Timber Framers Guild

I don't know. can you help?

Posted By: Chuck Gailey

I don't know. can you help? - 10/19/09 06:47 PM

This is my first post on these forums, and I thought this was an appropriate way to start off, as this is a question that I have recently been struggling with. I spend a lot of time on various forums, primarily 3D modeling, design, and architecture ones, and I don't think I have ever seen a subforum designated strictly to the discussion of whether someone is, or is not, a member of what the forum is set up to discuss. Surprising, but fun, too, when you think about it. So, I'd like to offer myself as an example and I am interested to hear your thoughts.

I have been a builder my entire adult life. I have remodeled derelict structures from the ground up; I have built ridiculous and embarrassing mcmansions; I have worked with, and put together, both round and rectilinear sticks of wood (using both steel and all wood joinery); I have been designing residential structures for 10 years (but not a schooled architect); I am an expert computer 3D modeler (both architectural and organic) and artist. I create HD presentation animations, full construction blueprints, and visualization renderings. I enjoy philosophical discussions concerning construction methodology and design theory. And sometimes, I can drink beer and ramble on for hours.

I have always struggled with how I define myself. Am I a Jack of all Trades, master of none (though pretty darn good at a lot)? Am I just a guy who helps people realize their dreams; a facilitator, if you will? Am I "just" an artist?

At some level, can I consider myself a timberframer? Is Timberframer just another tag I can add to my life byline, or there something more encompassing about being a Timberframer that makes other tags redundant?

Do the tools I choose to use play a role? I have no compunction about using whatever tool makes me more efficient. A construction master instead of a framing square? A 3D computer model instead of a piece of paper and a pencil? A grinder instead of a rabbet plane? A sawzall instead of a hand saw? All fine by me; though I do catch a bunch of grief for the grinder smile

Or is it the design sensibilities brought to bear, or the techniques used that separates a Timberframer from a carpenter/builder? Or is it something more ephemeral; more nebulous? Is there anything that automatically precludes one from being a timberframer? What is the apple from which I should not bite if I want to consider myself a timberframer?

As this subforum is for philosophical musings, I thought it would be fun to hear people's opinions about this. What do I tell a prospective client, that I am a Timberframer who designs, or am I a designer who timberframes.

Or should I just shut up and get to work this lovely Monday afternoon? I do have to figure out how to work a reciprocating floor into the timberframe I am designing right now, and I don't have enough timbers to do what I really want with the space, so now I am struggling with whether I can support a reciprocating timber core with a joist system that doesn't require a ton of interior posts. Maybe I can suspend part of it with steel cables, though does that still count as being reciprocating if I pull all of the load out of it?

*sigh* back to work...


Cheers, Chuck.
Posted By: Ray Gibbs

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/19/09 11:43 PM

Add "poet" to the trades you are jack of
Posted By: Thane O'Dell

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 12:07 AM

Chuck
Only you can say if you are a Timber Framer or not.
I for one, who doesn't know you from Adam, am not willing to sit hear and tell you your not. The minute I do that, someone with a lot more experience than me, will tell me the same thing.
Timber Framing is a trade and deserves the respect like any other.
There are a lot of great craftsmen(Timber Framers) that hang out here and you would do well at least listen in on what is being said. Other then that...read, read & read.
Oh, and have fun!
Posted By: Waccabuc

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 05:13 AM

Welcome Chuck,
What's a reciprocating floor?
In the "Fun House" at the county amusement park there were floors that jiggled and tilted and turned into rollers....
Got a picture, a link, or a definition?
Steve
Posted By: Ken Hume

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 07:23 AM

Kalispell Montana, McMansion, I can drink beer and ramble on for hours.

Any of this beginning to sound familiar ?
Posted By: TIMBEAL

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 11:31 AM

I think the cat is out of the bag.

Reciprocating floor? I nearly got sick on the Tower of Terror in Disney Land. I hope you have barf bags handy.

laugh Hardily, Chuck.

Tim
Posted By: Jim Rogers

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 12:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken Hume
Kalispell Montana, McMansion, I can drink beer and ramble on for hours.

Any of this beginning to sound familiar ?


It must be the air up there in Montana......
Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 01:07 PM

Hi guys! I never expected such a nice response, so quickly.

