Archives for posts with tag: framing bed

I have got a little bit behind with news on our Orchard House project lately. Mostly because we have been so busy building the timber frames for it. I will try to set that right over the next week or so. First though I just wanted to let everyone know that, providing we manage to actually get all of the framing work done in time (all fingers and toes crossed!) we have a date for the frame raise. It is going to be on 11th September, and if you are in the neighbourhood and in interested is seeing the frame being raised into position visitors will be welcome to watch the process for themselves from our orchard.

I will never forget watching the frame for our last building going up. It was such a privilige to see frames made of timber from our woods, put together by local craftsmen and people we knew being raised upright to form the skeleton of a wonderful building.

Speckled Wood frame raise

Before we could start putting together the frames for the Orchard House though we needed to build a framing bed. Its a bit like a map of the building combined with a giant work bench all in one. We built it on larch posts which were levelled accurately to provide a solid and stable base.

Supports for frame bed

On top of the posts went beams made of Western Red Cedar from a nearby NT woodland.

Top on frame bed

These frames for the building are jointed together on top of theses beams. As I said they act partly as a workbench, but also as a map. They are positioned at points which give us the positions of the beams in the finished building. By having all of the measurements we need marked out on the framing bed it should (if we are any good at our job) mean that the finished building will sit level and true, with all of its beams and posts in the right places.

To make this happen we had to be really careful to make sure the bed was completely level and true and straight. It all had to be accurately measured out before being fixed into place.

Putting together framing bed

Next we lowered the round chestnut timbers that make up the building onto the bed, ready for being jointed together.

Poles onto bed

We have been hard at work jointing together timbers on our framing bed for the past few weeks. I will post more on this soon. If you are around on the 11th and are interested feel free to come along and watch as the frame goes up. Fingers crossed it should be an exciting day.

One of the main jobs on the building this week is constructing the verandah frame.

The framing bed had to be rebuilt and extended to cope with the extra long frame. This meant extending it out over the old concrete track at the back of the basecamp.

Each frame in turn has been constructed on the framing bed, the verandah frame is the latest to be jointed together in this way. Doing it like this means the timbers can be cut, jointed and put together prior to the parts all being lifted over into their finished positions in the building.

In the picture above you can see that the uprights have been held in place with ratchet straps while the tenons have been cut on the end of them. The long beam which forms the wall plate at the top of the frame is then moved using the tripods with blocks and tackle. This allows it to be lowered and marked and then lifted to have the mortices cut prior to being lowed and attached.

This frame also has a number of windbraces in it.

They stop the building from racking, or twisting over time, and also add to the appearance of the finished structure. They are the short angled timbers in the picture above, it all means quite a bit of complicated roundwood timber joinery, which the guys on the framing team have been coping with admirably.

Once the frame has been completed it will be lifted onto its padstones.

You can see the line of stones waiting for it just to the left of willow (my collie dog).

Like the other structural timbers this frame is mainly made out of sweet chestnut from Ridden corner on Black Down. The long beam at the top is another of the larch poles we brought in from valewood, it will have a Swan Barn Farm oak under floor beam. I am really looking forward to seeing it in place as it will define the finished width of the building.

Ben Law’s team have now arrived on site in order to start on the main phase of construction of our new building. One of the first jobs that needs to be done is to build a framing bed.

Rudy, Adam and Nick have been building it today in what is ordinarily the back garden of the basecamp. The framing bed is where the timbers that will make up the main A frames of the structure are fitted together and assembled prior to the frame being raised. The timbers it’s made of provide fixed points that can be measured from to ensure that when the frame is eventually raised all of the timbers will align correctly.

The uprights are made out of offcuts of sweet chestnut from the coppice, and the cross members are made out of the douglas fir we felled earlier in the year. When the bed is dismantled the douglas fir will be reused as roof rafters.

We have been busy milling as many rafters as possible, both for the framing bed and to start to build up a stock of them for the roof. In the picture above you can see how we have milled a square out of the middle of a log, 14 x 2 inch boards are being cut off this, which will then be cut in half to make 7 x 2 inch rafters. Its quite exciting to think ahead to the time when they will be going on to the roof.

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