One of the jobs the framing team have been getting on with while the foundations are being prepared is making the windbraces and staddles for the building.

They are made of coppiced sweet chestnut, and came from Ridden Corner on Black Down.

Here you can see me up in the coppice cutting a staddle out of one of the poles. The staddles sit on the foundation stones and support the underfloor beams of the building. This allows the floor to be raised allowing for good air circulation and keeping the building nice and dry.

The staddles are joined to the building using mortise and tenon joints, above you can see the tenon being chiseled into the end of the staddle.

Staddles were traditionally used to keep graneries off the ground, you would probably recognise them as the stone mushroom which helped to keep out rodents. Above you can see a couple of finished ones with two windbraces stacked on top.

The windbraces form diagonal elements within the frame and are used to stop the building racking (or twisting) and going out of shape over time.

They are prepared using an adapted mortice box, this ensures the angles and lengths of the timber and the joints on the end of it are consistent throughout the frame.

Once the main cuts have been put on the timber it is strapped on the the framing bed to be held secure while the finer chisel work is done to create the tenons on either end.

They provide an important structural element, without them it could all go a bit wonky, but they also really add to the look of the frame, adding a lot of its character. Below you can see one of the finished ones.

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