In preparation for applying the natural clay plaster on the straw bale walls in this timber frame home, the walls had to be stuffed tightly between all the bales with packed straw. Air spaces in the straw bale walls allow a greater chance of fire, so these air pockets must be eliminated. The spaces can be no larger than an egg.
At the end of a raising, it is traditional to attach a tree bough to the peak of the frame to honour the trees who gave their wood for the building. In this case, a fir bough was used, as all but two timbers in the frame were fir.
A timber frame raising is a spectacular event, as each timber that has been meticulously chosen, milled, planed, and notched is fitted into its precise location. Once the timbers have each been cut and notched in the shop, a house…
In the old days of the barn raising events, many neighbours would assemble and lift the frames with ropes, pulleys, and human power. This may be done nowadays, but for safety reasons, a crane is often used to lift the large timbers while the crew of timber framers secures them into place.
A boom truck with 60 feet of reach was able to raise this frame, as the bents were only 26 feet wide and the truck was able to drive right up to the side of the foundation.
Through tenon joints have a very appealing aesthetic, and they can be interpersed with other joints to keep the eye interested as it travels through a frame.
In traditional timber framing, wood joinery is used to fit all the timbers together in an exact pattern, with braces lending structural rigidity and solid oak pegs tying all the pieces together.
The bents for this frame were assembled beside the building and stacked until the day of the raising. Each individual timber is separated cut, notched, and finished before putting them together into the bents (or wall sections).