Friday, October 8, 2010

Timber frame fabrication in Cascadia

Last week was an intense series of long days during which we cut 148 timbers into a net 6,200 board feet of Oregon Douglas fir in 28 hours of machine time on a 5-axis  Hundegger K2 joinery machine.

Oregon has some of the best Douglas fir on the planet and it is a great pleasure to work with it and combine advanced design technologies with traditional craftsmanship.  Working with a great team only adds to the experience.

Beautifully timbers, Technology and craftsmanship is the recipe for some great timber frames. The process starts in the office with very detailed and throughout 3D design:

We use the 3D computer model to select timbers. We try to use the nicest timbers for highly visible faces. The less nice stuff goes towards the non visible outside. It's absolutely critical to have perfectly straight parts for the exterior wall columns and gable rafters. Again the mobile netbook computer makes it easy to have complete control while sorting timbers.


Some of the more involved parts. The more complex the parts are the more we love the K2 joinery machine!!
Hip Rafter and Roof-Header with dovetail connection.



Finished dormer posts with 5ft lenght cut to make the post narrower on top. Seat-cut and mortise for dormer rafter and housing for eave plate.




The K2 ran continuously each work day while we also completed all the required craft work.


The brand new Makita KB-312 planer is amazing and a lot of fun. We ran thru 2 sets of knives to ensure an absolutely clean surface.


Old Bavarian craftsman-ship never gets rusty. " Gelernt ist gelernt !!!"

We test-fit every part to ensure a tight fit and no hand work on construction site.



Girt to post connection with Maple hardwood spline and positioning tenon. We test fit prior to final planing and sanding to ensure parts don't have to be handled once they are clean and sanded.

We use cutting edge CNC technology to produce traditional timber framing connections such as dovetails, spline and tapered shoulders with mortise and tenons.


We chamfer all tenons to ensure quick and hassle free installation. A little touch that makes a huge difference for the install crew!!

And of course proper labeling !! Certain parts have to be installed in a specific direction.


4x8" knee braces:
We used a laser cut steel template to trace our braces.




We used Landark to finish the wood.  The smell of beeswax and citrus is great.  Here is a photo of some great timbers and a team member applying the finish.




The Douglas fir was absolutely beautiful and a pleasure to work with.

Last but not least: Proper edge protection and wrapping for shipping. Edges are really fragile and need to be protected !!


Check out pictures of the installed Timber Frame.

1 comment:

  1. The blog is finally alive! Looking forward to more posts with videos.

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