Blog: Timber Framing

TRC Timberworks is now a Licensed Builder!

TRC Timberworks is now officially a Licensed Residential Builder with BC Housing (formerly Homeowner Protection Office – “HPO”). This means that we can now make it easy for you to build your dream home. On top of the services of designing, building, and project management, TRC Timberworks can now pull your building permit and provide you with a 10 year home warranty program to protect your house.

TRC Timberworks is now offering full general contracting services, which takes the stress out of building your own home. TRC Timberworks can manage all of the details so you can relax and enjoy the process of seeing your dream home coming to life.

If you are thinking of building your home, or if you are looking for a registered Licensed Builder, give me a call! Tel: 250-226-6881

Hybrid Post & Beam

Working with rounds is a lot different than working with square timbers. Layout is completely different: working off of chalk lines and carving the rounds down to square posts at the joinery took a lot longer than just working with square timbers.

Making the braces was a challenge in precision – getting the square part carved perfectly to fit the housing and then adding 45 degree cuts in the end really gave me a challenge! I cut all of the log joinery using a chainsaw to rough out the joints and then cleaned them up with an angle grinder fitted with a sanding disk.

The customer really liked the round look, so we used round logs for the posts and braces to give the house an open concept log home feel. However, since the square beams were faster to layout and cut, the hybrid of both square with round was the solution we came up with to work within budget.

This home will be an off-grid straw bale home, with clay plaster.

 

Cloudlifts to Hawaii!

The wonderful folks at Mandala Homes asked me to help out with some timber accent details for a home that is being pre-fabricated in Nelson, BC and then shipped and assembled in Hawaii.

The cloudlift design cut into the ends of these timbers is based on Greene and Greene architectural design. I cut them using a carving bar on my chainsaw – the same bar used when carving chainsaw sculptures. Using the chainsaw to cut these kind of details is my favorite way to do it! Years ago I couldn’t afford to buy a dedicated portable bandsaw for this task so I taught myself how to carve these details with a chainsaw. These timbers will be beams in the project going to Hawaii, and as you see in the photo, they are ready to be sanded and finished.

Greene and Greene were two brothers  who created a very unique style of architecture in building residential houses. The style they were later acclaimed for was used in all aspects of their buildings, from the structural elements and exterior, right down to the tiny details on the trim and furniture inside the house. The Greene and Greene style happens to be one of my favorite architectural styles to date – only slightly ousted by the Japanese and Asian styles, which actually inspired the Greenes’ look.

And yes, that is snow on the ground, since it’s still winter in the West Kootenays. I was hoping Mandala might ask me to personally accompany these timbers to Hawaii…. But I’ll settle for some photos when the project is done!

Blacksmithing 101

Recently I signed up for a blacksmithing course. I have been interested in metal working for a while now and this turned out to be the perfect opportunity to dive into this craft. I took the class in the fully equipped studio at KSA (Kootenay School of the Arts) in Nelson, BC.

The first thing I noticed and was surprised by was how easy it is to shape metal when it’s hot. I have watched movies in the past showing blacksmiths doing their thing, and I always thought they were wailing on the metal to get it to move. Not so. Once the metal is up to temperature, it’s really easy to shape it and move it. You only have about 15 seconds to work the metal until it has to go back into the forge, but you can achieve a lot with a few well-aimed hammer blows.

I am excited to explore more into the world of metal working, as I think this would be a great added skill to what I already do. From forged drawer pulls to metal brackets for my timber frames, I think this art form could add a lot of visual impact to the woodworking!

Rescued Axe Head

I’ve been looking around for older hand tools at antique stores and personal sales, hoping I’ll find some gems that I can use for planing or timber framing. I have some of my grandpa’s hand tools that are still in excellent condition; these older tools were made to last.

I found this head for a log hewing axe in the summer. An older gentleman was selling some of his tools, and this was from an axe that he used for timber framing homes 30 years ago. For the price tag of $10, I couldn’t resist (these axes usually run about $350 to $400 new), and I have an idea about how I can bring it back to life. Continue reading Rescued Axe Head

Beam Detail Done With a Chain Saw

Okay, so it’s not carving, but I did have fun using the chain saw to create the detail work for these beams.

And I have started using an eco-friendly type of small engine gas that cuts down on exhaust emissions by an incredible amount. Running the chain saw now doesn’t stink and create a cloud of fumes. Apparently this gas is standard for small engines in Europe — and I can see why! Time for North America to catch up on this one. Check out: www.aspen.se (Select your country for English language.) Continue reading Beam Detail Done With a Chain Saw