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#33921 - 08/20/16 08:33 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
Will B Offline

Member

Registered: 10/02/02
Posts: 179
Loc: Massachusetts
Jay, SHyland,
It would be great to see links to your earlier posts about line rule. Aren't we just talking about about variations of the same layout systems? Capitalizing Line Rule makes it sounds like a separate system from Square Rule.
The way I interpret Square Rule is that you can either layout from an edge if the timber is good enough or from snap lines if not (as is done on hewn timbers). In both cases you're framing to the "perfect timber within". Both methods are Square Rule.
In Scribe Rule you frame to the irregular surface, not with housings to the perfect timber within. You can either direct scribe by laying the timbers over one another and then using various methods to transfer the intersection (including plumb line scribe ala Dodge and Truax) or use templates or other recording methods to transfer the irregularities to timbers remote from one another (also referred to as "mapping" or "distance scribing"). I have some but limited exposure to Asian methods but interpret the templating system used there to be similar to this. Reference to any texts or online links showing a source for this would also be useful, Jay.
In Brad's example the easiest solution I can see is tumbling, a form of scribing where you lay the smaller timber over the posts and rotate it while transferring the angles and intersections
It's so hard to visualize this stuff in a short online post, but I think we are discussing just two layout systems, Square Rule and Scribe Rule, to account for timber variations. If there is a third system I'd like to know how it differs (I don't consider mill rule a system).
_________________________
Will
www.heartwoodschool.com

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#33922 - 08/20/16 08:53 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
Hylandwoodcraft Offline
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Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Western NY
Personally I don't see the issue with laying out the timber in the drawing, if I am understanding it correctly. I house all my joinery, so if I had a timber that was way out of square my housing would be deeper on one side. The exact depth of the housing being determined by it's distance from the snapped line. So in a typical frame all of the similar timbers are interchangable, as with square rule. However, the snapped lines give far more detail to inform the joinery cutting than square rule.
To use the example of the OP, it wouldn't matter to me a bit if a timber was out of wind. All the joinery would be perfectly plumb and level to one another regardless of the timber.
Another benefit that I have found using line rule is that it makes a handy reference for planing. I plane my timbers after all the joinery is done, right before it goes out to the site. All my joinery is housed, so the joinery is not affected.Ends where they enter a housing need to be exactly sized in planing, and the lines are great for that.
Hopefully that clarifies the matter, let me know if I missed anything or was not clear enough.

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#33923 - 08/20/16 09:40 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
Hylandwoodcraft Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Western NY
Hi Will,
I didn't see that you had posted while I was writing my last post. I guess that is what many discussions come down to, what exactly is defined by the terms being used.
Whenever I have ever read about or talked to anyone who uses square rule, it is usually in the context of layout from the reference face, whether that reference face is a snapped line or the physical edge of a timber. To clarify, would you then define the layout methodology of the East as square rule, but with a snapped line reference rather than a reference face? It seems to me that the methodology is different enough to merit it's own designation to keep discussion clear.

Is it the use of housings that qualify in your mind, a system as falling under the definition of square rule? I am by no means an expert, and perhaps others can provide more historical context, but it is not possible to have a discussion unless the terms are clearly defined and agreed upon.

http://forums.tfguild.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=27400&page=all

The above thread seems to shed some light on the situation. It seems that a critical differentiation is the position of the snapped lines. A centered snap line is a whole separate methodology than the offset snapped lines used in hewing.

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#33924 - 08/20/16 04:50 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
Will B Offline

Member

Registered: 10/02/02
Posts: 179
Loc: Massachusetts
Hi S,
I believe square rule was developed using snap lines BEFORE layout from an edge became prevalent. This was because the earliest proponents of square rule were using hewn timbers and then sawmills became common later (at least for bigger timbers). See Jack Sobon's monograph "Square Rule vs. Scribe Rule", available from the Guild (I think). I personally don't see much practical difference in laying out from a centerline or an offset line, and would be curious to know how the methodology would differ in your technique. It's wonderful we can always learn something new in this craft.
If you look at James Mitchell's book 'A Master's Guide to Timber Framing" he uses a method he calls "Virtual Rule", which (in my opinion, and this could open a can of worms) is a just a variation of centerline square rule. The use of housings and thus framing to a perfect timber within is what distinguishes square rule in my view, whether laid out from an edge or a line.
I'll check out the link you sent for clarification and could be convinced otherwise. Thanks.
_________________________
Will
www.heartwoodschool.com

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#33925 - 08/20/16 07:22 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1875
Loc: Maine
Will, two practical aspects I can see with an off set snap line, say 2 inches off the reference face, is that a line has been set for one side of the mortice and second it helps(at least it helps me) to keep the ref faces orientated easily, at a quick glance I can tell the orientation. When dealing with center lines you have to rely on some other indicator. Just keeping it simple, it matters not as the function is the same where ever the line is placed.

