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2023 Timber Frame Workshop

Updated: Jan 30

Last summer was a chance to bring friends together to help cut and raise a 3 bent timber frame pavilion at Xannadu lavender farm for my good friend Anna.


Here we have a photo of Anna posing with the almost completed frame at Lavender Fest 2023


The wood for the frame was milled and delivered from Peacock farm just up the road about two miles away. The trees were wind thrown meaning the wind had knocked them down and those that remained were a danger to the people and buildings on the property.


The timbers for the whole frame minus the roof deck boards


Once the piers were dug and poured for the frame, it was time to start laying out the timbers.


Here we have Michael and Trevor using centerline layout on these rough sawn posts


Once all the layout was completed it was time to have our 3 day workshop and start cutting timbers!


Anna getting familiar with the chain mortiser. This tool makes quick work cutting out the mortises as opposed to using a drill and chisel


Dan is squaring out a mortise with a chisel and mallet while making his body comfortable by standing on a cut off



Josiah is using his chisel to clean up a brace tenon so it is not thicker than 1-1/2"


Here we have Ian deeply focusing on laying out these queen posts. The level is used so the perfect timber within can be marked on the end grains. Once these lines are marked then chalk lines can be snapped. Once snapped then joinery can start to be marked for layout


Once joinery has been cut its time to make sure it fits together. Oftentimes there is a bit of troubleshooting to make it all work. In this instance we discovered a timber had been laid out incorrectly. No worries though, since we are working with wood there is always a solution. Sam was able to create a patch that was hardly noticeable once the frame was up. Wabi Sabi!


Here we use cam straps to tighten up the frame so the holes for the splines can be drilled and wood dowels or pegs can be inserted.


Admiring their work at the end of day 3. One bent completed only two more to go!


Raising this frame by hand was a challenge but very satisfying once the first bent went up


The best meals are always made by someone else especially when working hard. Thanks Anna for your kitchen magic!


Don't forget the pegs, pins or dowels.


A successful raising day with troubleshooting, mistakes and solutions


Once Sam is done marking the purlin locations we are ready to put them up, lay down the deck boards and install the metal roofing.


Well there you have it folks, the roof is on in time for the first rains of the season. We look forward to hosting more of these events in our community and I look forward to seeing this outdoor structure take shape into a space many will enjoy!




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