A reciprocating floor is one where no timber spans the overall space; it allows the use of nothing but small timbers to cover a large area. It, frankly, makes me a little nervous, as it only derives it strength from the quality of the notches and can certainly sag over time if not done correctly. With my propensity for overbuilding everything, I will probably wuss out and add some load bearing columns, or some such, just in case.

Here are a couple of examples:


and




dang, Ray, you flatter me. Poet has a nice ring to it. smile

@ Thane: That is exactly the way I think about it, too. No matter what one calls one's self, it really comes down to craftmanship, right? either you "got" it or you don't, no matter the names used.

I try hard to have a theme of hand tailored in my life. Whether it is design, execution, or attitude (bed side manner), I want to provide, for clients, the feeling that they are getting even more than they knew they wanted. If anything, I am probably more of a psychologist than anything else.

I joke that my people skills, and the ability to read between the lines, are probably my two biggest skills; especially since everything else I can do can be learned.

And yes, I read read read.

Cheers, Chuck



Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 01:09 PM

Originally Posted By: TIMBEAL
I think the cat is out of the bag.

Reciprocating floor? I nearly got sick on the Tower of Terror in Disney Land. I hope you have barf bags handy.

laugh Hardily, Chuck.

Tim


Hi Tim, good morning.

What is this cat you speak of?

Cheers, Chuck
Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 01:19 PM

@ Ken and Jim:

Hi guys, did I miss a post, or something?

Cheers, Chuck
Posted By: Thane O'Dell

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 02:11 PM

The one floor like like an extended "Hand over Hand" concept.
Did you design this?
Posted By: bmike

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 02:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Chuck Gailey
@ Ken and Jim:

Hi guys, did I miss a post, or something?

Cheers, Chuck


There was a recent row with a poster to the forum who has since been asked to not post here anymore... and your first post has a very familiar ring to it - philosophical meanderings, open ended questions, and all, etc.

Either you are legit ( looking at your webiste you seem to be who you say you are) - or someone has registered using your good name. smile

Anyway. Folks are a bit trigger happy here with some recent shenanigans.

But this is the internet, so you may be a dog posing as a 12 year old girl posing as a middle aged timber framer design carpenter guy. We may never know.

wink
Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/20/09 02:46 PM

Haha, okay, I did miss something.

I thought I had overstepped my bounds, or something.

I added my website to my signature, so everyone can check me out. Though, like all artists, the site is dreadfully out of date and hasn't been updated in almost 2 years (says to self, yikes!) I won't go so far as to say I am legitimate, but I really am Chuck Gailey.

The subforum did say philosophical musings, so I figured that open ended questions where appreciated.

Anyhoo, hopefully we can get back on topic.


Have you guys noticed that carpenters seem to get stuck in the trap of thinking that they do something unique and amazing? They don't like to share their hard earned secrets; they have an attitude of arrogance, and they act like no one has ever done what they have done, or as well.

Do you guys encounter that attitude in the guild, too?

I may have a very cynical world view, but I have always believed that all art is derivative. And that nothing is as dangerous as a person who has been a carpenter for 3 or 4 years. And that it was my duty, as a skilled and experienced builder to share as much knowledge as possible with whomever listens.

I'm thinking the diagonal recip floor, btw, as I like they way it transfers load across the corners, where as the rectilinear one feels a little more iffy, for lack of a technical term.

Cheers, Chuck
Posted By: Joel McCarty

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/21/09 12:54 PM

In general, we find that the Guild attitude is wide-open when it comes to 'tricks' and 'secrets' as in, they're aren't any. Or at least not many.



Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/21/09 02:20 PM

Well, that is a refreshing attitude! I never understood why so many carpenters act like they are the second coming.

And, just for fun, I'll throw out one of the best timberframing tips I ever saw/heard.

Buy a laser and use it!

Cheer, Chuck.
Posted By: Joel McCarty

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/22/09 12:51 PM

There is probably some sort of joke hidden beneath the surface of the concepts of Carpenter and Second Coming, but I am not looking for it too hard.

We believe in lasers!

You will see laser layout for scribe work routinely used at TFG events, and taught in classes.

Coolest thing since the cordless drill.

Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/22/09 01:34 PM

Haha, dang, I wish I had meant that on purpose; it just came out on accident.

One of the guys I work with uses two lasers, shining vertically on his drill bits, for drilling beautifully straight peg holes.

