Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week 6

This week we started the timber frame and the stonework! The framers selected all the posts, beams, and tiebeams. Which is easier said than done seeming as how there are about 200 logs to choose from! They also cut saddle joints in the top of the northern posts to recieve the beams. The stonework went great with the help from ken the mason. Its great fun and an even greater challenge to build the wall, its like a giant 3-d jigsaw puzzle!
Anatomy of a wall-
Through stones- have 2 faces, as they are the whole width of the wall. they go right through.
Bond stones- go 2/3 of the way through the wall. One face only. Very important element of ANY wall.
Face stones- Form the main face of the wall.
Quoins- Large stones at either end of the corners of a wall.
Pinnings- Stones that help to hold in place/ keep level larger stones: and to stabilize the whole wall. These should be added from the back.
Core/Hearting- these stones have no use on the face of the wall but are essential in stabilizing.

A bond/through stone should be placed every meter in a stone wall.
Sort the stone by eye before you begin, then select your quoins, through stones, bond stones, face stones, core/hearting.
Lay stons on their natural beds.
Lay stones level and plumb at the face, with the bed lenght on the face greater than their hieght. EVEN IF UNEVEN IN SHAPE.
Keep an area of 2feet on either side of the wall.
Stones of equal height should not be placed beside each other unless they are low/thin stones.
Break vertical and horizontal running joints as soon as possible.
keep horizontal joints level.

A Frame

We selected the poles for the first A frame and laid them out on our 4x4m framing square. The A frame consists of two cruck posts, a floor beam, cross beam and two dowel posts. First we cut a lap joint for the cruck posts where they will meet and hold the ridge pole. Once that joint was complete we strapped the frame to the square, laid the floor beam in place and marked the joints to be cut with the bottom of the cruck posts. The method we found most effective for cutting this type of lap joint was to cut each side of the joint with a saw and then at several points in between. We then removed the waste wood with a chisel to make sure the flat surfaces of all the joints were on the same plane we used a level to make a plumb line on the end of all the poles. We also tried using a chalk line but the curved shaped of the poles made that technique quite difficult.
Once the floor beam was fitted into the cruck posts we put the dowel posts in place and cut the mitre joints so they fit snug to the cruck posts and lap joints so they fit into the floor beam. The tenon joints were the next joints to be cut into the top of the dowel posts where the shoulder beams would eventually slot on with their corresponding mortise joints. The final beam to be put in place was the cross beam which needed to be high enough above the floor beam to allow Sam to walk through without ducking! As the cross beam isn't load bearing we used gouged joints to fit it in place with the cruck posts.
The final task was to secure the frame with the 1 inch oak dowels we made with draw knives and the dowel maker. We drilled holes in all the joints with an auger, made 3 inch wedges and 2 inch cuts in either end of the dowels which protruded 1 inch either side of the joints. When all the dowels were knocked into place we moved the frame off our framing square and repeated the whole process again for the second A frame!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 5

This week has been another busy week.

The first big announcement is that we have FINALLY finished peeling all of the logs that will be used for rafters and posts in the house. I don't know how the rest of the gang feels, but there were times I would see wood grain when I closed my eyes. While it was a great experience in learning the different ways to peel a log, I'm glad to have it out of the way so that now we can start using them.

We have also started putting in the foundation for the 'A' frame which is rumored to be possibly inhabited by our local tree climber, Sam. It's only natural that Sam would want to live in this thing because while he does love trees, and that is what the 'A' frame is made of, he's also leading the project from start to finish.

Grant the Viking has finished putting in the posts for the timber framed roof for the cob oven. With some consulting with Jim and a little help from me, Grant was able to complete the second phase of the project before he had to bake pizza that night.

Karen was busy in the garden this week and got a lot of planting and seeding down. We can't wait to be able to offset the our grocery shopping with the produce straight from our garden.
Karen also moved the compost pile to the back of the 'green tunnel' in order to create more space for another bed for the garden.

With the foundation laid, we got to work on pouring the posts cement foundations. These cement pillars will also give us the level of which to stack the wall's foundation stones up to.

While we have been working hard a few of us went off to hike up one of the main views in the area, and the main view of the house; Keeper Hill. Even though we followed the directions we still ended up getting... not lost, but not exactly to the correct spot we intended. With the help of some local knowledge we were able to find the spot we were looking for in order to start our hike and set off for the peak of the Keeper. It was rough going for a bit of the hike, but we found a nice big trail (read as: road) to finish up the last bit of the hike. We got to the top just in time to see a beautiful sunset and to take a few goofy pics.
After the hike down we also found the local pub where we talked to a few locals and shared a much deserved beer.

I'll be posting some more about the Rumford fireplace in my next entry, but for a short update:

We are going to have to redesign the smoke shelf as well as the flue for it, so that means tearing down part of the current setup which I know a lot of use don't want to do.

Head over to the Picasa pics and see what all went down this past week.