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Author Topic: Timber Framing Timing  (Read 1408 times)

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Offline scshaw

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Timber Framing Timing
« on: February 10, 2015, 01:56:10 PM »
I plan to build a timber frame, but the engineer in me has me over concerned with details.  Hopefully someone may be able to help...

As I mentioned in a earlier post...due to time and location constraints, I plan to:
   1) purchase timbers, cut, and temporarily erect a timber frame at my home (MD)
   2)dismantle and store (hopefully anloy a month or so,
   3) and then ship it down and dry-in at is final resting place in WV. 

The initial phase, cutting the timbers may take me several months, then test raising and then several more months to bring to WV.  If I buy "green" white pine am I asking for issues?  Assuming my timeline may only get worse (longer), what recommendations are there out there for my situation.

I'd really like to do this myself (with help of course).

Thanks,
Steve

Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Timber Framing Timing
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2015, 03:04:38 PM »
You should be fine--this is done all the time.  I cut my frame over a year before I transported it 300 miles to raise it.  Its really not necessary to erect and dismantle the entire frame.  But youre rightdetails do matter.  As long as you measure, measure, measure, and cut your joints accurately, it should go together as intended.  Of course, you will test fit pieces here and there along the way to make sure youre doing things right.  Timber frames are typically built with green timbers (easier to chisel).  White pine is a very common species used for timber frames on the East Coast.  As long as the large timbers are box-heart cut from nice straight trees, they should remain reasonably stable.  However, don't under estimate the time needed to cut a frame if this is your first one.  My biggest advice is to take a timber frame course first.  The proper techniques and short-cuts you will learn will save you much time and frustration.  It is well worth the time/money to take a class.  There are many good courses people on this forum can recommend if you are interested.

How big is the frame?  What does it look like?
e aho laula

Offline scshaw

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Re: Timber Framing Timing
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2015, 05:15:07 PM »
I would appreciate recommendations on Timber Framing Classes.  I'm not sure why, but some seem to a bit costly.

Northford offers one that seems very practical and appropriately priced...has anyone attended?

Offline scshaw

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Re: Timber Framing Timing
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2015, 05:17:46 PM »
Missed your question...I'm thinking smaller 16X22 or 24 with 1.5 stories.  I'm working on a site plan, as I would hope this would be the first building with an eventual larger addition in my later years (when I have more $ and time).

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Timber Framing Timing
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2015, 06:06:43 PM »
I can highly recommend The Heartwood School, in Washington, MA, and the Sobon/Carlon workshop at Hancock Shaker Village the end of September every year. Workshops around the country run from about $100 to almsost $200 per day, depending on what they are offering. Heartwood, for example, has the best lunches you'll find included with the course fee.

The biggest concern I would have about a delayed raising is making sure the timbers are stored properly. You don't want them to be in direct sunlight, but they do need good air flow. They should also be stacked on a good level foundation of some sort. I would try to get your joints cut sooner rather than later. Once cut, they can sit for quite a while. If you think the project is going to really get dragged out, pick a section of the frame to work on, such as the entire floor, and get those timbers. When you are nearly done with the floor, order the posts and tie beams. This way you don't end up with a lot of dried out timbers that you are trying to work.
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Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Timber Framing Timing
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2015, 09:10:02 PM »
Like you, I have some land a good distance awaytoo far to build something onsite with limited opportunities to travel there and work for extended periods of time.  A timber frame is a great choice for this situation.  It gives you the opportunity to do a great deal of the work at home in the evenings or on the weekends.  Then, when youre done with the frame, just transport and assemble!  With the help of friends, family, and neighbors, the frame will go up fast!  However, it is still a massive undertaking and takes an incredible amount of planning to pull off.  The frame is the easy part.  Unfortunately, when youre building it yourself, there arent many shortcuts for everything else.  The roofing, siding, doors, windows, flooring, etc. requires a lot of onsite time to close in and complete.

I took the Jack Sobon/Dave Carlon workshop.  It was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend it.  Even though I read several books before the class, I cant imagine what the outcome would have been if I attempted building my timber frame without their hands on instruction.  You learn key layout techniques and proper tool use from the mastersbooks are no substitute for what you learn from them.

P.S. From a former Marylander--Go Terps!
e aho laula

Offline Roger Nair

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Re: Timber Framing Timing
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2015, 11:32:01 PM »
Scshaw, If you are looking for a workshop, The TF Guild is holding one in Lexington VA from March 20 - 31 for a women's shelter.  There will be a seven day program  for newcomers for a fee of $250.  This will be a memorable for all who participate and expect long days and concentrated learning, plus an introduction into a community that goes all out.

  http://www.tfguild.org/projects
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Offline prittgers

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Re: Timber Framing Timing
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 01:49:46 AM »
There is a timberframe class coming up in Alaska .  I was at the one Jake did last year and now I'm building a timberframe building over my mill.

http://aksawmill.com/wp/?page_id=141
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Offline scshaw

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Re: Timber Framing Timing
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2015, 09:50:31 AM »
Thank you all for your input and time, this is truely a very welcoming, knowledgeable and friendly message board.  In the short time I've spent browsing the topics, I've felt I learned a great deal.

Offline vtframer

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Re: Timber Framing Timing
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2015, 11:24:59 AM »
Hi Im also pursuing the same basic plan with my frame.  Im currently in the middle of cutting Jack Sobons hall and parlor house frame (with an increase in the width of the house to 24 and an 18x20 bump-out off the back side) and Im about a year and a half into the project at this point.  I have the entire first-floor system done (all sills and intermediate sills) with exception of the joists.  Ive started on the post and beams for the bumpout this winter and hope to complete them by the end of the summer.  So as you can see, Im probably on the 4-5 yr plan for completing the frame and standing it up on a foundation.  I only have one evening a week and maybe an afternoon or two on the weekends to dedicate to the project now, so Ive been very concerned about storage and preservation, especially when it comes to twisting, etc..  Couple of bits of advice from my experience thus far:
-   Definitely take a course if you canI went to Yestermorrow in Waitsfield VT for a one-week courseexcellent experience
-   Apply generous amounts of Anchor Seal to all exposed end grain, including in the mortises and joist pockets.  This will allow the time to dry more slowly over time and hopefully not twist as much
-   For wood species, I decided to go with Hemlock for the sills (due to their rot-resistance near the foundation) and white pine for the beams.  For the posts and braces, Ill use a hardwood species Im not sure which at the point Im looking for a species that twists the least.any suggestions???
-   Storage: I keep the completed timbers at least 18 off the ground, stacked and stickered on 3 sets of 3 hemlock 6x6s spaced evenly over about 20 (average length of the sills).  I then made some mini-roof panels from old roof tin (and caulked all the old fastener  holes to reduced leaking) and pitched them away from the pile.  This seems to be working wellalso, as someone mentioned on this thread, its very important to keep sunlight off them as this will discolor them and dry them out unevenly, so I hung some additional tin on the sunny side of the pile as a sort of curtain to keep the sun off.

So Im also setting expectations for myself when it comes to putting this together.  Im confident as long as my cuts are accurate it will go together, but the timbers will obviously twist some (despite my best efforts) and I know that as Im assembling the bents prior to raising day I will have a decent amount of adjusting and possible shaving to do to make it all come together.  That I guess is the inherent disadvantage of doing this over a long termIf I had the time to cut the frame all at once, the timbers would dry in place after I got them togetherunfortunately I dont have that luxury and have to work a day job 

Hope this all helps!
-Mike


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