Thing of beauty, works amazingly well.

Or placing the laser horizontally down the middle of a knife blade cut and therefore having the laser shine right along the chainsaw bar; perfectly level every time.

Now if only they could get the darn things to actually cut...

Cheers, chuck
Posted By: Timber Goddess

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/29/09 03:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Jim Rogers
Originally Posted By: Ken Hume
Kalispell Montana, McMansion, I can drink beer and ramble on for hours.

Any of this beginning to sound familiar ?


It must be the air up there in Montana......


This is a low blow, and you both should be ashamed. I wasn't going to comment at all on this whole issue, but this is too much, and it speaks for itself. Grow up.
Posted By: Ken Hume

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/29/09 08:23 AM

Kristina,

Methinks that the lady doth protesteth too much.

Ken Hume
Posted By: Joel McCarty

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/29/09 12:36 PM

Simpler and lower tech than lasers . . . from Clark Bremer . . . we have unbreakable mirrors with a hole in the middle.

Sounds improbable, but they work flawlessly to guide your drill in remaining perpendicular to the timber surface.

Cheap, too. http://tfguild.stores.yahoo.net/midrgu.html

Cordless! Y2K Compliant! Energy Star Compliant! Probably Free Range, Organic and Equal Exchange, too.
Posted By: Thane O'Dell

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/29/09 03:06 PM

If growing up means that you can't drink beer or ramble then....
I don't want to grow up. grin
Posted By: bmike

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/29/09 03:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Joel McCarty


Cordless! Y2K Compliant! Energy Star Compliant! Probably Free Range, Organic and Equal Exchange, too.


And can be used for signaling should you get lost!
Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/29/09 06:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken Hume
Kristina,

Methinks that the lady doth protesteth too much.

Ken Hume


WOW! Where did that come from?

Ken, quite frankly, I am shocked by your vitriol; why are you being such a hater?

Do we all need to sing Kum Ba Yah and have a group hug?!




Now, back on topic....

I am tired of clients who tell me they want a design unlike anything they have ever seen, and you go to the trouble of figuring out some crazy new way to skin a cat, and then they get scared about being different and ask for another boring old whatever.

Boring! I would love to have a button I could push that would say that when they disappointed me. I would wear that sucker out some days.

*sigh*... , maybe it's just the low pressure system that has been around for the last couple of weeks, but, sometimes, it's just hard to be enthused.

cheers, chuck
Posted By: cedar

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/29/09 10:34 PM

It is funny how people come BACK to HAUNT the forum AGAIN!!! Maybe it is the time of TRICK or TREAT. I left the forum to get away from the silliness. But somehow we are being TRICKED and a repeat performance is no TREAT for us. I will fade out again.
Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/30/09 01:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Joel McCarty
Simpler and lower tech than lasers . . . from Clark Bremer . . . we have unbreakable mirrors with a hole in the middle.

Sounds improbable, but they work flawlessly to guide your drill in remaining perpendicular to the timber surface.

Cheap, too. http://tfguild.stores.yahoo.net/midrgu.html

Cordless! Y2K Compliant! Energy Star Compliant! Probably Free Range, Organic and Equal Exchange, too.



Hey, that is a pretty sweet invention; thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Cheers, Chuck
Posted By: mo

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/30/09 02:07 PM

Here is a good one for centered mortises. I like tricks. Swivel hardware.

Posted By: bmike

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/30/09 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: mo
Here is a good one for centered mortises. I like tricks. Swivel hardware.



you'd do up the same on the tenon, no, and if slightly wider, you are splitting the difference... so do away with reference faces and all?
Posted By: bmike

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 10/30/09 05:01 PM

stick around cedar. apparitions are common this time of year...
Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 12/11/09 10:29 PM

Will timber framers use glue?

What is the accepted view on adhesives? Any distinction between animal and synthetic bonding agents?

Will they glue a shard back together when it tears out while they are drilling?

Will they glue wood together to make laminated timbers?

Will they use super glue to glue the gouge they took out of their hand back together when they mishandled the grinder for a spit second?

Cheers, Chuck


Posted By: brad_bb

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 01/10/10 03:54 AM

Don't wind these guys up on that past issue Chuck. I'll take you at your word that you are who you say you are, until you prove me wrong.

