Thursday, October 11, 2012

Timber framing, Site Clearing, and Historic Reenacting

Pine T&G 1 x 10s handplaned, Waterloxed, and faced nailed with cut nails.

My family has had a lot going on lately. Been setting up our new house, putting down new flooring, building a timber frame chicken house, stacking firewood, and other miscellaneous projects. It feels good to be back in the studio moving some projects through again. The brisk air reminds me each day that winter grows closer and closer. I am looking forward to some hibernation here pretty soon.


A view of the studio site behind us.

This Saturday, my brother-in-law and a crew of buddies will be coming over to help clear some trees out for the studio building project. I began taking a few smaller trees down with my felling axe a couple weeks ago. After some heckling from the neighbors and an offer of help from my arborist brother-in-law, I’ve decided we’ll chainsaw the rest and use his big chipper.

The building site is at the top of a hill on our property which is on the other side of the pond from the house. Also, because it is on the road away and from our house a bit, it will be a good compromise for my family to have a shop at home, but yet still have a sense of “awayness”. We look forward to it.

I’ve also connected with a neighbor who will be doing the site work. We plan that work for early November. Both weather and funds will restrict us from moving much further beyond that stage before snowfall. We will have to wait until spring to get the rest of the building underway.


My family participated in the fall Living History Days at Leonard’s Mills this past weekend again. Julia and Eden demonstrated 18th century cooking while I was the lone woodworker there. I was not expecting that one! I had planned on hiding in the shadows of the others who have been demonstrating for years. But alas… It was fun.

Built a sawbench and a joiner’s mallet. You wouldn’t believe how many people couldn’t care less about period techniques or other various minutiae. Almost all of the comments I got were about “all those beautiful plane shavings”! Oh well. Making curly shavings is easy. I guess demonstrating was easier than I thought.

Julia, 18th C. Style!

The water wheel for the sash mill

The sash mill in action


  1. Wow, what an amazing spot for your studio Joshua! I can picture your bench at a big window overlooking that nice pond; maybe watching some wildlife run around. Should be an inspiring place to work. I look forward to you breaking ground and tracking your progress. I know you'll make it a great space.

    Great job on the historical reenactment also. I'd like to try my hand at that some day.

  2. Ah. Thanks, Jamie. Yes, the bench window will be nice for sure! Just took down some trees this morning. Exciting stuff. I know you know much more about historically correct woodworking skills than I. You would love it, I'm confident. Is there an opportunity around you to volunteer for this kind of thing?

  3. The timber framed chicken house looks amazing. I've always wanted to do a timber frame house. A chicken house might actually be doable. How about a post going into some of the details on it?

  4. Thanks a lot, Jason. Timber framing is a lot of fun. This is my first crack at it. Details? Hmmm. I'll see what I can do for you, Jason. I didn't really work off any plans. 8 ft tall back wall, 5 ft tall front wall. 10 ft x 10 ft with a shed roof. Rafters are conventional 2 x 6 s notched with bird's mouths. I also cheated a bit on joining the top of the corners. Everything but these areas have joints cut. These top corners are just screwed together. I may see what else I can dig up to share with you...
    Be well...