Saturday, 7 December 2013

New Douglas Fir Timber Frame raised in North Cornwall

This free standing barn/workshop was raised between the raging gales of late September early October, a team of 3 and a small manual hoist saw it all go up smoothly in the course of a day. Once the weather had settled and the skies had cleared, I managed to get back to take some photos; in fact you couldn't have asked for better conditions for capturing a newly raised timber frame. It's in a beautiful location at the top of a valley, all helping to give me what a fellow framer called "website gold"!

 I designed this frame according to the client's requirements, and within the restrictions of the Planning Permission that had been granted. I'm well used to designing frames that fit into architectural drawings, but I'm equally happy to design and specify a building from the ground up. Despite its traditional mortice and tenon pegged assembly, it's essentially a modern frame designed to take light-weight pre-insulated roofing sheets. By using interrupted tie beam trusses over a lowered floor beam, we've created a single story barn/workshop that still offers useful storage space in the roof void. A local team are on site now fitting the roof and Western Red Cedar cladding; within a year it will look very different to this, and I'll be back to capture it in finished form.

Douglas Fir is a great timber to work with in this application...strong, durable, stable, and readily available from plantations in the South West; this batch came from Menheniot in south-east Cornwall, via Truro Sawmills. The Western Red Cedar cladding has come from East Devon, via Anton Coakers's sawmill on Dartmoor. While neither timber maybe quite as dense, tight grained and slow grown as the material available from Scandinavia, Canada or other more northern forests, it's perfectly good for these requirements, and I strongly believe in supporting the South West forestry industry and using locally grown timber wherever possible.

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