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#34005 - 09/26/16 05:37 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
TIMBEAL Offline
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Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1875
Loc: Maine
Only a few pieces on a frame square ruled would be interchangeable, braces could fit in various positions, some girts if depending on other inputs. You might get post 2 and 3 on the same side exchanged but I wouldn't count on it.

Some snapped line brace work.
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#34006 - 09/26/16 08:24 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
Will B Offline

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Registered: 10/02/02
Posts: 179
Loc: Massachusetts
Thanks for this discussion; I think that this illustrates that, regardless of labels, the craftsperson understands the permutations of the systems and uses them wherever appropriate and often in combination.
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#34007 - 09/26/16 10:17 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
Hylandwoodcraft Offline
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Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Western NY
All pieces of a given type would be typically interchangeable in most square rule frames. Is this not true on yours?

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#34008 - 09/26/16 10:29 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: Hylandwoodcraft]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Hello Sean, et al,

Thank you, on the subject of lining timbers as part of Square Rule, your comments from earlier, forces me to clarify more clearly my points on this aspect of the subject from above that may not have been clear enough chronologically. Please tell me if you (or others) still disagree or can find additional references that are earlier after reading this post. This is really important for writing a definitive (to date) piece on the subject of Layout Systems as we now perceive them here in the West.

Hodgson's reference to using snapped lines (et al) can be found in several text starting, from what I can tell thus far around the late 1880's. This does need further examination to see if older examples are available in publication, or reference. I myself have referenced use of Grease Lines (as they were called) by the Amish that shared their Barnwright and building linage with me. This clearly indicates (as Will B. et al have also shared) that...line marking...is part of some refined systems historically after 1880's. This was neither common practice however, nor the norm originally...and it was not intended as part of Square Rule in the unedited context of the method.

I don't believe this late (after 1870's) reference by Hodgson or others around the 1890 time period of refinement to layout to the earlier original practice changes the view that the context of Square Rule layout system was clearly intended as a minimalist procedural tactic to get a timber frame built rabidly with as few of tools as possible and most importantly...having interchangeable parts in the framing members.

This was paramount to farming structures and domestic life of the time period and the goals of our Western agricultural communities of the period; soon to be taken over by Balloon Framing and migration past the Mississippi to the Pacific. This was also becoming (very much) part of the normative culture of the Industrial Revolution that was rapidly taking hold after 1765 in much of the Built Environment and all other Industries of Western Culture of the time period through Europe and hear in North America.

So for clarity...I should amend or edit above (perhaps??) comments on this subject to read more succinctly, that in the original context...pre 1885...Snapped Line Layout use... was never part of the primary principles of...Square Rule...OR...in common use anywhere at all among Timberwrights of Europe or the West.

I would suggest further (as I have before) if snapped lines of any kind had ever been part of any common application in timber framing layout systems prior to 1880 we would find evidence of it all over our timber frames, as we do in such a ubiquitous fashion throughout Asian timber framed architecture.

To date, I have only had related field observations (possibly original??) of what seemed like faint lines on a few barns, one frame (in I believe was coastal Connecticut) and a Tidewater Cape in Delaware region. I have tried to gain entry (to no avail) into Prince George's Chapel (~circa 1755-57?) which may also have some markings to indicate snapped lines for layout on the Pine Pillars of the central Nave within this small structure.

Prior to this I have never seen or heard to any line layout system or observations of such markings. I would point out (for clarity) once again that in any culture that has adopted a...Line Rule...system of layout (as we now are in practice of employing in many timber frame shops here in the West) that these layout marks will become as ubiquitous on parts of our frames as these layout marks and symbols are found throughout Asian frames even today.



Edited by Jay White Cloud (09/26/16 10:43 AM)
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#34009 - 09/26/16 10:33 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: Hylandwoodcraft]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: Hylandwoodcraft
Thanks for clarifying some of that Jay. So would it be fair to say that in most Eastern frames similar components are less interchangeable that in a typical square ruled frame?


