By: Otis Bradley
Mmm the sweet smell of wood! According to the NAHB (National Assoc. of Homebuilders), 90% of houses are wood framed.
When I was a kid I used to marvel at the guys walking the plate (walking on the top of a 2×4 wall – which is 3 1/2″ wide) with their 22 oz, framing hammers, nail bags and great tans. Framing was an art – there were no air guns. You had to be able to drive a 16d spike in a single blow (a big framing nail) or toe nail an 8d (using a shorter nail on an angle to pinch the 2×4 tightly to the plate) at the perfect angle.
Many of today’s “carpenters” have never swung a hammer, don’t know how to “toenail.” Wood has changed. We use “engineered” wood – wood chips glued together to form beams of sheets of “plywood.” But wood remains the material used to build most houses.
Feel Free to copy, share, or re post this article. Kindly make sure to include this information: Written by Otis Bradley, a Custom Home Builder, in Southern California. Please see OtisBradley.com for more information on Custom Home Building!
Ojai ICF Insulated Concrete Forms Project
After nothing but foam blocks and concrete on the job for a couple of months, the sweet piney smell of Douglas Fir on the job is delicious. I love framing homes – love the art of toe nailing 8 penny nails to synch a 2x tight, love the wood – love the smell – love the symmetry of 16″ on center.
But what’s really fun is the chance to use massive timbers. This project is rooted in the French Provincial design – back to the time that buildings were built of big stones and large timbers. (And without building inspectors!) Part of the reason we used the ICF blocks was to create the feel of an authentic 15th c building – built of stone. the walls are a massive 15 inches thick.
The great room is about 20 x 30 feet and 25 feet tall.
The Trusses Arrive – weighing in at about 1400 lbs. each
Waycasy Crane Service Helps Out
Continue reading “Ojai – Installing Timber Frame Trusses in an ICF House”
Typical Corbel Patterns available from Lumber Yards
These are the patterns that are typically available from most lumber yards. These cuts can be made on the end of larger beams such as a 4×6 or 8×12. Many times, when larger (bigger than 2x)wood is used and left exposed, it can be nice to add a distinctive pattern on the ends.
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Typical Knee Brace Patterns available from Lumber Yards
Knee braces are used to brace a vertical post to a horizontal beam. Much like the corbel patterns, these patterns can be cut at the limber yard and used as exposed lumber on the house.
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By Otis Bradley
The art of timber framing, also called “Post and Beam” or “Mortice and Tenon,” is still alive!
In today’s world of industrialized manufacturing, most builders have never touched anything other than dimensional lumber (meaning 2×4’s- which actually measure 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ – go figure!). But long before factories spit out 2x’s, wood buildings were created out of timbers. Trees were cut – timbers were shaped using adzes, draw knives and hand powered drills to create large frames out of timber – called bents – which could combined lengthwise as well as for a second story to create buildings. Continue reading “Timber Framing – the art of wood construction aka Post and Beam or Mortice and Tenon”