Monday, June 20, 2016

A small barn for the summer house 4, Making joints and raising the frame.

I guess that if I had been on one of those other Internet things such as Instagram, and if I ha had a slightly more modern phone, I could have shared the progress a bit more fluently than this.

My problem is that when I get immersed in a project, I work on it as much as I can, and that means that I rarely turn on a computer, and even more rarely take my time to blog about what I have accomplished.

Yesterday I took the children with me to the summerhouse, to have them help with part of the raising.
Mette had instructed Gustav to take some pictures, so if you find the pictures better composed than normal on this blog, that is probably why.

As a warning to wives of readers from Pennsylvania, I haven't even taken the time to visit the hairdresser this home period, so I look like the "before" shot from some makeover article.

I had constructed the sub frame and poured some concrete to form a foundation. While the concrete hardened, I started on making the joints for the next part of the frame: the 4 bents.

Olav visited me in the beginning of the process, and he gave me some advice, that I gladly took. That resulted in that I made the joints a bit narrower, 1.5" instead of 2" and all the mortises were not made as through mortises, but as 4" deep ones instead.
Olav was so kind as to lend me a portable chain mortising machine. That thing is amazing. And it sure speeds up the process.

Asger helped chopping Roman numerals for identifying the joints.

The raising of the bents was done over a couple of days, because I had to do other things as well, such as sawing more timber and making more joints for the next frame parts.

That status of the build is that the frame is erected all the way to the ridge pole/beam. I still need to make some rafters and mount those. But since I'm going back to sea on Wednesday, that'll have to wait for the next time I am home.

All the raising was done by hand with the help of a chain block to raise the individual bents. The timbers for the first floor were lifted up by hand. I raised the timber on end, and lifted/pushed it up till it reached the pivot point. Then I let it drop on the joists for the first floor.

Asger, Gustav, Fnug and Jonas

Roman numerals

Asger helping with a tenon.

The tenon after breaking off the small pieces.

The slick (Stossaxt) has been used a lot in this project.

Wrestling a piece of 6x8 timber.

Close up of a joint.

Negotiating the joint in place.


  1. looking good Jonas, good progress!
    That Newfoundland dog sure is a big dog eh? :-)

    Bob and Rudy

    1. Hi Bob

      Thanks for the nice comment.
      I suppose that compared to Rudy, our Newf is a bit large, but since it is a bitch, she is not as big as they get. She weighs around 48-50 kg, so there is a nice cozy handful of dog :-)
      She mostly helps by overseeing the project.


  2. It's just a minor point but one that caught my eye because I have never worked with one. The Stossaxt is properly called a mortising axe, not a slick, which is just a very big and heavy firmer chisel. It is much easier to make or find on the secondary market in the USA. cf.:

    It does appear, on account of the missing handle, that both tools are used by pushing and striking. Are you still able to buy these tools readily off he shelf there?
    I'm impressed by what can be done with the labor of two boys and a man.

    1. Thanks for the information on the mortise axe. I didn't know that name.
      My mortise axe is an old model which you can't buy new any more.
      Dictum in Germany has got some
      You can get one with a steel handle or one with a wooden handle.

      Once I suppose they were issued with a handle, but for the last 100 years or so ? I think they have been used without the handle. You don't strike them, only with the palm of your hand.

      I think that you can buy the mortise axes in Germany in well assorted tool shops, or in the professional section of lumber yards.

      It is a very satisfying feeling to build something by hand, and I am happy to be able to pass on that feeling to my children. I am not sure if they 100% get that I put a lot of hours in making all the joints, but putting it together is fairly quick and yields stunning results.


  3. It looks great! And it looks like a lot of fun. Timber framing is always interesting, and who doesn't love the look of timber framed joinery?
    Kim says you look just fine! I once told her that I was going to bring home a Newfoundland and she wouldn't have it, but she admits that your dog looks awful cute in the photo.
    Good luck at sea! Here's hoping for some nice weather!
    Your friend,

    1. Hi Bill

      I ought to do some more timber framing. I really like it. I'm glad that Kim approves of my look, but I am a bit more doubtful about my appearance in another five weeks. I'm going to look like something from Planet of the apes..

      I can't praise a Newfoundland dog highly enough. It is the most gentle breed and a very loveable dog. There are some issues such as hair everywhere in the house and some drooling etc. The breed is known to be a bit lazy, but that is perfect for me. The puppies are irresistible nothing less.

      It is strange, but this timber frame is the first build where I have used a marking knife. I think I need to make one for my finer projects as well.

      Have a nice summer
      your friend

  4. Impressive little project, and well done. I look forward to seeing more work accomplished once you return. Bon Voyage

    1. Hi Johann

      Thanks a lot for the nice comment.
      I should have taken some more close up pictures of the individual joints. Most of them turned out way better than I had expected. It is marvelous how a bit of precision in laying out a joint can help :-)