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#33761 - 07/04/16 01:21 PM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: N_Butler]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Hey Brad...

I agree it is....WAY LESS EXPENSIVE...to hew out big beams than to buy them...

Even a chainsaw mill is more cost effective (in most frame projects) for really long beams than buying them if a jointed system won't get the job done in meeting load requirements. We are setting up soon for a swing blade system to handle (at minimum) at least 20 meters (~65') just because more and more commercial frame projects are asking for these larger truss span assemblies...
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#33762 - 07/06/16 02:48 PM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: N_Butler]
Hylandwoodcraft Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Western NY
I my personal experience, I have gone moved toward use of continuous plates on top of the posts and moved away from more modern "bent" styles with shorter interrupted connecting members. I have found that buildings are straighter and truer during and after raisings; with usually no racking needed. Using more the "Benson style" it seemed that things always had to be racked to line them up properly. I think that this also speaks to added resiliency as the frame ages and is in use.

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#33763 - 07/06/16 03:23 PM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: N_Butler]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Hi Sean...

Do you think it is the "longer timbers" that makes the turness of the frame easier to accomplish during raising...or...could it be the layout modality of the frame?

Now that we are moving into larger and larger frames..."longer timbers" (40 meters plus) is logistically much harder to achieve than shorter 6 meter timbers. As such..."line layout"...presents as creating much "tighter" joinery the first time around with zero test fitting ever necessary before raising day. We can even have several shops at once working on the same frame, even with "live edge members. These too come together well at raising time.

Further...if joints are "cut correctly" the frame should stand "square and level" without much racking in most frames...I got that "tidbit" from the Amish I learn from. Again, I think this stems from "layout" and the Asian designs motifs we tend to follow. With the addition of long splines and corbel elements designed into the frame...we see further "shortening" of frame members, yet still achieve tighter truer frames. Sense this conversation started, I have been looking back at many of the Asian designs overall, and many are comprised of "stack," corbeled, and generally much shorter timbers that we see in Western framing overall...yet have the oldest and some of the most enduring frames.

I am very curious about monitoring and observing how we all approach our "craft" of timber framing and comparing the modalities for efficacy and stiffness of frame with the varied techniques we each employ...Of course this is outside the scope of "historical work" which comes with its procedural designs and construction modality mandates of of means, method and material.

Regards,

j


Edited by Jay White Cloud (07/06/16 03:26 PM)
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#33764 - 07/06/16 05:19 PM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: Jay White Cloud]
Roger Nair Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/99
Posts: 449
Loc: Bakerton, WV, USA
Sean, to me this is the crux of our building problem, what do we know, how do we know it and will it work the first time? Before specializing on tf, I worked on old buildings. Just about every building had foundation flaws and level reference became crucial concern. So I acquired a builders transit Vernier to 5 minutes and as I became more concerned about level and angular resolution I bought used a surveying transit, Lietz-Sokkisha with a direct read vernier to 20 seconds and a Brunson dumpy level with the level vial at 10 seconds per division. Having those instruments changed the way I thought about marking, measuring and building control. I was lead by the tools to incised layout and desire to match the frame to the existing field conditions, as close as I could measure. My basic method is square rule with numerical scribe mapping, as needed. If desired, I'll go into the process.

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#33765 - 07/07/16 07:11 AM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: N_Butler]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1875
Loc: Maine
I'm so happy with long timber and a water level.

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#33766 - 07/07/16 10:13 AM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: N_Butler]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Tim...your the man!!!!

I am on this huge project in Wisconsin, and the other contractors doing work here all have there transits, lasers, and "whatnots"...I have no issue with that...We even use a little Bosch Laser for "rough in" work...Nevertheless, for real accuracy, predictability, going around corners and (in my view) the very best method, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, is the good old tried and true...water level. It simply is the most accurate and fastest system collectively still for doing this work...

