Thursday, 27 October 2011

More finished green oak timber frames in Cornwall




This big 4 bay garage in Green oak and Larch is only 200 yards from our workshop just outside Falmouth, about as local as we could hope for, but somehow it's still taken me 3 months to go and take a picture of it. The customers are always happy for me to show people around it, so it's nice to have a specimen frame so close at hand. Next time I'll take a photo without pointing the camera at the sun...



















This Roseland extension is a little further afield, though still little more than 10 miles in a straight line. Regular architectural collaborator Mark Datson draw up the proposal, but as usual left the specifics of the oak timber frame design to us. It's bedding in nicely, though again I struggled to get many decent images of it. New camera for Christmas? New photographer more like.

Frame Up! And a word on cleaning and glazing...


Considering the rain we've had since, it's amazing that this green oak frame went up without getting a drop of Cornish rain on it. It's had a good soaking now, but once the roof is on the water marks and associated stains can be cleaned off with a mild oxalic acid solution, which will gently bring the frame back to a fresh, natural finish. I find this is a cheaper, gentler, and less messy technique than sand-blasting.



We'll be back to fit the glazing units and coverstrip, barge boards, fascia and soffit once the builders have finished the roof build up. Direct glazing a green oak frame takes a little while to do properly and ensure a long-lasting weather proof seal, but creates a fine end result that leaves the glass effectively floating on the green oak, held on by kiln-dried oak coverstrip.

A Wood-Build-Bible?



Building with wood is such an endlessly massive subject, with so many inspiring styles to work from. Books like this are invaluable, whether working on traditionally jointed green oak frames, or more contemporary timber buildings. This books seems to be something of a rarity, an technical resource book with fantastic illustrations and imagery. So much to learn, so little time...



Making Pegs




We make all the pegs that hold our green oak timber frames together from clean, straight-grained off-cuts. 20mm square billets are split out from suitable blocks using a froe, and then worked on a shave horse with a draw-knife into a tapered 19mm (3/4 inch) peg. This technique ensures maximum strength of the peg, and allows us to make them while still green...by the time they come to be used, they're a little more seasoned and will pull the joinery up really tight when banged into the drawn (or off-set) holes in a mortice and tenon joint. Here's Andy going at full speed for the camera...