and worked on the same frame the entire time I was there....it was a huge house (only one story, but a HUGE footprint on the thing).   One of the best parts was when I got a shop drawing for a timber, I'd go check the plans to see exactly where the timber was going to be placed in the frame.  That really gave me a better understanding of how these things go together, and what joints to use where.  
    While I was down there, Steve took us to see a man (I wanna say his name is Ray) who was building his own timber framed home.   It was just down the road a ways, and sitting on top of a hill.  The frame was under roof, but no walls on most of it...he was doing it all himself.  He build some kind of home-made crane that he put up that would rotate 360*, and that's how he raised his frame...too bad he had taken it down, I really wanted to see how he did that  :-/
      When I started my tamarak frame, I thought this wood was super hard or something.  When I was chiseling out the mortises, the tip of the chisel kept folding over  >:(    I finally realized that I had progressively ground the angle too low.  After so many honings, I take the chisel to the grinder and hollow the angle out again so it's easier to sharpen.  Well, I set the tool rest so that the last part of the angle I would grind was the tip...this prevented me from taking the temper out of the steel, since the tip heats up so quickly.  Re-ground the chisel, and now it cuts like a dream  ;D

Offline IndyIan

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2003, 07:01:41 PM »
Small world eh.  I love the mountains down there so I didn't mind the drive at all.  We went on the blue ridge parkway for a couple days, that's a nice drive!  Plus its about 15 degrees cooler up there so we weren't sweating the whole way. (no air in the car)
Juvenal and Gracie taught us out alot and very patient.  We definetely got our moneys worth as I think they did too.  We cut quite a few pieces and didn't cut one to short! 8)

I would've liked to have helped put a frame up too as making a mistake there could be deadly or at best break some joints(in the bent I mean.)  There are some local framers so I'd hope I could hire one of them to help for a day or two.

I'm itching to get cutting my timbers now that the snow is gone. I haven't had to sharpen my chisels yet since the workshop but we bought a waterstone sharpening kit from lee valley.  Its got a neat angle guide so I should keep the angle right.  When I have my shed frame to show off I post it here.


Offline Jeff

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2003, 07:10:49 PM »
If you guys think you can ever drum up enough interest, I can creat a timber framing board here for you.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2003, 07:15:37 PM »
Definitely want to see some pics when it's done  :)

Juvenal went on the raising for almost two weeks while I was down there, so I didn't talk to him too much.  Grace was always very willing to teach me things after the work day was over...and I was eager to learn (especially using the pythagorean theorem to figure out the lengths of timbers, etc.)  I already knew the theorem, but it was great to actually use it to do something "in real life."  All those times I sat in algebra class thinking "when am I going to use this stuff"   :D

So when did you do your workshop down there?  It was tick season when I was down there.   Another apprentice and I drove down to Georgia to hike to a timber framed shelter on the Appalachian Trail....must've picked half a dozen ticks off of me  >:(   But, the wild raspberries were ripe (and everywhere around the bunk house), so I make a nice raspberry pie  8)     Miguel took me for a horseback ride up to the top of the mountain one afternoon.  Near the top we got to a clearing where the power lines ran....wow, what a view  :)

Lemme know if you find any other relatively active timber framing forums...I didn't even know there were any out there.   That was great to be living down there surrounded by people that were just as interested in it as I was.  Mention it to anyone else and they don't know what you're talking about.  Of course, that goes the same when I wanna "talk shop" about the sawmill....that's why this place is so great  ;D

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: So much for cabin fever
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2003, 07:18:14 PM »
I must've been typing for a while, Jeff  :D

I'm cetainly interested in something like that...but would most definitely need some others MUCH more knowledgeable than myself  :D


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