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#33797 - 07/13/16 04:59 AM Re: Wedges [Re: TIMBEAL]
D Wagstaff Offline
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Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 243
There is on the one hand, dutch barns, which I guess is what they've got to some degree or another over there in New York and that area, and there is Dutch barn which I was going on about and which really doesn't even exist as a type and is why I tried to be more specific by saying ankergebint which is a description of the construction employing the wedged and pinned joint and not the whole barn. But somebody brought the term up, I guess in the first sense that I mentioned, and that made me wonder where the term came from, and might that be helpful in understanding why the joint would be wedged and pinned. Could it be, I thought, that the term dutch barn has something to do with Dutch barns, in the second sense if you follow my meaning.
As far as using the wedge that is parallel to the length of that post, I'm not the one to say how commonly it gets done that way or not, I was just giving my observation of what I saw going on in that demo.

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#33800 - 07/13/16 12:30 PM Re: Wedges [Re: D Wagstaff]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 469
Loc: Vermont
D.W. you asked some great questions and those are many I (et al) have wondered about. Additional, we are getting to the point in "timber framing academics" where solidifying how we classify (or perhaps taxonomize would be a better term) the different frame styles now and through history, perhaps breaking down "form" (aka genus) and "style" (aka species) in a more clarifying fashion. I know this topic has come up a few times among academic architects and social anthropologists I know.

As for "type" which I have come to understand architecturally as "form and styles" there are very distinct Dutch, Germanic and related timber frames that are clearly identified not only by chronological placement but structural elements as well. "Ankerbalkgebint" is one such form, comprised of several styles with key feature elements such as"ankerbalk," often used (and debated) to identify them within historical time periods, and cultural placement. The "Ankerbalkgebint" is not just religated to Dutch and/or Germanic culture but further has developed (actually way before the Germanic forms) in other cultures as well, and of course, under different nomenclature. Yet one could reason that the Germanic forms are the most "distinct" in character and individual style, as a primary timber element within those frames.

The "term" itself is allusive to me, yet as I study deeper into the Germanic and Asian history of this form and style of timber framing, I am sure to discover more. You and many of us are still perplexed why the majority (not all) get both trunnel and wedge. As I spoke of earlier, the consensus thus far is that the wedge was employed to draw the joint extremely tight and then the trunnel bored and placed. The "horizontal" configuration of the joint as shown in the shared video I only find in furniture and in very rare Asian timber frame joints (actually I can only recall one from memory in a roof system and perhaps another in a ship's assembly??)

"Dutch Barns" (as they have become known as here in the United States) are indeed a very strict building form of several styles within the historical Dutch - Germanic Timberwrights that settled certain regions of New England, with a concentration in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and outlying areas. Now rare do to neglect and alterations in their pure form, they are distinct and easy to recognize in "form and style" by those that study them in depth.
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#33801 - 07/13/16 09:57 PM Re: Wedges [Re: TIMBEAL]
TIMBEAL Offline
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Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1871
Loc: Maine

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#33802 - 07/14/16 04:25 AM Re: Wedges [Re: TIMBEAL]
D Wagstaff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 243
I think we can agree that the vertical wedge in building construction will fail earlier than wedges pressing across the grain of the post. It's telling that in the one video I notice that figure who is something of a celebrity in the woodworking scene mostly connected to folksy furniture, but I'm really not so familiar. Anyway, I know the joint as shown as the standard connection of the stretchers to the leg construction of traditional furniture makers workbenches allowing them to be easily disassembled and in that instance it makes perfect sense. This is the very construction of my own workbench in fact which will never get 4000 lbs. of tension applied to it.

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#33803 - 07/14/16 04:32 AM Re: Wedges [Re: TIMBEAL]
D Wagstaff Offline
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Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 243
It, (your link Tim), helps me understand one thing, "dutch" definitely doesn't come from the Dutch themselves. It seems more like an English conflation of the word Deutsch which is what the Germans use for the English word German. In fact both words, Dutch and German and totally English as far as I know, but I'm no etymologist, just an English speaker who speaks Dutch (Nederlands).


Edited by D Wagstaff (07/14/16 04:33 AM)

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#33805 - 07/14/16 10:50 AM Re: Wedges [Re: TIMBEAL]
Dave Shepard Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 705
Loc: Alford, MA
The Pennsylvania Dutch are actually Deutsch, and it was recorded wrong at Ellis Island, or so the story goes. Jack Sobon calls Dutch barns "Lowland European" barns.one of the New York Dutch barns I restored had German carpenter's marks, and was built for a Jacob Duesler (sp).