Very true...especially in the Folk Class of archtiecture. In other aspects, as we move into more refined frames of temples, parts become more interchangeable, especially in the bracing system of Nuki (bracing beam) and Dougong (Brackets) and related common members.
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#34010 - 09/26/16 10:37 AM Re: Out of wind. [Re: Hylandwoodcraft]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: Hylandwoodcraft
All pieces of a given type would be typically interchangeable in most square rule frames. Is this not true on yours?


Yes...as is found in many moved or relocated Barns East of the Mississippi after 1820. These parts (other than gable posts) for the most part are all interchangeable in many (not all) frames that employed...Square Rule.


Edited by Jay White Cloud (09/26/16 10:45 AM)
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#34011 - 09/26/16 07:17 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: jjboudreau19]
TIMBEAL Offline
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Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1875
Loc: Maine
I don't concur that most pieces are interchangeable in square ruled frames. As I stated above some pieces are, but even repetitive girts may not work in all locations, side walls maybe but you can't put it in the end bent wall and then there are subtle differences in say peg placement. Bay spans may vary limiting placement. I have made enough mistakes in 20+ years to have wished pieces were more interchangeable. I have 3, 4, 5, and 8' brace legs in the frame we have been working on. I can't see any post being swapable, there is more often than not something that makes it impossible.

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#34012 - 09/26/16 08:05 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: Jay White Cloud]
Hylandwoodcraft Offline
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Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Western NY
This thread is starting to get a bit confusing...too many parallel lines!
Jay, I was actually responding to Timbeal's last comment on square rule interchangeability. I found it a bit confusing and was hoping for clarification on his part.

In reference to you last said on snapped lines in square rule Jay, I would agree that snapping lines was not the norm within square rule timber layout as Hodgson describes it. I think that this describes one of the essential differences between North American square rule and Eastern center line layout. The former normally snaps lines only rarely. It is not the essential element or technique. The latter totally revolves around the centered snap line.
Hodgson mentions Bell's Carpentry, which predates his own book. I was thinking about picking up a copy of that, for reference. Has anyone here read it? It would be interesting to reference it for clues as to when snapped lines entered into the square rule system.

Will, would you say that Eastern timber framing uses reduction housings in a similar way to how they are used in square rule? I've really never thought of them used that way.

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#34013 - 09/26/16 11:01 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: TIMBEAL]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: TimBEAL
I don't concur that most pieces are interchangeable in square ruled frames.


"Most" and "...some are" does leave us a bit nebulous in understanding, and perhaps I was not clear enough in my observations about this matter of interchangeability...

My observations are not geographically limited to just one region. I am not suggesting that there may not be regional characteristics that are unique. My offered information covers perhaps most (if not all) the states, from Minnesota to Louisiana and East from there that have surviving Timber Frames and the cultures that built them.

Having now been in and/or restoring perhaps 500 (perhaps more) barn and other timber frames...in an on again off again career of timber framing and historic restoration, as well as working with colleagues that probably pushes this number of timber frames into the thousands...I would have to suggest from direct observation and collaboration...that the frames designed and built employing Square Rule as its primary layout system all reflected a clear and distinct homogenization of parts...which clearly by plan and literary citation was the intent of the Square Rule modality of design, layout and construction.

In some regions all the braces, wall purlins, rafters, and even some Tie Beam, Queen Post, Struts indicated a clear and complete uniformity of design and layout. Some of these members even indicated being mass produced by a local mills with only perhaps Post, Rafter Plates and Tie Beams being cut by the Timberwright themselves. The later you get (1840 onward) the more interchangeability we seem to find, with some regions presenting with such an indistinguishable nature that barnes could be deconstructed and partnered with neighbouring structures with little ill effect or alteration to parts.

In relocated frames, the number of mismarked and unquardentated members is very common. It is only from the passage of time and wear to the frame (and restoration ethics) that keeping members in the same order is necessary on many (not all) Square Ruled vintage cut timber frames. Not only do you find End Bents in the center of structures with new joints cut to accommodate this poor historic relocation at some point in the history of the structure, but braces and wall purlins too in different order and location on many such frame.

