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Author Topic: Timber frame questions  (Read 459 times)

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Offline hopm

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Timber frame questions
« on: September 03, 2021, 09:05:22 PM »
Requested to saw some beams for a builder in our area. He needs 12 beams 6”x8”x14’ with a 2” radia/arch cut on the bottom side. Material will be hemlock. This is my first attempt at such and I have a few questions and would appreciate your input.

Can these beams be installed green?
Will the 2” relief on the bottom cause tension to either build or release? And….what is the best way to remove material on the bottom side to give the arched appearance?

Offline JRWoodchuck

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Re: Timber frame questions
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2021, 10:59:33 PM »
Can’t help on the green install question but the best tool for cutting the relief would be a mafell hand held bandsaw. But they run $6,000ish. 
Home built bandsaw mill still trying find the owners manual!

Offline Don P

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Re: Timber frame questions
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2021, 08:47:48 AM »
Or put the beams on roller skates and use a $1200 Jet or similar bandsaw.

Anybody remember their chord math, what is the radius? A swingset over the bandmill could swing the timber through a fixed head... if the swing point isn't a mile high.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Timber frame questions
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2021, 09:01:43 AM »
Check out the bandsaw that @tule peak timber shows in some of his photos, not sure the brand, but perhaps you could adapt a small hobby bandsaw to work upside down like that? Laying out the line will take some figuring, but it's do-able for sure.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline JRWoodchuck

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Re: Timber frame questions
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2021, 11:02:00 AM »
Tule has a Mafell...
Home built bandsaw mill still trying find the owners manual!

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Timber frame questions
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2021, 01:03:02 PM »
A Pratzi Beam cutter (short chainsaw bar that is attached to a worm drive circular saw) can be used to cut radiuses in beams.  It's not as fine of a kerf as a band saw, but works ok.  
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Timber frame questions
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2021, 01:32:38 PM »
Draw out your arc and creative use of toe boards at each end... ;)
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 Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber frame questions
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2021, 02:10:08 PM »
Tim, from Moon Hill Farm in Maine, did it on his band mill but slowly making the cut and raise and lower the band while traveling down the log.
show here:


Jim Rogers
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Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline Don P

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Re: Timber frame questions
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2021, 03:13:33 PM »
I had to do some circlehead windows in a log wall and used the prazi facing 90° to the cutline and swinging on a wooden pivot arm to do the final chainsaw cleanup, it smoothed it out a bit more.

The next one was a table large enough to push what I needed through a shop bandsaw. I've seen guys put skates on a shop bandsaw, support the beam and push the saw through the work.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber frame questions
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2021, 10:03:52 AM »
If you cut away 2" from the 8" timber you'll have a 6x6 when done. If it were me doing it, I'd try and center the pith of the timber in the 6x6. That way what's left will be a boxed heart timber.
There is no way to know what the tension or stress is in that timber until you cut it. You'll have to "read" the timber while milling it to see if it moves as you cut it. And if it does try and release the stress/tension evenly.

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


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