Any Dutch barn I have been in, or have seen photos of, has had both pins, and wedges. Also, they have been predominantly white pine, with oak (red and white) braces and door posts. Pitch pine, a hard Southern pine, was common in NY, and I'm told oak was fairly common in Northern New Jersey. Can you imagine raising an oak H bent with gin poles?
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#33806 - 07/14/16 11:42 AM Re: Wedges [Re: Dave Shepard]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 469
Loc: Vermont
Excellent info and points David...

We have raise (and lowered) a few that way...It is scary the first few times...Now just use a "scaffolding tower" to do most of such things and of course it really helps to have the supper compact (and smooth operating) modern rigging blocks that we have...Our work in the Arborist industry (where a percentage of our timbers come from) have served our needs well in developing more advanced "rigging systems" for timber framing...

Your observations about wood species is exactly what we find...The last few "Dutch Barn" (more correctly "Germanic Barn" I agree) from New Jersey where hardwood, and I think that is where the "Tulip Poplar" one is??...The rest being mainly White Pine, Hemlock, etc...

Do you have any view, or theories why the "wedge and trunnel" system?
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#33810 - 07/14/16 10:38 PM Re: Wedges [Re: TIMBEAL]
Hylandwoodcraft Offline
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Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Western NY
On a bit of a tangent...It sure would be a lot more work to create a wedge parallel to the post grain. And certainly seems like a more delicate joint. That video really demonstrates that it doesn't seem that the wedge is the weak point when oriented across the post grain. In the video, the "post" actually failed, which was surprising, as I expected the tenon relish to fail. What would be the reason to create a TF joint with the wedge parallel to the post?

In my opinion, the rationale regarding the wedge and trunnel system would be as follows:
The wedged through tenon is a joint which I have always recognized instinctively as exceptionally strong, and practical observation has only strengthened that assumption. While I don't think that the pegs are necessary to the joints function, I think that they would be added because... "why not". It's certainly not hurting anything and an extra 3 pegs or so per joint is not an unreasonable amount of additional work for such a critical joint, even before power tools. Plus I think it gives an additional structural fail safe. Would it not cross a builder's mind that wedges are not too difficult to knock out? If it was me building those New World Dutch barns I would peg those through tenons for no other reason than peace of mind. In my mind, timber framing derives a lot resiliency through well placed structural redundancy.

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#33813 - 07/15/16 04:32 AM Re: Wedges [Re: TIMBEAL]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 259
Loc: the Netherlands
The wedged through tenon is a strong joint but does weaken the post. This is the reason given in at least one source on the joint I have read why it is not used in softwood building work, anyway in these parts, and only found in oak frames, which it seems is not so on the USA side and also no longer adhered to in new buildings as I have seen it here too. What to make of it? I don't know, but at the same time am not one to readily disregard the old-time localized body up built-up knowledge in exchange for what I see as a muddled globalized confusion irrespecutful of conditions in the particular instance. (Ok, call me a timber frame nationalist, I admit it.)
I have to say I am skeptical of this "why not" rational for the wedge & pin combo. Usually variations in joint configuration are meant address particular aspects of placement, material and function along with habits, culture, environment. But take the wedge which is parallel with the post for example. One possible reason I gave earlier, another might be where the post, or lets say vertical member, because as Jay says it really is a joint more appropriate on a smaller scale, is small across grain and orienting the wedge in the length gives more bearing surface. I think the videos represent unrealistic situations and so we must disregard them outright. And back to my workbench but it could be any of the workbenches coming out of Scandinavia, where the vertical wedge makes perfect sense, in softwood by the way, when you consider the dimensions of the legs and stretcher configuration, the legs so narrow across the grain that wedging that way would be asking for trouble.


Edited by Cecile en Don Wa (07/15/16 04:35 AM)
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#33829 - 07/17/16 05:16 AM Re: Wedges [Re: TIMBEAL]
D Wagstaff Offline
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Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 243
I think it's a good mental exercise in the very least to be able to justify the use of any joint. All the better when that justification has some historical grounding or established usage pattern that can be identified. What are we left with otherwise? Whim and an arbitrary selection process. Not much of a design concept if you ask me. Or even worse, pure exhibitionism of a flashy joint that really lets the viewer see what a craftsman it must have been who put this thing together. In other words it is the joinery to a large degree that defines the craftsmanship, is it one of authenticity or just ego. I'm sure that everyone doing this kind of work goes through this process to the one degree or that other one.

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