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Author Topic: Timber Framing Workshop  (Read 1967 times)

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Offline D L Bahler

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Timber Framing Workshop
« on: July 13, 2013, 05:48:25 pm »
I'll be offering timber framing workshops starting at the beginning of August. These are flexible workshops, you can come for a day, 3 days, a week, or whatever suits. Price is $110 per day, 5% of the income from any who were referenced from this site will go to the forestry forum, as per board policy. Basically I will be working on this project whether there are people there to learn or not. Actual cutting of the frame I don't expect to take too long.

Workshop participants will be helping in the cutting and assembling a a 30x30 barn frame, the frame is the be built using techniques of the Mitteland region of the Swiss Canton of Bern. The structure built is, properly, a Chüejerstöckli, or a cow-herder's hut.

Participants will learn about the techniques of Swiss-German style framing -the use of small timbers, simple joinery, etc. I will try and focus on the Benefits of the system, such as its versatility, adaptability, and affordability.

We will also focus a great deal on the specifics of the Bernese style of roof framing, allowing for very large open spaces.

If interested, contact me via personal message or email.

David L Bähler

Offline logman

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 04:01:52 pm »
I just got back from Indiana.  I raised a 40'x40' frame and I don't think I want to go back to Indiana in the summer.  It makes me appreciate the cool mts of NC.
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Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 12:14:41 pm »
 O dear, don't scare the people off now!

Forecast for the next week is only about 90 or so, and humidity today is a measly 58%  ;)


Offline logman

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 11:10:18 pm »
Only the first couple days were in the 90's and then it cooled off a little.  I am just spoiled by the cool mountain summers. 
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Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 01:10:45 pm »
I know what you mean.

I spent last summer in the Alps, and then came back to Indiana in mid august. It was terrible  :'(


Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 01:25:25 pm »
 

 

Here is a diagram of the roof support system I will be using on this project.

This is one of many variations of the Liegender Binder method of roof framing. This one, specifically, is a version of the system as used in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland.

Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 08:00:54 pm »
Planning is progressing, thought I would continue to keep any interested parties informed.

I will develop a definitive schedule as soon as things come in to place a little better. What I will do is to post when certain phases of the project will take place, for example when the walls will be laid out, raised, etc. when the roof support will be laid out, when the rafters will be raised, when the front wall be infilled and the back and side walls clad, when the stairs will be built, etc.

Each part of the project will cover a different aspect of the Bernese Carpenter's art.

The framing of the roof will be heavily emphasized. I think this is what is the most interesting and applicable. The wall framing is for example typical of southern Germanic architecture, while the framing of the roof is unique in the world.

Participants will help in the layout and cutting of frame portions -depending on when they come. Also they will receive materials -either on CD or on paper, depending on individual preference- pertaining to the aspects they participated in, and materials covering other aspects of the craft will be available as well.

Also participants will have the opportunity to look through my extensive portfolio of Bernese Architecture, to see hundreds of examples of these structures. I have over 1000 photos of Bernese houses, in the Mitteland and Oberland Styles, and a few photos of Jurassic stone architecture as well. I may offer cd's of these photos for a small price as well (I need to at least cover my expenses, you see)

 

  

  

  

 

Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 01:17:45 pm »
 

 

Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2013, 02:26:05 pm »
OK

Workshops have now begun. Phases 1 of the project is underway.

I have a number of white pine logs on site that I have begun to convert. Certain prominent posts and braces and other such stock in this building will be made of hand-hewn timbers. I've started hewning, If anyone wants to come down for a day or two or 3 or 12, they can do so.

Experienced hewers don't need to pay anything, if you just come for the joy of sinking your axe into some wood.

If you want to come down and learn some different techniques, price is $50 per day. Obviously hewing is not as in-depth a subject as frame carpentry, so the price is not the same.

I can show classic American style using a felling axe and my PA pattern broadaxe.

I'd rather show you my Central European technique, using 2 highly specialized tools: The Plankaxt and the Breitbeil, one is a long-handled single beveled axe with a 9" bit, the othr is a short handle axe with a 14" bit and an offset eye -the classic goosewing. This technique is fast, efficient, and leaves a well-planed surface.

We'll be hewing pine for posts, and also there is 1 large elm that I cut down that will make some posts (the front door will have nice cared elm posts) as well as 3 maple trees on the site where the barn is to be built that will be hewn into beams and brace stock.

Don't worry about how good you are. We're building a barn :)


As for the general project,

The frame design has been laid out such that this is a close approximation of late 18th century Bernese Midland farm architecture. The project will be to some degree a recreation of a historical style. This building is somewhat archaic in its construction.

Offline ChrisGermany

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 09:14:48 am »
The plankaxt and goosewing method looks pretty efficient. I've wanted to find a good plankaxt for a while; do you have any experience with the one sold by Mueller? It's about $600, so I want to find opinions on the item before I buy.

Been using a felling axe and the John Neeman baltic broadaxe for a while, and it works great, but I'd like a larger, heavier axe to take advantage of gravity on larger timbers, especially.
"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." -- Matthew 6:34

Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Timber Framing Workshop
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 01:22:55 pm »
I suspect mine is an old one made by Müller, I bought it from a guy in Hungary a few years ago, didn't have a handle and was neglected and a little rusty. I restored it and put it back to work.

If it's not the same axe, it's an identical pattern. Müller's stuff is pretty good, They have their hand forged line and Austrian smiths are some of the best there are or ever have been. I'd take them over gransfors any day of the week.

We fooled around with the more northern German method of using two axemen to score out 2 side of a log, then split up and each rough out one side. It's fast, but overall I wasn't impressed too much. You have to have 2 guys to do it, and for me that's very often not a realistic scenario. Also the danger factor is a little higher then when you are alone, standing on top of the log.

As far as one man hewing goes, the plankaxt is the fastest method I've ever tried. WAY faster than using a felling axe to rough out the work.

For something like barn timbers, or things you intend to leave rough, all you need is the plankaxt. This will leave a nicer finish than just about any hewing I've ever seen in America, and does it faster. But obviously the pioneers did not want to invest in such a specialized and massive tool.

The biggest bonus for me for the plankaxt method is that you are on top, letting gravity do all the hard work, and the blade stays down under your feet. Not gonna chop your foot off when you are tired.

The most tiring part of this work is the goosewing finishing. This is a big tool, and you know when you've used it.

Not at work today, rainy and wet... I don't like to get my axes, some of which are a couple centuries old (one which is in the 300 year old range) into rainy wood, or let them get wet. It's bad for old steel, it's bad for wooden handles.