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Beginner 24x40 in Southern Vermont

Started by Lennyzx11, August 05, 2022, 01:09:32 PM

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Yesterday was braces day. I cut my first 8. Though all were "ok", I still managed to make some mistake during the layout, measuring, or cutting of everyone. Still more to do and I learn from each one. Practice makes perfect. I did manage to make a couple that will be custom fit into the upper part rather than wasted. 

I managed to make one mistake solely from not paying attention. My center tie beam on the back wall was somewhat taller than the original two. Though I did the math, pre checked the assembly assembled, and took into account the housing depths and offsets correctly, the brace is slightly long and pushes the half lap bridle joint apart. One happened is that tie beams depth being an inch roughly deeper threw the housing critical starting point off. 

What I should have done is listened to Jim Rogers and pulled my measurement from the top reference face and cut that housing from the top 7 1/2" rather than 1/2" from the bottom as I did. 
I'll take it apart and give the brace a haircut to see if it gets "good enough" or recut that housing correctly from the top down. 

All in all a good day. 
My steps for braces are.

Layout pencil lines.
Score lines.
Cut full depth with Super Sawsquatch.
Layout offset and tenon with Big Al.
Cut offset with 7 1/4" saw and kerfs about a 1/4". (This seems faster and more accurate than the flip and drop cutting the end to me).
Cleanup tenon face with 2" chisel. 
Check tenon with homemade checker and clean up back side with chisel as required. 

Each one gets better. Though all are "customized" so far.


Southwest corner of Vermont

Old Greenhorn

Looking good! Slow and steady is the way to go when trying to learn a lot set of new skills. You're still going a lot faster than I would, for sure. I think you are making good progress, keep pluggin' along!
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 350, 450, 562, & 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'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.


When I designed my cabin, I made 5 different braces for the 118 braces required. Then I made 1/2" plywood templates. Allowed for quick placement on the stock to adjust for knots and other defects.

Yep, work off the reference face!
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Ford 545D FEL, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/36" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.




This weekend came with some new toys & supplies to try out. 
Over the week, the brown truck and post lady dropped off some heavy packages and I dusted off one I had in a shop corner unopened for over a year. I had never "got to it".

First was a 10 1/2 skilsaw. I already had purchased the 16 1/2" version but I was cruising Amazon on their "deals" and found one that was listed as "used, acceptable" for 140 bucks. I couldn't resist so pulled the trigger. Since it had a 30 day return policy, I thought I'd try it.
Short version, other than a couple of scratches on the housing and handle, this thing looks brand new with the placid still sealed. I bet it got dropped sometime and had to be sold as a blem. Works perfect and blade was new.


Then a package of Connext post anchors for the 8x10 posts to figure out. I have been using OZCO anchors from Home Depot but they don't have them in an 8x10 and I wanted as much stability as possible in these two center posts on the front wall as they won't have much to help them when completed.


This made me break out the older box setting in the shop corner and assemble it. A Granberg style chainsaw mill. Some assembly required. That turned out to be a bit of a PITA with poor instructions but I managed to get it right after a couple wrong place parts were bolted on for "preassembly" runs.

The reason for this was to cut the knife slot accurately in the bottom of the posts. Put the MS461 in, used the base to draw the line exactly where needed and set the mill and it went quick! A little overkill but man it worked nice.




Then to the other end of the post after figuring proper height(s) by using a laser level since I have a knee wall on the back and a sloping floor for drainage. This could have been done with a water level but I use the laser. No pictures there.

More to come. Got to pickup grandkids. Stay tuned for part 2.

Southwest corner of Vermont


After measuring I started to cut the wedged dovetail needed for the 24' tie beam. I used the chain mortiser for a regular rectangular through mortise and then the Linear Link worm drive saw for the angle of the lower dovetail. The linear link is like a Prazi beam cutter but older and has a manual oil pumper on it for bar oil. 
It is the best way I've found to rough out that wedge angle so far.




Also, this week brought in a new book. "Learn to Timberframe" by Will Beemer. And in it I discovered I have made a mistake on my wedged half dovetails. I'm supposed to have a slope on the top also for the wedge. I had made my back ones straight(level) across the top and the one I'm working on now for the front posts. I thought a square 2x2 was going to be the wedge size. Oh well it's fixable and I now know. 



Will's book has the best "how to" that I've seen from the 3 books I own to date. It shows each step by photo and explanation. All three have been a valuable resource as I continue working my way along "one stick at a time".

Southwest corner of Vermont



This week I got one of the 24 ft tie beams prepped and its remaining post. 
I was curious on the weight of that tie beam as it was one of the 2 heaviest pieces going into the build.

So I weighed it. (I've had this scale for a while and it's fun to check things)



498 pounds. 24 foot 8x12 Eastern White pine dried 10 months under a tarp.