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#33926 - 08/20/16 08:11 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
Hylandwoodcraft Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Western NY
I think that one of the cruxes of the matter are where the layout ends and the joinery begins. In my case, I LIKE fully housed joinery. I like it structurally and also for the flexibility it gives me in planing. It is not a decision that was necessarily made in response to my layout method. In fact, I went to fully housed joinery before I ever used center line layout. I don't see that it would be hard to use center line layout without fully housed joinery as well it would just have to incorporate some aspects of stock preparation.
My adaptation of the layout method that I learned from Jay, is probably not in accordance with traditional Japanese practice, nor is my suite of joinery. My combination of layout, joinery, and structural preferences are in the end my own custom combination created to suit my priorities and tooling preferences. One could say that I took an Eastern layout method and married it to a more Western joinery.
When you get right down to it, when most people talk about square rule, they are talking about reference face layout. Any mention of snap line square rule gets treated as a subset of the methodology, particularly useful on hewed timbers. It still seems to follow most of the other attributes of square rule such as offset tenons.
Another compelling reason to count center line rule as a separate method is that it is the dominant layout system for entire cultures with a unique tradition and heritage. So, even though center line rule and snap line square rule have similarities, they have no common root. I can't argue the historic particulars as I have no first hand in depth knowledge. Perhaps Jay will have something to say in that regard. The forum thread that I referenced in my earlier post did seem to draw a hard distinction between center line rule and snap line square rule however.
I do realize that I should be more careful with my own terminology. Sometimes I just say snap line rule, where I should more properly say center line rule. It turns out that words matter! wink

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#33927 - 08/21/16 04:21 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
Will B Offline

Member

Registered: 10/02/02
Posts: 179
Loc: Massachusetts
Right, I see where much reference to square rule assumes a reference face. My take on it is that if I am laying out the table of a housing to be parallel to ANY reference plane, be it a face, offset line or centerline, I would consider it square rule. That's just my personal view and could be a modern interpretation; I appreciate the historical and cultural precedents you and Jay mention. I've used centerlines when the designer has dimensioned to them, and fully housed the joinery parallel to them.
We have a big timber framing course starting tomorrow so may decline to post further for awhile, but I'm glad we have a good sawyer that gives us timber that is within our 1/8" tolerances (I agree with that limit) so we can use edge layout. Using white pine also helps; our last batch of red pine twisted like crazy; never again.
_________________________
Will
www.heartwoodschool.com

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#33928 - 08/21/16 04:53 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: Hylandwoodcraft]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Hey Will, Sean, Brad, et.al,

Was up in the UP of Michigan raising another little Asian Style cabin with a former student that just came out grand! Line Ruled of course, yet I had no way to post here and seem to have gotten behind in the conversation....sorry. I will do my best to catch up...and thanks for the great discussion about this wonderful topic!

As for links to the topic...I will try to give some basic blurbs I share with folks (and the one I think I shared with Sean quite a few years ago now...ha, ha,) on this subject with a few added updates. This isn't by far even close to the extent that exists and I am diligently compiling and trying to develop a manuscript for publication that will have this topic covered. I have consider a co-facilitation at next year's conference (perhaps a pre/post con workshop to go with it) that covers "Layout Methods" and have several co-facilitator coverage on it to really give it some breadth...

This is another student/friend demonstrating the basis in a short article I wrote for Permies.com.
http://permies.com/t/42793/timber/Line-Rule-methods-layout-Timber

Here are a few Google links (I use Japanese as one good example though there is comparable information in Korean and Chinese as well) that can lead to a number of viewings and other information on the topic. Doing searches in the orgin languages greatly helps understanding these systems of layout application and context much better.

