About six or seven years ago I woke up one day and thought “I need to build a timber frame”. I became obsessed with the idea to the point I was reading everything I could get my hands on, pouring through YouTube videos, searching and joining forums…you name it I was going to find a way to build one.
All of a sudden I was getting overwhelmed with terminology, things like scarf joints, tributary area, draw boring, reference faces, etc. Then I started looking at the costs of buying materials, started looking at new chisels, a roof for the size of the building I wanted…all of a sudden this idea I was obsessed with started to fizzle out…I never stopped researching the process though. I still watched whatever I could find on the subject, still perused the forums. This went on for about four years, my poor wife.
Finally I just couldn’t take it any more, I had to try this out. Of course me being me, there was no going small on my first project. So I started to plan out a 28’x50′, two story barn. I started jotting down notes on joinery and layouts, buying books about timber framing. The building started to take shape in my mind, I started to develop a list of timber sizes, cut sheets and so on.
The next step was the cost of buying beams and posts. I priced out materials cut to the dimensions I needed and had a moment of sticker shock, no way in hell was my wife going to go for this…pandemonium set in…I had to figure out this first hurdle to my dream project. I took a trip to my local Amish sawmill one Saturday and fate hooked me up for a change.
I arrived to see a log truck offloading logs for the Amish and struck up a conversation with the guy. He may have been rough around the edges, a little smelly perhaps but he had logs at a good price. When this barn is finished he may even get an altar of sorts in the wood shop, I’ll have to make offerings of wood shavings from time to time and maybe even some Old Spice.
So now I had the materials figured out, next problem was how am I going to turn these logs into beams. I’ve milled a lot with a chainsaw and knew that if I was to ever get started on this project there would be no way I was going to mill over 25,000 board feet of lumber in any timely manner….dammit!!!!
How am I going to convince my wife I just have to have a band saw mill? I could tell her I’ll feed it and take care of it every day, even walk it…she’ll never fall for that…dammit!!!! I could offer to have more kids, she loves babies…hmmmmm….that just may work, but man, diapers again? I don’t know if I can handle that again, plus she’ll think it’s just a desperate ploy for special wife favours. I really enjoy the favours so that probably won’t work….double dammit!!!!
Well now that our newest daughter just turned a year old and I have my sawmill plus the diapers stink just as bad as I remember from the first two tax deductions, I can tell you that I am well on my way to having the first floor of my barn standing and this so far has been the most rewarding project I have ever done, almost as much fun as making the baby. If any of you out there are looking to do a project like this, go for it. You will never regret the work it took to build it or the things you will learn throughout the process.
Now that the warmer weather is starting to show again I’ll be getting back into this project full steam ahead, there will be many video as well as blog updates to look forward to.
Thanks for reading,
Jim the Tradesman