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Author Topic: German Joinery  (Read 3901 times)

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Offline canopy

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German Joinery
« on: February 09, 2010, 02:19:01 AM »
I am in the process of learning as much as possible about timber framing. I have run across a good amount of English, American, and Dutch joinery. It seems Germany would also have very good joinery so surprised to have seen nothing so far about theirs specifically. Are there any information sources on German joinery and methods or are they already absorbed in the above categories?

Offline Thehardway

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Re: German Joinery
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 03:56:26 PM »
German joinery has influenced English, Dutch, and Scandinavian joinery.  During the Medieval time period however their was no land called "Germany".  It was known as the Habsburg Empire and included Bohemia, Bavaria,  and Austria.  A study of structures in these areas from 1200 to 1800 would give you a good feel for German style joinery. Medievalwoodworking.org has some good resources for tools and styles of the time.  Germanic people spread from this area into England, Prussia, Saxony, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and most of central and Northern Europe.  It is hard to find an area that does not have some Germanic roots.

As such I doubt you will find anything that is labeled "German Joinery" but you can find a strong German influence in most timberframed structures.  I would recommend the study of  TF barns in Pennsylvania and Western New York as Dutch and German influence was strong in these areas in the early 1800's.  Also check out Old Salem in North Carolina.  It offers insight into Moravian culture which was largely Germanic as well.  Good examples of German based joinery are visible in the restored community dating back to the mid 1770's and in nearby Bethabara the ruins of a earlier community.  I have visited and took quite a few pictures. It is very interesting. 
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Offline frwinks

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Re: German Joinery
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 10:12:15 AM »
here's a link worth checking out with a ton of info on European carpentry
http://www.en.charpentiers.culture.fr/thepeople/compagons/thecarpentersguildingermany

would love to see some of those pics thehardway ;)

Offline Thehardway

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Re: German Joinery
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2010, 04:35:21 PM »
OK. Here are some of the pics.  Some of the building exteriors are visible on their website. Keep in mind that most of this is restoration work so it may not be accurrate but I would guess it is close. I actually got to go up in the attic of the Single Brothers building and see some of the roof joinery up close. It was a tongue and fork arrangement that altered orientation every other rafter pair.  Enjoy the video and the pics.  It is well worth a visit if you are in the area.  There is a great TF covered bridge structure that was recently built as well.  I have pics but it is not traditional and not German so if anyone is interested in seeing it I'll post in a separate thread.  I believe one of the TF Guild events was held in Old Salem.

Here is the link to a youtube video about the area




































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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: German Joinery
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 08:05:29 PM »
I've seen markings like those in No.8. I wonder if they (the little flags) are specific to German numbering. It is suspect that the marks that I saw were on a barn of German construction.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: German Joinery
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2010, 08:19:58 AM »
Years ago when we took down a barn, with the guild, and restored it and put it back up there were all kinds of markings on the timbers we didn't understand.

I posted some pictures of these marking on the guild forum site and a timber framer sent me back some info about German marking systems.

First you have to understand that over there, they consider the ground floor number 0, and the next floor up to be floor number 1 (what we here call the second floor).

Next they pick one corner of the building as a starting point and all timber marking proceed out from this starting timber.

Here are some pictures of the marking system that he sent me.







I haven't tried to translate the writings on this last picture but I can if you need me to.....

Very interesting stuff....

Jim
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: German Joinery
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2010, 09:22:11 PM »
I'm working on a translation. Most of the terminology is not in the dictionary.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: German Joinery
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 10:51:51 PM »
We've found plenty of the slashes, and the lines with the little flags so far in the frame. I've been keeping my eye out for the last one, the triangle, and I just happened to see one on a brace today. The triangle indicates a door, or door frame, according to one translation I got. The flags indicate a transverse bent in our frame. It is a four bent Dutch barn. Any member in a transverse bent has a flag. Intermediate wall posts are simply marked with a number or a number and a slash. Still working on deducing the meaning of that part.
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Offline TW

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Re: German Joinery
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 02:06:50 PM »
If you use google and search for "fachwerk" you will find a lot of information about german timberframes.

There is also a book called "Handwerkliche Holzverbindungen der Zimmerer" written by Manfred Gerner. I have it only in a Check translation and is completely unable to understand that laguage, but only the detailed drawings contain a lot of information.


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