Sumidzuke (sumitsuke) is (in general) term for “layout” but literally means “Blackening the face,” in Japanese. I wish I could post the kanji here for better clarity, yet our TFG forum does not support foreign script, and you would only see number code...so...look at the search line for the kanji for this word.

Sumidzuke

Some video of interest perhaps?

[video:youtube]https://youtu.be/4m6SQ1X74H0[/video]

[video:youtube]https://youtu.be/7wHBDcB8qao[/video]

This young man has done one of the best basic videos I have seen of late covering Line Layout. Joshua is learning to master many of these crafts quite effectively and demonstrates the methods in a very simplistic and unobstructed way!

[video:youtube]https://youtu.be/LMPfzOVmtqo[/video]

Originally Posted By: Will B
...I believe square rule was developed using snap lines BEFORE layout from an edge became prevalent....


I share that in the historical record/text that I can locate on the subject over the years, that the common interpretation that Scribe Rule has any snapped lines is not reflected in literature from the period that I have found. It has not been reflected in the limited descriptions I have had related to me orally as well. If any do have such literary examples I would very much love reading those references, especially around the orgin periods between 1760's to 1820's.

Originally Posted By: Will B
Aren't we just talking about about variations of the same layout systems? Capitalizing Line Rule makes it sounds like a separate system from Square Rule.


That seems to be a very common misconception of the actual (or maybe I should say original..??) systems of Line Layout. Learning Edge Rule and Scribe Rule both from strictly a Dutch/Germanic oral tradition (Old Order Amish) I can share that their use of the technique was the same as all historic records I have found, and did not employ any snapped lines of any kind. That was (and is??) a completely separate method. They did, on occasion, snap a...Grease Line...(rolled on a spool and comprised of soot, render, and sometimes a powdered dye used in coloring wool.) This method again was considered an entirely different method of layout, much as I would later find in Middle East and Asian systems of Line Layout. I have never seen, or read a written example of this method of layout (as they demonstrated and employed) in a European/North American context within a historic record. Their method of Line Layout may have been unique (in a European context) to this style of layout that got handed down to them within their tradition as a oral history only understanding.

In all context of the term and meaning of actual Line Rule (aka Sumidzuke as just one example in the Japanese forms)...I would suggest that it is very much (if not extremely) different in form and understanding of layout systems that predates Square Rule (aka in the contemporary Edge/Mill Rule that are very similar to Square Rule...or the same in some folks view??) by millenia of existence and method application/context. The only system older than...Line Rule.... (that I can find in research and application) is...Scribe Rule... which also has a very distinct difference in approach modalities in many (not all) ways from what is found in the West.

Line Rule has no bearing on either a reference edge or plane on a timber as it very much does in Edge Rule related systems of layout in it historical (not modern) application...which do not historically employ lines snapped on the timber in any way that I have seen as part of that system on old frames or in literature. I would love to see any literary citation that any could offer to suggest otherwise? Again understanding that Edge Rule only came into being in the late 1700's. Line Rule actually represents the Kodama Shinzumi (Spirit Line) of timber to be jointed. This reference line that can't actually be seen or touched at all, it being single line/ray of reference within the timber or several of them...some may actually be at different angles. It is only in the mind of the Timberwright and/or designer of the frame and not an actual tangible line one can touch. It is represented by single points (most often but not always) on both the ends of the timber being jointed. Often in the old Asian blueprints or Plane boards (literally Cedar boards) the Line would only be designated in plan view as a single ink dot on the board and from this Dot Point one must extrapolate (or understand) a wealth of unseen, and/or given information about the architecture to be constructed.

I would also point out that in several Scribe Rule methods of joinery...there are indeed housings, yet not as commonly found in the European traditions yet found in the Eastern Mediterranean boat building traditions and on into Africa, Middle East and Asia, though (I do believe???) a Let In Brace (most common scribed brace in the European tradition) is considered a Housed Joint.

Originally Posted By: Will B
If you look at James Mitchell's book 'A Master's Guide to Timber Framing" he uses a method he calls "Virtual Rule", which (in my opinion, and this could open a can of worms) is a just a variation of centerline square rule...


