Monday, March 23, 2009

Back in business

We had some time off around the holidays (when I built the garden shed for my brother) but we got back on it- weather permitting- in January. Our next project was a 36'x36' barn/workshop/garage in Middlefield that includes two sheds off the main footprint.
I almost called this post 'Raising Hell' considering how beat up I felt after this week- but I don't want to sound negative. It was a busy week- the Barnraisers had a big raising on Saturday (the 36'x36' barn/garage/workshop) and the week before any raising is busy moving beams and getting the site prepped; but we were especially busy because we had spent our spare time the week before cutting a massive oak and hickory first floor frame for Brendan's own barn which we raised on Wednesday with just the four of us. That barn will allow us some shelter to work under during the heat and cold which will be great but damn were those some heavy beams! 
One of the coolest elements in the big barn/workshop was how Brendan cut the timberframe cupola- its basically like building a small complete building that sits on top of the barn- with some pretty neat compound joinery. Here it is organised at the site in a little pile all its own: 

Cupola elements-

Here we have bents 1, 4, and 5 built and pegged and ready to raise. Bents 2 and 3 will be built during the raising- -

Building bents and getting everything into the right level and square position--

In the cutting yard and when we transport everything to the site, we always stack all elements of the building carefully and in the order they will be raised and in the orientation they relate to each other in the plan. This is another way to insure that all dimensions and proprtions are quadruple checked; a misscut or incorrect layout is more likely to be noticed when everything is lined up and stacked together in order--

Attaching the 4"x10" oak sills to the foundation walls--

This frame was 4 trailer loads of beams- it took us a week to lay down the sills, organize the site for raising and build the first couple of bents--

Lots of piles--

Raising day was a big success- lots of enthusiastic folks helped us get everything up and the roofing up to the cupola level on by 5pm--
We were lucky to have a good photographer share some shots during the raising so I actually have some photos from that this time.

Raising bent 2--

Temporarily bracing connectors before we raise bent 3-
Why do the two guys on the scaffold have hardhats and no one on the ground?

Bents 1-4 are raised and we are handing up flooring to make a platform in the loft to build off of--

Raising the purlin plates--

Handing up the plate with plenty of folks--

The purlin plate is scarfed together; this is the biggest, heaviest stick that has to go up the highest. Its actually a bit safer than it looks; it goes up a little at a time and then drops right into place. This is the moment when having your joinery spot on is so very critical- you do not want to try to maneuver this piece around to adjust it once it is up in the air--

Persuading the purlins onto the queen post tenons--

Handing up the rafters--

Maintaining the plumber butt in spite of a belt AND suspenders--

Getting the roof boards on--

The end of raising day--

All in a day's work--

A few days before all this we spent cutting and raising the first floor of Brendan's barn in his yard. A lot of the timbers had come off his property- hickory, oak, and maple.
It was exciting to see a building take shape over our cutting yard- where we are used to working out in the open--

Half the scarf joinery at the end of the 9"x14" oak beam that spans the 20' bay--

Using my fat ass for leverage; its important!

Getting there--

Safer than it looks, I swear--

Handing up the smaller of the oak beams--

Splint and Bobby straddle the clear span--

The two big spans raised into place by lunchtime--

The 2nd floor joists in place; notice the steep hill you have to climb to bring each joist up into position!