After the rafters were raised and secured last Saturday, we moved on to attaching the purlins. These are the radial pieces between the rafters that will hold up the roofing material. In our case, these are fashioned from alder branches or saplings, with the bark left on, nailed to the rafters with about a 4-inch spaced between them so that there is room for the purlins on the adjacent sides to attach. It was great to have a “ground crew” of people to hand up purlins of the ...
Well, the long-awaited barn raising day finally arrived this past Saturday, and my family in the area arrived to help. Wrestling eight 14-foot rafters was definitely a portion of the barn build that I could not accomplish alone. Of course, like any good barn raising, the family brought food, we grilled out, and we made a day of it. The first order of business was to explain to my “crew” what we would be doing. The barn’s roof is supported by reciprocal frame rafters, a te...
The barn raising is Saturday, so in the meantime, I’m attending to some other related things that need to be done, but that won’t get in the way of the ladders, braces, and people that will need to be in and around the structure in order to get the rafters in the air. So, I’ve been done smaller projects like building out the next boxes for the chicken coop, teaching my wife how to stack the rafters, etc. Another big project that needs doing is the paddock, the holding and...
Inspired by Simon Dale's Low Impact Woodland Home, the roof for the barn will be held up by reciprocal frame rafters rather than a ridge peak or a truss system. This will allow a clear span beneath without support poles. Other web resources about this kind of roof can be found at the Year of Mud blog and at Green Building Elements. This weekend, I tested out the reciprocal frame concept on the ground ust to make sure the voodoo works before I tried it ten feet in the air. First, I brought ...
One of the design goals with the barn was to able to care for the goats, chickens, and the livestock guardian dog from inside the structure, without necessarily tromping around outside in the often-wet Washington weather. To that end, one of the back (uphill) walls of the octagon will therefore be common with one of the walls of the coop and provide access to nest boxes for egg collection as well as food and water containers. After a few free Craigslist lumber finds, I was ready to proceed...
This post is a bit celebratory: the wall frames are completely up and the retaining walls are built! Here is the state of the project: And finally complete: And here is a long shot, showing HALF of the distance and elevation gain from my driveway: So now, on Aug 9th, I’m inviting friends and family over for a barn raising to add the rafters!
To start building the lower retaining wall, I needed to have two of my wall posts in place as the outer anchor points. I quickly realized that I couldn’t just drop a post in a hole: I needed to build the whole henge and install it as a unit. Why? Because of the mortise-and-tenon diagonal braces, I had to make sure that the mortise was the right height and angle to mate with the overhead beam and its adjoining post. Even though timber framing doesn’t have to be to the thousand...
So as I finished digging the hill back to the necessary perimeter for the barn, I also continued trying to find an alternate kind of retaining wall a bit less heavy than seventeen tons of stone. My trusty Home Depot Outdoor book included the suggestion of a post-and-board wall. Since I happened to have a fair amount of treated 2×6 boards from my friend’s demolished deck, I decided to sink my upper four posts into the ground (rather than sitting on padstones), cement them in place, ...
The site for the barn is not dug far enough back into the hill. The ground is not yet level, though the slight slope that remains shouldn’t be a huge issue. The barn is going to have a dirt floor anyway (on the goat half, at least), and the slope might help drainage. Once I establish my lowest post footing, I can use that as a reference datum point to calculate the heights of all the over posts in order to get a level rings of beams despite the irregular ground surface. However, in r...
As May rolled around and the weather grew nicer, I could finally get to work in earnest making the timber wall frames. I was planning for a barn raising sometime in later June, hopefully getting a dozen or so friends and family to help me set the wall frames up and to wrangle the 8 rafters for the roof. Through a co-worker who was tearing out her deck, I got a good pile of usuable 2×6 boards, some pressure-treated 4×4s, and some concrete footing blocks. I used the 4×4s and 2...
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