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#18197 - 02/16/09 02:52 PM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: Ken Hume]
Chris Hall Offline

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Registered: 12/10/99
Posts: 168
Loc: Greenfield, Massachusetts
"Hi Don,

I think that Chris is playing with symatics and you are quite correct that the fundamental feature of a Gambrel roof is that it has 2 roof pitches the lower part of the roof attached to the eaves being steeper than the upper part joining to the ridge.

Mr Corkhill's illustration is of a hipped roof with gablet and is not either a gambrel or mansard roof.
"

That's 'semantics', and I don't believe I'm playing with them. New information is often greeted with hostility, and your comments illustrate that. Facts are facts, and if you want to continue the process of calling an orange an 'apple', as is the case with the word 'gambrel', go right ahead. I'm more interested in getting at the truth of the matter, and not wanting to perpetuate an old mistake. I respect tradition, but not thoughtlessly. Just because something had been called the wrong thing for over 100 years doesn't make it any closer to being right.

Mr. Corkhill illustrates a gambrel, a hipped gable roof. He does not illustrate a Mansard. Not sure where you got that from - did you read the post? Did you look at the sources and their illustrations? My assertions are the result of research and consideration, you seem to have nothing to offer in return other than a refusal to admit the information.

It would have been decent, since you mention me by name in your post, if you had addressed your comments to me directly, instead "Dear Don, "I think Chris has it all wrong...". If we were in a room together, would you behave that way?

I'm not overly annoyed at your remarks, and I also won't let them just slide. I stand by my convictions. If you have reasoned argument to offer, or good historical evidence that contradicts my view, then please bring that forward. Otherwise, simply claiming that x is x because you say so is hardly convincing.

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#18199 - 02/16/09 03:44 PM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: Chris Hall]
Chris Hall Offline

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Registered: 12/10/99
Posts: 168
Loc: Greenfield, Massachusetts
OurBarns1 wrote:

"Chris,

Can you explain the "half circle" method or lead me to the post in the earlier thread on this topic. I poked around there but could not find "half circle" described.
"

Sure. I should clarify first though that there are several methods for drawing the Mansard (most of which I found in James Newland's Carpenter's Assistant), and these methods devolve into two basic approaches:

1. Treat the lower pitched portions as one giant A-frame, then divide the height of that A-frame, truncate it in other words, and construct a slack-pitched roof across the opening.

2. Take the span of the roof, and construct a half circle upon it. Then the circle is divided by various methods to produce the points at which the lower and upper roof meet.

I've played around with these methods, and the one that I liked the results from best goes as follows:

1. Establish roof span:



2. Draw the half circle, centered on span at floor height:



3. Divide each half of the span into thirds:



4. At the marks 1/3 from each end of the span, extend perpendiculars to the half circle arc:



5. Connect the dots and the roof shape is developed:



This is a general approach only - the particulars of your application may demand slight adjustments.

As example, here's the cross section of the building I did, and you can see that the fold in the roof has been moved slightly down from the half-circle:


This drop came about as a result of wanting to keep the upper roof pitches at a certain amount, identical to the each pitches, and some fiddling with framing details at the fold area. I Hope this information proves useful. I think the result it gives is somewhat close to the 1:2, 2:1 method described earlier by another post.


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http://thecarpentryway.blogspot.com

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#18200 - 02/16/09 04:39 PM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: Chris Hall]
OurBarns1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 570
Loc: Cumberland County, Maine
Thanks Chris,

I think Housewright's original question about proportion of these roofs has been answered:

http://www.tfguild.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=16234&page=3#Post16234

Proportion is all about balance, it seems. My two-to-one and then one-to-two "inverted" approach is one way to achieve balance, as is your half circle method... either way seems to produce a half octagon: 4 even-length segments (displayed as 4 roof slopes).

I'm always interested in proportion and balance or "the golden mean" (which you wrote about on your blog)... That's what makes a building.


Names are another matter. I think we all agree Gambrel is pretty well established in the trade--at least in the USA. Changing it is like renaming the claw hammer to "naildriver."

There are as many different hammer types out there as there are roof styles. You know, ball-peen, drilling, brick-layer's, etc... anyway, might be one of those things where it's just called one thing in French but another in English ???

It's been interesting to read the old definitions, however. Most of us have a thirst for knowledge.


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Don Perkins
Member, TFG


to know the trees...



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#18201 - 02/16/09 04:57 PM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: OurBarns1]
OurBarns1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 570
Loc: Cumberland County, Maine

But I might petition for an outright change if my family name was "Gambrel." :-)
_________________________
Don Perkins
Member, TFG


to know the trees...



