Monday, June 12, 2006

Project - Part 3

Recently the rafters were put up, along with the ceiling too. You'll notice in the photos that there is a generous overhang provided. That is to cover what will eventually be posted on the inside. The day that the rafters were installed was quite the rainy one. Now, again, the rough framework is the finished product. So special attention had to be given to joints. To get those joints just so, the router is the best tool to use. I've gained a new appreciation for the router. It is extremely versatile, and the methods of use are great. Almost all cuts were done by using guides on the router and then following a jig or template made out of MDF.

The knee braces between the king pin and the ridge beam were also put in place.

More photos of further construction coming soon

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A little project i'm working on (Part 2)

The last update showed and described the lumber that was used for the post and beams of this information booth. This next installment will show and describe the process of making the braces used to stabilize the structure. Again, all the lumber that is used is from the island and is all Western Red Cedar.

Knee braces are the smaller timbers that are usually found joining a post and beam, or two beams. The purpose of the knee brace is to keep the post and beam at a specific angle, usually at 90 degrees to each other.

Knee braces serve to give the structure more character while also providing for increased structural integrity. Most homes, when built, have plywood sheeting that is nailed/stapled to the outside of the wall which provides the lateral stability to prevent a wall from racking or parallelagraming over. It doesn't much matter what it looks like (ex. the apperance of the plywood) because it will eventually be covered up by something. (ie. brick, siding, etc.). But when the joints and braces are exposed, in not only has to "do something," it also has to "look good" as this will be a major part of the structures look or character.

All the braces were cut out of 4"x6" timbers. Eash brace is approx 3 feet in length. The angles between the post and brace, and beam and brace are, respectively, approx 35 degrees and 55 degrees. A 45 degree brace is common, and is easier to make as both ends can be cut at the same angle. But an increase in the "rise" of the brace, and a decrease in the "run" of the brace looks better. The ratio of the rise/run is completely up to the builder and the project but significant thought should be invested in this part of the project. A 4:3 ratio is a good beginning.

The shape of the brace is also important, but it depends on the style of the building. You could go with a brace that has dramatic curves and edges, or you could go with a brace that is straight and simple. It all depends on the "look" you are after.

We decided on a simple curve on the inside of the brace with chamfered edges (to match the stlye on the post and beams) The braces are fastened to the post and beams with 1/2" x 6" Lag bolts with Lumber adhesive applied on the mating faces of the braces.

Cutting the curve on the brace is most accurately done with a router with a straight bit that has a length the same as the width of the brace. In this case that would be 4 inches. I don't have a 4" straight bit, but i do have a 2" bit. So I built a jig to accommodate 12 braces to be changed in the least amount of time, and able to adjust the cutting depth with ease. I was able to cut one side of the brace to the desired depth, then flip the brace over, keeping the same centre line of the curve, and cut the other side to the exact same depth. The jig is mounted to the sliding fence normally used for the table saw.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A little project i'm working on

Several months ago i was asked to give a material list for a new information booth that is to be built on our property but for the island. I wanted to make it a timber framed building using nothing but island lumber. So that day (which was back in late November 2005) a friend of mine (Edwin) and i mocked up what we'd like the posts and beams to look like. In the end we decided to make it a 4 post structure that is 13' (feet) square. All the lumber is Western Red Cedar from our island. The posts are 8"x8"x9'. The four beams are 4"x12"... 2 that are 12'4" long, and the other two at approx 17' long.

At this point, the posts and beams are up and the next "to do" item will most likely be putting the Knee braces up. Each post will recieve 3 braces. After the braces go up, then we'll start building the roof.