Jame's foundational understanding of Line Rule (aka his "Virtual Rule") is almost completely (if not completely?) in the Asian context and much of it influenced by (if memory serves) from "The Complete Japanese Joinery" (– 1995 by Hideo Sato (Author), Yasua Nakahara (Author), Koichi Paul Nii (Translator) which is actually a poor translation and reprint of two original books only found in Japanese. Overall a great little book for experienced timber framers interested in Japanese Timber framing, but inundated with mis referenced pages, and typos, that would only be caught by a language speaker or those well versed in the Japanese traditions the book is meant to reflect.

No..."can of worms opened"... wink grin but one heck of a great conversation and exchange on the subject for our forum!!!


Edited by Jay White Cloud (08/21/16 05:03 PM)
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#33929 - 08/21/16 08:48 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: Jay White Cloud]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Hi Will,

I must have been writing when you posted...Hope the class goes great and don't worry about getting back to this conversation in a timely manner...We all understand and will be here in good order for more conversation... grin

I agree and do see a modern interpretation of Square Rule forming in today's North American timber framing culture...as more an interpretation than an actual learned, orally passed down or well understood approach to the craft from a distinct (and well understood) historic record. I would suggest that most (much??) is based only on very few literary examples and lay interpretation of what is left. It does not reflect a well executed cultural oral tradition and/or apprenticed approach to the craft as we find in some cultures still today. As an example, Japan where we still have timber framing families with lineages (unbroken) going back over 1000 years. This significantly reflects a different (and perhaps?) a deeper understanding to the craft within those cultural examples perhaps?

There is much innovation and new ideas trying to come into play here in North American timber framing. Many are good ones, yet many are just that..."interpretations" and not founded in craft but rather an...I think approach. Overall, they do not reflect the historic modalities and approaches to the methods as in their orgin and historical application/context root form overall, as I can find or ascertain in my research of the topic. Layout, being as critical as it is to our craft, has always fascinated me and I found early on its example to be a wonderful differentiator to not only culture but also regional variances within the craft.

If Edge Rule (aka Square Rule) was actually founded on any form of...Lining Method...with snapped lines of any form, as in Asian timber framing cultures we would find many examples still left on timbers today as..Tell Marks...to the system, just as we do today on historic Asian structures of this type. In China, Korea and Japan, especially in hidden locations like inner walls and the top of timbers the Timberwrights leave an extensive record of Lining and layout in their examples of the craft...Some even with notation. Since most of these cultures (still today) have extensive Blessing Ceremonies and other complex Ground Breaking and Ridge Raising ceremonies with all types of written notation of one form or another depending on region, age and local culture...we can see a distinct difference now in the craft as we can from the past examples compared to North America's examples of European timber framing examples still found here. Dr. R. Knapp's work in this area of Asian Timber Framing is extensive and covers a lifetime of just his research on this and related subjects, which offers many in depth views of their approaches to the craft.

Just in this conversation we see some habitual understanding that keeps coming back into reference like Centerline that only reflects the limited and poor understanding of Western Timber Framers (rightfully so because of lack of documentation and guidance) instead of the more accurate and contextual understanding of Line Rule...as these markings do not always represent (though they can and do at times) just the center of a beam or post. Very often there very well may be a Reference Face on a timber within the Asian approach, yet that face is only a superficial guide to what will come later in layout...just like the fact that wood is also (often) oriented the same way it grows or grew in the forest when finally in a frame, which seldom (if ever?) is considered in Western or European timber frames.
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#33930 - 08/22/16 12:17 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
Roger Nair Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/99
Posts: 449
Loc: Bakerton, WV, USA
"Off the point, the Prophet Isaiah had a line rule, from KJV

"[9] Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
[10] For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
[11] For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
[12] To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
[13] But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
[14] Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
[15] Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
[16] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
[17] Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place."

Useful metaphor requires knowledge of the reference in the populace. Good building was high tech and uncertainty is vanquished with a plummet. After all is said, a line and a plumb bob develops a reference plane.

Jay wrote, "Line Rule has no bearing on either a reference edge or plane on a timber as it very much does in Edge Rule related systems of layout in it historical (not modern) application...which do not historically employ lines snapped on the timber in any way that I have seen as part of that system on old frames or in literature. I would love to see any literary citation that any could offer to suggest otherwise?" So does Isaiah answer your query?


Edited by Roger Nair (08/22/16 12:21 AM)

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