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Author Topic: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home  (Read 33675 times)

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Offline Thomas-in-Kentucky

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Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« on: July 29, 2006, 08:33:24 am »
Hi there - can't believe I haven't been to this forum before!  I recognize some familiar usernames from my semi-regular haunt - the Timber Famer's Guild.  (I can hear them now, oh crap, he's found this forum too!)   ;D

I'm building a timberframe house in Kentucky, using timber that fell in an ice storm about 3 years ago.  About 6 months ago, I started to track the progress with my blog http://www.massiehouse.blogspot.com  The frame has about 14 species of wood in it (that I know of!), and we milled all of the timbers on my Woodmizer HD40.  There are about 500 timbers in the frame (not counting the braces) and we notched all of those here on site over the past 18 months.  Right now, we're working on the roof (built-up with poly-iso insulation and covered with slate) and waiting on the SIPs to arrive.

My original goal was to have every piece of wood in the house come from our farm, and for the timber frame, I stuck to that goal - even the white oak and locust pegs are from the farm.  But I must admit to a recent addiction to store-bought 2x's for framing the interior walls and the built up roof.  I also broke down and bought plywood for the third floor, as it was just too unsafe walking around on floor joists up there.  All of the tongue and groove ceilings are from the flat sawn boards that came off of the timbers.  I stockpiled most of my white oak butt logs and plan to quarter saw them for flooring.  (if I can just find someone to convert them to tongue and groove - our process for the t&g ceilings was not accurate enough for flooring.  Also contemplating the logosol 261).  I'm cutting the 1x4 oak lath for the slates, and the 3x3 oak sub-floor-joists on an as-we-go basis.

I'm a timberframer by necessity, not by profession, so I'm still learning and I hope to learn more from this forum (I've already learned a lot in the past 24hours by browsing the rich archives!).  Maybe I can also contribute now and then by sharing my experiences of building this house.

-Thomas




Offline HARLEYRIDER

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 09:50:06 am »
Wow...you've been busy.  Nice work!

It looks like your about 2 years ahead of me, as I just attended a scribe rule timberframing workshop  at Heartwood (which I highly recommend to anyone). 
Greenwoods Timberworks

Offline Raphael

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2006, 10:00:16 am »
Yup, every time I look at Thomas' work I feel like a lazy no talent bum.  ;)
Welcome to the FF Thomas.
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and the truth hit him like a man with no parachute.
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006, 10:28:17 am »
Thomas ...


   Welcome aboard!!! Fantastic work! Your blog is very well put together and the workmanship on your home is an absolute inspiration. Can't say enough. Looking forward to having you share how-to's with us. I'm just curious ...what do you do for a day job?  :)

LOGDOG

Offline Thomas-in-Kentucky

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2006, 01:39:13 pm »
Thanks for the kind comments.  I think I'm going to like this forum!  :) 

Building this house has been my full-time day job for the past two years.  On the side, I raise hay, sell a little lumber (but that's on hold), and run about 30 cow/calves (beef) on our farm.  My previous life was in high-tech, and that is what has financed my jump to low-tech and the building of this house.  I was teetering on the edge (had already bought the farm from my father-in-law), but believe it or not, it was an icestorm that wrecked our forests that caused me to take the plunge, buy a sawmill, and start this house.

If it looks like a lot of work, it has been, but please keep in mind that on average I've had two people (not the same two people - its been a revolving door of in-laws and out-laws) helping me part time for the past two years.  I certainly don't want to give the false impression that I've done all of the work by myself... or that it hasn't cost a dime.  But I have worked 6 days (and several nights) a week on the house for the past two years, and I'd estimate the cost so far (not counting my labor!) is about 1/3rd of what it would have cost to pay someone to do something similar.  So far, I really enjoy building a house for my family instead of staying in the rat race and paying someone else to build one for us.

-Thomas

Offline timcosby

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2006, 01:21:53 am »
welcome aboard. what part of kentucky is that i am from middlesboro in bell county, that sure reminds me of home.

Offline PawNature

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2006, 05:36:14 pm »
Hey Thomas and Welcome, Where bouts in KY.
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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2006, 06:39:14 pm »
Wow!
Welcome aboard Thomas. That is an awesome job, scenery ain't too shabby either  8)

Offline Thomas-in-Kentucky

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2006, 08:34:39 pm »
Thanks again for the warm welcome.  We're in Lewis County.  These hills and hollers are pretty quaint... that is until you have to drag a curly frayed winch cable with 3 or 4 chokers up a snakey hillside too steep to even walk on.  ;)

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2006, 09:18:00 pm »
Welcome to the Forum, Thomas.

