What Lights Up An English Barn
Well I believe that it doesn’t take much to get me talking about barns….or might I add English Barns. I was asked to post some pictures of my barn, but how could I ever just show some pictures without also going into some barn terminology?
From the picture above I am standing on the third floor of the barn….or if some-one is counting the cellar also, then I guess one could say the fourth floor. My wife bartered some homemade jams for the chandelier, which is made out of a bone base. I just realized now that one cannot see the bone, so I will get a better picture of that up also soon. Standing on the south side of the barn here one can see across the top to the north side which makes for 4 bays and also means that there are 5 bents.
What one can see in this picture is:
Struts or Canted Purlin Posts
I might as well set some standard point of reference here as I get started, so let me just mention that on the far end (north end) of the barn I will be calling that ‘bent’ #1 and ‘bay’ #1 and yes, this will carry forth in all ongoing stories. So coming from the north there we follow through with bays 1, 2, and 3 and you may notice that the purlins are all oak….and then in number 4 bay,the purlins have been re-placed and are now hemlock. One bit of fascinating information that I might pass along is that when one is looking at an English Barn such as this one, the first place to check for rot or punky wood is up here in the purlins. And since this barn is dated around 1780, we were making sure that there was not much wood rot herin from water leakage in the roof system.
One more bit of barn terminology that I will point out here is that of the ‘tree nails’, which I made out of white oak….whew! The tree nails are all hand driven in and to answer ahead to a question that some might be thinking, there are no-steel nails and no-gang plates used in the structure of this barn. In my estimation that is the reason why these barns are still around, and as you may notice mortise and tenon joints, along with the purlins which are half-lapped into the rafter and are all pegged. This type of wood joinery allows for the joints to move and….also the barn ends up ‘talking’ to you as she adjusts to changes in the weather and seasons. I might also point out that where the light is fixed to the beam above, this one is called a ridge beam. And last of all I will mention that the barn boards on the roof are all out of the orginal weathered barn boards that we managed to save//salvage from when we took this one down.
I do hope that some get enjoyment out of this and there is more to come in time and space! I might mention that if any have questions, please fill free to ask away and I will do my best to get back to you here.
’’....work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood....’‘
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/