What makes you a timberframer? Well I've only been at it for 3 years now, and I've helped build 2 frames, and helped raise a total of 4. I've acquired much knowledge to add to my design and engineering and hands on building backround. I consider myself a timberframer as I know I can jump in and build or help build a frame. But besides all that stuff, I think what really makes me one, is my love of the process, and doing the details well. To me, those who just want the end product, the frame or home, are missing the best part, the hands on, the thinking, the building, the attention to detail and wanting it do be done well, even the stuff no one else will ever see. From all the people I've met in the guild so far, that seems to be a common thread. We're all nuts like that. I restore my own classic cars too. When I am actually finished with one, I find it anticlimactic. It's the process I enjoy. For all those people who buy a classic car, or a timberframe home finished, I sort of feel sorry for them, because they've missed the best part. There's a whole different level of appreciation and satisfaction that goes with the process. On the flip side, it can also sometimes take some of the mystery or magic away, but usually the other stuff more than makes up for that.

Yes, I'd use glue to fix a chip out situation if it were something that was going to show, but I'm not going to use it in a structural situation.
A grinder? We have to get you to cut that out. Not sure how you'd even use one in a frame construction. We have these things called chisels. You're sounding like a hacker when you talking about using a grinder. Steve Chappell summed it up best for me when he described timberframing as a "pursuit of perfection and grace." Does that describe you or not?
Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 02/09/10 07:22 PM

Wow, a whole month and no one has anything to say? I though Brad T-ed up a bunch of nice juicy slow pitch lobs that could have gotten smashed out of the park.

Not one thought about process versus result?

Are we all nuts like that?

A refusal to entertain the notion of using glue in structural applications doesn't get any response?

Not one philosophical musing about the futility of pursuing perfection?

No spirited linguistic splitting of hairs?

and most shocking of all, I get called out as a hacker and no one rushes to my rescue? And still with the take me at my word until I prove you wrong garbage. What, you guys want a DNA match and some blood samples?

*sigh*

Brad, I would love to see the cars you work on. I have a lot of respect for the patience it takes to do that at a high level. I spent a lot of time and money on a '72 Bronco, a long time ago, (not restored, but under the hood she was awesome) and I have a small inkling of how much work that takes. Thanks for taking the time to compose a post that raises so many interesting questions. Too bad no one seems to enjoy mental calisthenics here.

Cheers, Chuck

Posted By: brad_bb

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 03/11/10 04:35 AM

Hey Chuck, most of us aren't into drama, we just enjoy timberframe. Things posted in this one dimensional medium can be interpreted many ways depending on where you're coming from. If you talked to me once though, you'd know I am not out to zing or insult anyone. I don't have an ego. As far as the hacker thing, well that comes from the car restoration stuff, and that term is more prevalent there for those who are always taking the hard road and the shortcuts that are really quality cuts. But if you're using a grinder to fit tenons, perhaps we can reform you? I have yet to know of anyone here using a grinder with respect to timber framing. Attend a guild event and maybe pick up some new tips. I know I'm constantly learning new things and incorporating them. I love when I'm wrong and someone shows me a better way. People here are good like that, as Joel said. I don't think there's anything futile about the pursuit of perfection so long as you understand that you can only pursue it, and never achieve it.
Posted By: Gabel

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 03/11/10 12:38 PM

brad

I have used a grinder before on dry woods, especially reclaimed woods. I hate it (dust/noise/vibration) and hope I never do it again, but it does work and sometimes it works better than an edge tool to "pare" off an eighth of a tenon cheek, etc.

I've heard them referred to as power slicks.

Posted By: Chuck Gailey

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 03/11/10 03:01 PM

Power slick, I like that!

I recently had to cut a bunch of tenons in Hickory; that wood sucks for planing across the grain. A few minutes with the grinder was definitely the quickest, and cleanest, way to clean up the cheeks.

Anyone use the Festool power rabbit plane? I have a buddy who has one and he claims it is his new grinder. $500. I think, but he sure sings it's praises.

Cheers, Chuck
Posted By: brad_bb

Re: I don't know. can you help? - 03/19/10 01:14 AM

Ok, now I know 1, and I respect the Holder Brothers! Maybe I'll end up eating my words when I start cutting into my reclaimed hardwood? We'll see...
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