Remember those giant posts I mentioned? Those ones up there? Well, before we could stand them up, we had to do a little prep work, which brings me to the first part of our timber frame journey! Immense detail goes into building a home, but even more so when you are timber framing. Cuts and measurements need to be precise so that everything fits together like a giant puzzle.
Each timber must first be squared. You sort of size up the timber. Meaning, you take some measurements, look at where the knots in the wood are based on what you're cutting (knots are much harder to chisel), and find the most square corner that will be your reference face. The reference face is the "truest" and most square face from which all of your lines are drawn. You mark the ends of the timber on the reference face and carry your marks around all four sides, always using the reference face as the guide. Once you have both ends marked, you can then mark the tenons or mortises . . . or both, depending. Or a scarf joint if you're being really fancy.
|A mortise is a pocket. A tenon is what goes in the pocket. A scarf is both in one, kind of.|
|Squaring a mighty post|
|Squaring the end of the post, cutting two sides at once|
|This is how we lowered the posts. Very OSHA-approved.|
So! That was a super quick and broad explanation of timber framing. If you're interested in reading more, we followed the method in this book (as taught to us by our designer, Sarah). Once I get to the first floor timber frame, there will be a lot more to explain!