A few people have asked about the timber frame we have underway here, specifically about the design. First thing to know, if you want to tackle a project like this, find someone who knows how. That could be a class/workshop sort of thing, or an individual who has experience at it. I took a class way back when at Heartwood School out in Washington, Massachusetts; http://www.heartwoodschool.com/ then worked on timber frames at three other classes at Country Workshops. But all of those were long ago…so long ago it was in black & white.
There are also several books on the subject of course. Jack Sobon’s book’s Timber Frame Construction and Building a Classic Timber Framed House are both excellent. http://www.storey.com/author.php?ID=501199 The first one includes as a framing project a garden shed 12’ x 16′. Exactly the size building I can have here at home, due to watershed conservation and zoning issues. But also a size building that works fine for what I need; a hand-tool workshop.
But….my friend Pret Woodburn has built many timber frames, and that experience is worth more than money. Jack’s plan in his book calls for 8”x 8” timbers, but we scored a nice collection of 6”x 6” white pine timbers. So that’s what we’re using. That size is plenty strong enough for these spans…but it takes some adjusting here and there.
We don’t really have a drawing. We’re starting with Jack Sobon’s plan, and then changing it here & there. Our rafters are mostly 3” x 6” – so too thin for joints at the peak. So we’re adding a ridge beam, in this case a full-dimension 2” x 8” sixteen-foot plank. The rafters will be nailed to it. The two pairs of end rafters are 4”x6” – so these have enough thickness for some joinery for a collar tie across them. This collar tie is mostly a nailer for the siding on the gable ends.
There are also girts, horizontal timbers running around the whole building somewhere around waist height. These are also nailers, for board-and batten siding. There’s two braces at each corner post, one heading each way. In one direction the brace connects the post to the tie-beam, in the other, it connects the post to the higher plate.
We’re skipping the braces on the middle posts, I don’t want them to interfere with any window placement on the long walls where there will be workbenches.
One end of the shop will have a loft for storage. So we’ re going to cut in pockets in two tie-beams for joists to lay this loft on. The other end will be open to the rafters, one benefit – there is space for the lathe’s springpole. And perhaps some room for shelving or who knows what…
My blog is not the place for a bibliography about framed houses, but there are a couple other books not necessarily about how to build a timber frame, but about old houses that I have always enjoyed. I’m from New England, specifically Massachusetts, so if I can only have one it’s Abbott Lowell Cummings’ Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay 1625-1725.
I was many times lucky enough to tag along when Pret and several of our old co-workers used to tour through and study old buildings with Abbott. It was priceless.
There’s a little English book that I like because it’s so handy, and has nice detailed drawings. Its size is both a plus & a minus, my eyes are not getting younger. Richard Harris’ Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings…
Here’s a spread from it, nice details.
Little by little I’m getting the hang of some of it. I’m no carpenter, so it’s a new venue for me. It’s a long-held dream of mine to build my own building. Once, it was going to be a house, but this is better. No electricity, no plumbing. All woodworking. Something I can understand, after some practice.