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#18205 - 02/16/09 07:00 PM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: OurBarns1]
Chris Hall Offline

Member

Registered: 12/10/99
Posts: 168
Loc: Greenfield, Massachusetts
Oh I know I'm just banging my head against a wall here, but what the heck!
_________________________
My blog on carpentry practice, East and West:

http://thecarpentryway.blogspot.com

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#18212 - 02/17/09 02:31 AM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: Chris Hall]
Ken Hume Offline
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Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 934
Dear All,

We have a moderator appointed to oversee this Forum topic and thread and I would now like to request that the moderator does just that.

Regards

Ken Hume
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#18215 - 02/17/09 08:05 AM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: Ken Hume]
Joel McCarty Offline
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Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 344
Loc: Alstead Center NH USA
Behave

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#18217 - 02/17/09 09:04 AM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: Joel McCarty]
daiku Offline

Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 893
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Chris and Ken:

This is a fantastic opportunity for civil discourse. You have differing opinions, and interested observers. I have read many posts by both of you and respect both you and your opinions. I have not yet seen either of you stoop to personal attacks, and would be quite surprised to see that. It's OK to disagree if you do it politely. State your cases objectively, and impersonally. I'd like to learn more about the topic, even if it's controversial. CB.
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Clark Bremer
Minneapolis
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#18219 - 02/17/09 09:33 AM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: Chris Hall]
Gabel Offline

Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 687
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: Chris Hall
Just because something had been called the wrong thing for over 100 years doesn't make it any closer to being right.



Chris,

I am not a philologist, but I do know that languages change and a good example of that would be when a word picks up a new or altered meaning and is used in that "new" context for over a hundred years and is commonly accepted. There must be countless examples of words having a shift in meaning over the last 150 years. While these original meanings are interesting, I think any effort spent correcting people who are using a commonly accepted definition may be akin to tilting at windmills.
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#18221 - 02/17/09 11:09 AM Re: Help a new fella out [Re: Gabel]
Chris Hall Offline

Member

Registered: 12/10/99
Posts: 168
Loc: Greenfield, Massachusetts
Well, of course, languages do change over time, and I'm well aware of that. And yes, effort spent correcting people who are using a commonly accepted definition may be akin to tilting at windmills. Maybe not.

That said, the use of 'gambrel' is not however a commonly accepted definition outside of vernacular practice. The 2004 Dictionary of Architectural and Building Terms I linked to earlier obviously is not on board with 'common acceptance'.

Further, what you are offering there, the fact that the word has come to be "commonly accepted" (so therefore it shouldn't/can't be changed) is an "appeal to popularity" which is a logical fallacy. Simply because 1) most people approve of X, does not lead to 2.) X is therefore true. That was Ken's position it seemed, or at least my interpretation of it. Yours too Gabel?

Another way of looking at what you're saying is that because the practice of using the word 'Gambrel' is now commonplace, that makes it correct/moral/justified. If so, this forms an "appeal to common practice" and is also a logical fallacy. You're saying, in short, that since "most people do X, therefore X is correct". Most builders use a nail gun, so that is the correct way to frame a house, I suppose?

Finally, one might interpret your statement in terms of 'appeal to belief', another fallacy. Perhaps you are saying "most people believe that X is true, therefore X is true".

These sorts of reasoning, either 'appeal to popularity', or 'appeal to common practice' or 'appeal to belief' are quite common and might be an effective persuasive device, but not on me, not today anyhow. Since most people tend to conform to the view of the majority, convincing a person that the majority approves of a claim is often an effective way to get them to accept it. Similar claims in this regard would include, "the world is flat", "the sun revolves around the earth", "doctors agree that Pall Mall cigarettes are refreshing", "humans can't survive speeds over 25 miles per hour", "Our society has always ridden horses. It would be foolish to start driving cars", and "We've been calling that form of roof a 'Gambrel' for more than 100 years, so therefore that roof is a gambrel and nothing can change that".

I happen to agree, as I said above, with the observation that language changes, and that also includes the possibility that words that have changed might also be able to change again. If you accept the fact of language change, then I can't see how you can object to my efforts to 'engineer' change. Or are you saying that we've had quite enough change now, and that you're planning to cling to the current meaning, thank you very much?

That is my hope with this particular word - change it. I thought if I showed how it had been borrowed wrongly in the first place, that the core meaning of the word meant something quite different than what it is now used for, how the word was defined in the past (1848) in a dictionary, and how authoritative sources now still keep to the correct definition, then maybe a bunch of people who appear to care about 'tradition' (whatever that means), people who might care about the meaning of something in 1850, might see the point. It's not simply some quaint historical curiosity I'm bringing up, nor is it simply some difference in usage between French and English. The word 'gambrel' is of Dutch origin after all.

Some people I've seen, when confronted with information that contradicts something they have come to accept, or have been using without thought, react to the news by covering their ears and loudly singing "la-la-la-la-la" to drown out the information.

So, I'm happy to be in the company of Don Quixote then, and will continue my tilting at windmills - I prefer it to accepting something that is clearly wrong.
_________________________
My blog on carpentry practice, East and West:

http://thecarpentryway.blogspot.com

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