That is a massive undertaking  :o

 Your cupola is really great . ;D

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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2006, 08:44:37 am »
Welcome to the FF.  one very impressive project.
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Offline Qweaver

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2006, 04:40:26 pm »
Hey Thomas,
Welcome to the forum and thanks for the info on rigid insulation.  I'll try to call the guy in WVa.
We're in Lewis County also...Lewis County, WVa that is.  I looked at your blog...Wow!

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Offline ScottAR

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2006, 01:49:49 am »
Wow indeed!!! 

That's a fair sized whack of lumber arranged in a rather attractive fashion...

Welcome!
Scott
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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2006, 07:52:55 pm »
Thomas,
That is one heck of a house.  What do you do when you are not TF'in ???

Your work looks nice and your blog is very nice too.  I hope you enjoy the FF we will all appreciate your advice and your experiences ;)
max
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Offline ScottAR

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2006, 01:06:25 am »
Copper work looks gooooood....

Just had to bump this thread so I don't lose it... 
Scott
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2006, 08:15:26 am »
Ditto Scott. That slate and copper make for a nice combination. I'd love to see that place firsthand.   :) Thomas ... where are you???? (Roofing by the looks of it.) Check in when you can.  ;)

LOGDOG

Offline Thomas-in-Kentucky

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2006, 11:19:17 am »
Yes, been roofing... and chasing materials.  I was spoiled when all I had to do was go to the woods and get materials.  Getting building materials from elsewhere has been a hassle (and expensive).  But things are looking up.  SIPs are supposed to ship today.  The hardest part of getting the SIPs here might turn out to be the last half mile.  It's raining here in KY and my dirt road is going to turn to mush if the sun doesn't show up soon.  Real walls for my timberframe - that will be exciting.  I will post pictures of the SIP installation when that gets underway.  I bought SIPs that are precut for windows and doors, so I'm hoping this house project will get a progress boost from these panels... but we're installing the panels ourselves, so who knows how long it will take.

Yesterday, my standing-seam metal arrived (yes I have at least 3 different roof types on my house now and we're not even half way done with the roof!)  The south plane of my roof will be covered with solar electric panels, and it didn't make much sense to put slate under solar panels.  Found a really neat product (clamps from Unirac) that let you attach solar panels directly to standing seam roof without drilling any holes in your roof.  nifty clamps from Unirac  Tried to order gray colored metal so the little bit of metal that will show from beneath the solar panels will match the slate... I hope.  I'll post some pictures of that too when I have something to show.

-Thomas

Offline Raphael

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2006, 11:48:43 am »
  Thanks for the Unirac link, that's one that I'd found then lost.
Are you planning on running your PV through an inverter and into your AC circuitry or just run DC?
  I keep flip flopping on that, the town has no codes written for PV so hooking to the AC circuitry will involve a lot of input from an electrical engineer and negotiation w/ the power company...  Essentially the town wants the first person through the door to help them write the codes and of course foot the bill.  ::)

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and the truth hit him like a man with no parachute.
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Offline Thomas-in-Kentucky

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2006, 12:03:00 pm »
sorry to drift off topic - I promise we'll get back on wtih timberframes....

yes, I plan on using 2 "Outback brand" inverters.  Solar panels --> max power point trackers  --> batteries --> inverters --> 120 and 240 AC.  Would be nice to find DC items to run directly from the batteries (and avoid the inverters completely), but most of what I need (or already own and can't give up) is available only as 120Vac appliances.  My battery set will be 48 volts.  I am not connecting to the grid, so I will eventually have a backup generator too.  I have heard that CT (is that where you live?) has some of the best state-funded solar incentives in the country.  check out http://www.dsireusa.org/ and click on CT.

-Thomas

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Newbie Introduction - Building a Timber Frame Home
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2006, 12:05:06 pm »
I had a client up here who wanted to construct a shed with a steep pitched roof for holding solar panels for making electricity.
He did and got into finding cost sharing programs where he got $30,000 worth of solar panels for $17,000.
He says it's fun to go out front and watch his electric meter turn backwards on sunny days......
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