Then this one man show (and two tractors had to get it installed).
Wheeeeee...... (Safety and OSHA inspectors, you may want to turn your head now).

First the knife blade anchor base from CONNEX.


Then the "get everything in the air, started, and aligned without smashing delicate bits of me and tractors". 



Some chain fall action to slide everything in place, pin the anchor base, and couple of structural screws to hold things in place.

Then it was quitting time for the day. Of course I had to "envision it"


Southwest corner of Vermont



Good morning everyone.

I managed to get a few more things done since last update between the rain we've been getting lately. 

First was cutting the 2nd tie beam to post wedged half dovetail joint for the front post. then tested on the ground this time along with the knee braces.



I stood this one legged assembly with the tractor all together rather than the "one stick at a time" approach I used on the first one. Though there was still some off and on the tractor, tightening chainfalls, banging into place, and generally just fiddling, it went a lot easier on this 2nd one.


Then off to the local sawmill to order timbers for the principal rafters, queen posts, and other assorted bits that would involve the roof assembly. I had planned on this in order to repair the water damaged wall on the old shop where an exterior staircase had been installed way back when but not ever waterproofed. 
After bring home a load of 1x8 roughcut pine, removing the old sheathing and 2xs that were rotted in the old wall and replacing (no pics there), I installed a new larger window and installed a board and batten siding wall over the sheathing with housewrap to code and flashing.

Cutting battens on the tablesaw.



Yeah, the shop is a mess. I keep meaning to box the tablesaw in and connect the dust collector to it I recently got but haven't managed to. Someday...

So that's about where I'm at today. A sliding barn door is planned for that board and batten wall in the future and a dutch door for the overhead loft door on the 2nd floor down the road. Working on getting the roof up before winter if possible. I better get after it a bit quicker huh?

Southwest corner of Vermont

Old Greenhorn

Looking good Lenny! I have been through your town 4 times in the past 3 weeks. One of these days....
 Your joints are looking really good, just keep at it and once you get the bents up, things will click along (Says the guy who was going to build a small mill tool shed in a month and barely got it done in 5 months  ;D).
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 350, 450, 562, & 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'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.



Well. It's been a year and a month on mine. I've learned a lot, enjoyed myself getting this far. My focus slowly changed from "getting er done" to "let's think on it".

The lower frame is stood up. Holes to drill and pegs to install next and install the wedges on the tying beams.




I got this genie lift on the Marketplace and had some reservations on lifting but I have to say I was very very happy with this purchase. The wheels were junk and losing their coating so I ordered 4 new nice casters and replaced them. 
This thing has been great for my one man show.
The joints are tighter as I've learned more with each stick. 
Next is heading to New Hampshire for pegs, order a couple of Wood owl bits and start pegging this lower frame.
One thing I have learned the hard way.
Everyone on here said to cut and test everything on the ground and I stayed with "one stick at a time".

That ("the one stick at a time") is absolutely the wrong way to do things. I would almost pull it all back apart and put it up the conventional way but the joints have tightened and it'll take some serious force to pull some joints apart. So it'll stay. 

I am going to look into setting the roof structure precut and tested at each bent though.

Southwest corner of Vermont

Old Greenhorn

Looking good Lenny! Funny thing about that "let's think on it" mode. I have always found that comes at a po9int after you get the first burst of energy out and you start seeing results, yet also begin to think there might be a better and easier result if you backed up and re-thought it through. That's also when you quality and grade of work can improve a good deal because you are now working and thinking at the same time. Whereas before, you had some excitement clouding your plans.
 I think you are hitting the 'solid stride' part of the build now. This is good. Keep on truckin'!
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 350, 450, 562, & 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'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.


Quote from: Don P on November 04, 2022, 09:25:31 PM
If I have my drawknife handy, most of the time I'll kerf fairly close together and then drop the drawknife in one of the kerfs and twist to lay the slivers over then pull and clean the face. turn around and clean the remainder. But I'll use a slick or chisel or sanding disc on a grinder, or sanding belt stretched over a thin board. If you are sanding you are done cutting. Fine technique is secondary to getting the result needed to keep going. When the grain damns every other approach remember getting the surface needed is the goal. I love watching third world workers, often they don't do anything "right" and if results matter a good many can spank most of us  :D.

I'm hoping I remembered to say those 2x8's should be treated. It also wouldn't hurt to put sill seal between them and the concrete wall.
I'd truly love to see a video demo of what you describe Don. ;)
Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life for 25yrs.
Ezekiel 22:30


Woohoo! Managed to get the first part of what I call the 2nd story/roof cut and installed.  
My 2nd load of lumber hasn't been delivered yet which has my gin pole timber. So something not quite OSHA involving two genie lifts, rope, chain fall, and 100+ trips up and down the ladder got done.
It got harder because the genie lifts pickup arms don't extend out as far as the front wheels. Since that wall was there, there was a 18" space that had to be handled that the lifts couldn't roll forward enough.
One lift went through the door, and the other angled on the low end worked. Ropes were used from the building rafters and the new tie plate to keep progress every few inches and reposition leaning lifts.