Bay orientation has no bearing, per se, on the interchangeability of parts since a span distance is not indicative of interchangeability of joint configuration, yet a simple matter of tangible distance accommodation. Indeed, with large Barns where there may be several bay span configurations of a similar (yet multiple nature) you can and will find parts swapped out on moved frames and can (not that it is standard restoration practice) move members very often to new locations as long as bay span distance is the same.

On contemporary frames...with Line Rule...and even organic shapes...we can (and have) made parts fully swappable...as long as bay span is the same. This is neither difficult nor a challenge (over all) for this method of layout. Sean is accomplished enough with this method to speak to this ability from his own perspective of the Line Layout system's nature of accuracy.

So today, having interchangeable parts, for more simplistically designed Stock Frames (as we call them) is very achievable...even with organic live edge members, which is one of the marvels and wonderful elements to be acquired with adopting and learning the Eastern methods of layout and frame orientation.


Edited by Jay White Cloud (09/26/16 11:04 PM)
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#34014 - 09/26/16 11:01 PM Re: Out of wind. [Re: Hylandwoodcraft]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Vermont
Sorry Sean...My mistake...didn't mean to be confusion or answer a question not addressed to me...I am very excited to have this discussion with everyone and the subject is dear to me, and my interest in it spans almost 4 decades now...

Should you ever find anything in your reading that indicates the use of snapped lines in the historic application prior to 1880's Sean, I would love hearing from you (or anyone else that finds this.)

Originally Posted By: Hylandwoodcraft
I think that this describes one of the essential differences between North American square rule and Eastern center line layout. The former normally snaps lines only rarely. It is not the essential element or technique. The latter totally revolves around the centered snap line.


I also very much agree with you, that for those of use that use Eastern Layout systems almost exclusively now, that there is no comparison with...Square Rule...and...Line Rule... systems. I would suggest that it is somewhat misleading and inaccurate (in my view) to use the two terms interchangeable at all...They are just too different in nature historically and in practice even today...If actually following the original intent of either system, and not a reinvention or reinterpretation of them.

Originally Posted By: Hylandwoodcraft
Hodgson mentions Bell's Carpentry, which predates his own book. I was thinking about picking up a copy of that, for reference. Has anyone here read it?


If you are speaking of "Art and Science of Carpentry Made Easy" by William E. Bell, 1888...Yes I have read it in both tomb and virtual text. Here is a link to a digital copy:

"Art and Science of Carpentry Made Easy" by W. E. Bell 1888

I believe this book and Bell's descriptions of modalities for construction is indicative of the homogenisation of not only Balloon Frames (which originally hand been built as timber frames with Draw Born wood joinery and later wood and metal fasteners) but also Barn timber frames. As to lining methods this starts on page 50 with the employment of snapped chalk lines. Barn building start with Plate 7 and page 55. I have (at this stage in the game...ha, ha) seen countless frames of Bell's configuration in this book, and time period where most of the frame has many transposable parts...even frame members such as Queen Posts.

Sean, I would also suggest reading:

"Light and Heavy Timber Framing made Easy" by Fred T. Hodgson 1909

Now that many of these books are digitized you don't have to wade through countless libraries like I had to in the 70's and 80's...ha ha. Many such tomb can be read now with the push of a few buttons. All of these where my foundational reading lists prior to the more modern publications that started in the late 70's and 80's which I know many were based on information from these original text here in North American timber framing. My reading about Chalk Lines, and their application is what turned my attention to the Eastern methods once I got to travel there while in the Marines. It was a real eye opener to realize that the vastness of timber framing was only a glimmer (at best) here in the West compared to that history and its richness of methods and systems of designing and building timber frames from the Middle East and beyond.

Good Reading to you!!!


Edited by Jay White Cloud (09/26/16 11:14 PM)
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