Red Suspenders Timber Frames

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We will watch Richard laying out brace joinery and we will see Steve cutting the joinery on a girt. Travis is cutting timbers to length and John is finishing out the saw list.

Image Not Available Tim's dad, Larrie Chauvin, looks on as Richard begins the layout work on the brace stock John's crew planed. Larrie lives on the property in the cottage next to the timber shop.
> Laying out joinery details on braces is no less demanding than when working on the larger timbers. In fact, since there are so many braces, they all start looking alike at some point, so Richard must be especially mindful. Here is using a carpenter's triangle to draw the joinery details on the brace.

Later, Keith will check Richard's work then start cutting the brace joinery.
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Image Not Available Steve is working on one of the girts in the frame. The joinery he is cutting will allow the girt to rest on a spline and snug into a housing on its mated post.

The long channel cut into the wood is for the spline. It's a bit hard to explain but when you see it finished, it is pretty easy to understand.

We use splines to carry the weight of girts in situations where there is a lot of complicated joinery going on at a particular post and where the wood may have a tendency to move in an unpredictable way. Splines spread the forces applied to the girts and post over a broader surface making the joinery much stronger in these applications.
You've got to be very accurate when cutting any joinery so the guys spend a lot of time on the knees measuring things! Here Steve check the cut depth along the shoulder of the girt to make sure it is correctly formed. We work to tolerances of 1/32" when cutting joinery... a difficult standard to achieve that takes a little longer to accomplish, but the finished work reflects the care given to each joint. Image Not Available
Image Not Available While the weather is good, the guys like to work outside as much as possible. Here Travis is using one of the bigger rotary hand saws we have to cut the timbers to length before forming the joinery.
It is essential that the end cuts be made right on the cut lines. If the timber is too short or too long, it won't be easy to correct it on the job site. When handling these large saws, the crew is especially careful. Image Not Available
Image Not Available It has begun turning colder and is threatening rain so John and the crew button down the sawmill. They are just about finished sawing all of the red oak timber we need for the frame.
The rain and cold weather have moved in and it has become very overcast and gray. But the crew feels pretty good about their progress and there is even a little time left over to clean out the shops for the next day. Notice the stack of brace stock in the right front corner of Brace Land.

Tomorrow the crew will continue laying out the final timbers and working on the joinery.
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