Friday, 1 July 2011

Week 12, 13 & 14 - The Frame Becomes Free Standing!

Well first off, sorry to all you avid blog followers that you’ve had to wait so long for the latest update: better late than never though!

We've been tinkering with joints a little bit in order to get the wall plates to sit level and parallel to one another, and for this we rigged up two chain blocks so we were able to raise and lower the wall plates easily and gently every time we offered up the joints.

Completing this process was a great milestone as it meant that the structure is now truly free standing and stable and we were able to remove the temporary wind braces and guy ropes. Since then we’ve moved on to the outer frame. Tenons have been cut into the ends of the bottom tie beams of each frame in order for us to fit a row of outer jowl posts 50cm out from the inner jowls. The outer jowls support an outer wall plate that will take up the ends of the rafters when the roof goes on. They also support the ground floor joists and will provide the gap into which the bales will be squeezed when we build the walls.

Well that summarizes the major works that have been ongoing over the last few weeks but as ever there’s been lots of other little jobs continuing. The secondary ridge pole, for example, was hoisted up through the middle of frames 1 and 2 in week 13 to be positioned between frame 5 and the principal ridge. We were also back on a few familiar old favourites for a couple of days: producing several more metres of oak pegs to secure the wall plates and wind braces, and the last of the larch poles were finally stripped of bark, to be used in the outer frame. Another 15 tonnes of douglas fir and larch saw logs have also been delivered. These are destined to become the internal stud frame and also the external cladding, so we’ll have to get the blades sharpened on the saw mill.

So we’re keeping busy, there’s still lots to do and lots of challenges ahead but never a dull moment. Next update should see us mid way through the roofing process. Wish us luck.

Duncan Winton

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