Thankfully, No Lennys were harmed in the installation of these two Timbers...
That back one will have to wait till the gin pole gets here I believe. They should be delivering tomorrow hopefully. That's okay. I still need to cut the collar tie for between the two rafters as it will have to be installed during the assembly of the back principal at the same time.

Southwest corner of Vermont

Old Greenhorn

Progress is being made Lenny! Keep hammering at it. Just don't push it faster that you have the tools. I'd rather be good than lucky. :D I hung a 4x12x20' header in my shop with my crank lift but didn't quite have the height, so I stacked 2x12 cutoffs on the forks to build it up, lifting one end at a time and using ropes to hold the other end in place. It was a wobbly, shaky scary mess, but I got it up alone and did not die. :)

 I'll be passing through your pretty town again on 10/8 and back again on the 10th. Hopefully the village isn't too choked with tourists. ;D
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 350, 450, 562, & 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'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.




Been working steady on the principal rafters and ridge beams and correcting mistakes made from along the way as I wait for the next load of lumber which will be for the roof support.
Still working that plan on how to safely get all those pieces,(Ridge beam especially) up in the air and set by myself with the gin pole.

Then 1300 square feet of 2x8 T&G for the roof decking to be delivered the latter part of next week. (Woo! That's going to be pricey! Ouch...) but getting this far to cheap out on the roof deck is dumb.
I told my wife that I could do it cheaper with plywood and shingle nails poking through to be seen underneath but let's just say she wasn't thrilled with that idea. (Just kidding).
 The plans call for 2x t&g decking. I suspect for structural integrity since there are no walls. 
It did cross my mind to use 1" t&g and then plywood over that for roof sheathing but that didn't add up to any savings compared. 

Still learning every day.
Drilling a lot of holes and installing pegs, not able to use that fancy Mafell drill stand in the air very well but the drill and wood owl bit makes short work of the holes.

I'm revisiting non existent trigonometry skills with the rafters and support beams. I splurged and got the new construction master pro calculator with trig functions to go with my original calculator I've had for years. This lets me double check before I get to the raising and try to figure out what's wrong up in the air later.
Picked up 24" bolts at bolt supply house yesterday for the ridge beam and principal rafter critical joints. 

I've sped up a bit trying to beat the Vermont winter but as a fallback plan I can get the roof deck up and feltpaper the roof if I run out of time on the shingles. 

Southwest corner of Vermont

Old Greenhorn

Looking real good and moving along Lenny! I have little doubt you will have at least a covered carport by winter (but maybe not first snow  ;D).
 I'll give you a wave when I drive through town tomorrow. Look for me between 9 and 11am. :D

Keep hammerin' on!
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 350, 450, 562, & 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'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.


Load of wood arrived and I built my gin pole based on Jim Roger's version in his gin pole thread. 
24' long 6x8 with a 8x10 base 5 ft long. Moved it into place and raised it by pulling slowly up with tractor.
I had extra length on one back line so I ran it around one tree to set the angle for its pull and then over to the other back line's anchor tree. 
That way I can adjust both in one place when needed.
A 4to1 setup with a redirect block is main tackle. A couple of rope climbers grabs are used to "hold the load" while I tie off the line I'm working with being a guy line or main pull.
Raising the 4x6"x 16' rafters was easy by myself. The principal rafter used as the test subject was a bit more than I wanted alone by human power. But I have equipment ready for that. This was to get a feel and test of the pole and rigging. 


Southwest corner of Vermont







A bit of progress as I try to beat the first snow. Using the gin pole and the Portable winch capstan winch has continued to allow me to do everything to date by myself. 
After standing the gin pole, I was uneasy about it sliding out n the slick concrete slab so I braced it with cutoffs against the rear knee wall.
I also used a come along to hold it from the front when I moved it forward to center for the ridge beam pick.
The thing turns absurdly easy on the concrete by using a 2x4 as a lever. 
A little goes a long way and I had to be gentler than I thought turning the gin pole. 
Center principals are up, center ridge beam is up. Now to decide whether to bring the pole down(which will mean flipping it backwards over center) and moving it to the next bay or go ahead and use it to help get the center set of 4x6 common rafters up and in place. 
Decisions decisions...
It's nice to see progress visibly now up in the air.
Local mill delivered 1300 square feet of 2x8 t&g yesterday. 5600 bucks USD delivered for those that want to compare prices.

Southwest corner of Vermont


Frame is up! I had written a long note talking about my progress but it seems to have disappeared when I added photos. I'll have to catch that part up later.







Southwest corner of Vermont

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