I am planning on dedicating a large section, of the book I am working on, to illustrate traditional layout systems for our craft that typically aren't well described. Part of that is "traditional foundations and their layout systems." Water levels are a huge part of that. I am opening that section with a story from the Mountains of Northern Turkey where I observed the creations of such a device over at least 12 meters long (~100') made from the intestines of a goat, and some hand blown glass vials. This method of finding level is still the most accurate and thousands of years old...

As for long timbers...in general...I do not disagree. Yet, when you are dealing with a lot of them or members over 80 feet...We have found the comparative logistics of "more joints - small timbers) fare outways the logistics of acquiring, moving/transporting, and assembly of larger timbers. At least those over 7.2 meters (~24') in length. So, unless the project site has really nice long timbers that can be hewed out, we find it is always mort cost and time effective to go with joinery and small timbers. As for strength the difference is marginal at best (comparatively) and there is gobs of research (mainly in Japanese unfortunately) that studies this. Frames with "short members" that are "made long" are just as strong in many cases and more importantly...very flexible. This is par to the reason that even the Keel of many ships are still "scarfed" and not a continuous keel or made of several laminated timbers...Both systems are more than applicable and have there strong points (no doubt) historically however, typically short out weights long in overall context of timber frame design from a global perspective in both ship and land based architecture...


Edited by Jay White Cloud (07/07/16 10:23 AM)
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#33767 - 07/07/16 11:47 AM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: N_Butler]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1875
Loc: Maine
Water levels are so simple. Goat intestine may put it over the edge for today, in a pinch, though. A new idea for a sassy goat.

I had a bad experience with a water level, once. The bucket was placed in a tractor bucket....... the hydraulics were slowly leaking down.

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#33768 - 07/07/16 02:24 PM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: N_Butler]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
They just can't be match unless you spend many thousands of dollars for "green laser" highly calibrator survey and layout tansits...Even then...they still match the accuracy...

I got to watch the entire process of how to use a goat (not only for a festive barbecue) but also making a water level...It actually worked extremely well. You can see if there are any "air pockets" (aka bubbles) in the line...which really screw things up for many novice to this method...and...the nature of the intestine seem to aid in the water level reaching...equilibrium...much faster...

I could see that being a really issue with a tractor being part of the package...

Today, I typically use a 30 meter plus (~100' to 150') by 25mm to 30mm diameter clear levin tube and fix one end to a stationary midpoint for the project. We further "syphon fill" the tube and keep that in a larger container of water to make sure that the ambient temperature stays the same...as temperature gradient in a "water level" will also make "balancing" and leveling uneven...

Keeping the temperature even, and no bubbles and things work as smooth as glass...and pretty darn fast as well...."easy peasy - nice and easy!"
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#33769 - 07/07/16 07:49 PM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: N_Butler]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1875
Loc: Maine
Should have a whole thread on water levels. Have not see them discussed here on the forum that I recall. I actually thought about water temps and my water level just the other day, determined that my siding job was not critical and ran with it. Could be an issue in a long day where you start out cool in the morning, 50's and hit high 80's after lunch while using the same set up.

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#33770 - 07/07/16 10:09 PM Re: Mid Span Beam Joinery Question(s) [Re: TIMBEAL]
Roger Nair Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/99
Posts: 449
Loc: Bakerton, WV, USA
Looks like Tim and Jay will run with water levels and that's very fine. My choice of old school optics relates to the environment I worked in during the 70's and 80's as crew leader and site manager. Among the projects I managed was a sprawling meandering house with 49 exterior corners. I was the guy who laid out the cut, the footings and foundation, so I was in need of serious optics to place the house. The surveyors transit and dumpy level were bought used for less than $500 total. To this day, such instruments can be found for similar prices. No electronics to go glitchy. All the details of operation and adjustment can be found in old surveying and engineering texts. The really cool aspect of old transits is the principle of recursion or the procedure of increasing resolution through repeated and accumulated readings.

Nineteenth century precise mechanical tech (although my gear is post WWII) will outlast any electronic device.

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