Ramblings, a Blog of Sorts

Timber Framing Stories, Thoughts & Ramblings

Heavy Timbers and Cast Iron

On the simplest level, building is an artful combination of materials, chosen for their suitability for the task at hand. Wood and stone, for example, have had a long and illustrious history together, but other pairings have also occurred, coming into fashion and...

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It’s a Small World

Growing up on Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie, I had dreamed of having a dog. But we were a large family living in a really small house, so it was not be. Many years later, during my fourth year of teaching, the desire arose again and I casually mentioned it to some of my...

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Complete enough to give a price

Many years ago a scroll of rough sketches came over my then new thermo fax. After the first glance I stopped breathing. It was an awesome structure with a roof system more intricate and complex than anything we had ever done - hips and valleys, intersections and...

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Building with Re-Sale in Mind

Over the past forty years I’ve built on average one house per decade for myself. Actually, the fourth house was for a client whom I managed to persuade to marry me before I was finished with the design phase. I built each house fully believing that I would live in it...

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Awhile back in the break room, I mentioned a project from four years earlier and lamented that I could find no photos of that frame. One of the men said he had some photos at home and promised to go through them that night. The next morning when I walked into the...

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A Simple Thing

If you are searching for land, here's something to consider. Early in my teaching career I lived twenty or so miles due west of the school where I taught. Every morning I drove for half an hour pretty much directly into the sun, and in the late afternoon, the same...

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Often, maybe not every time, mistakes, errors and screw-ups can be a blessing. About two decades ago we did our first valley system timber frame. The frame was also our largest, most complex work to date. I worried that valley system to death, but in the end it worked...

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Man versus Machine

During the early years of the rebirth of timber framing in this country, most all of the practicing companies were on a level playing field. All of us (with two exceptions on opposite ends of the spectrum) used electric hand tools plus chisels, mallets, squares,...

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