Ed's latest project: Sycamore Barns
BARN STYLE HOMES
The challenge of this project is the fact that we are fitting a new frame in an old stone barn style home which is anything but square. My involvement in this project was to see it through from the workshop and out on site to help with the erection.
This is the 3D drawing of the main body of the barn.
As you can see it is made up of 8 large sling braces connecting into hanging bosses at the top, attached to the wall plates by dragon ties on top of the posts. In the workshop this diagram gets broken down into individual frames fitted together on trestles.
Something that was specified by the client in the project was that the grain on the sling braces was to follow the curve along, so before any framing could begin large slabs of curved oak came into the workshop where we lay the patterns of the braces to see the best fitting curves. Once marked out and cut the rest of the oak could come in that had already been machined on the Hundegger.
THE OAK FRAME BARN
The barn took 2 teams of 3 men, 10 days to pass through the workshop; during this time I looked at every frame and took measurements to make the fitting on site go as smoothly as possible. This project did take longer than normal in the workshop, this was due to all the joints on the sling braces being cut and fitted by hand and a large amount of stainless steel that connected the bosses to the slings had to be fitted. Also, as the wood was fitted it was specified that nearly all the frames had to be sanded and oiled before being wrapped up for transport. (A job that Rob the designer, who was helping out, was only too keen to do!)
We arrived on site on the Monday morning after an early start (and a rather interesting weekend involving my own 21st birthday.) Ryan, Saso (site foreman) and I set to work unloading the lorry. After bait which included some excellent cake from Mrs T (Saso’s wife) we started to set down the wall plates on the old stone walls. This involved a fair amount of levelling but once done we could start lifting the trusses in. The first area was completed with the common rafters on by mid-morning the next day in time for the main bulk of the oak frame home to turn up.
Here's the crane we had to use to lift in every timber beam.
One of the half sling brace trusses taken just before being pegged up and the ridge fitted.
The old barn trusses which have been refurbished but are sadly not strong enough, they now sit on steel plates which are coach bolted to our wall plates.
On the Wednesday we moved on to the more technical corner where the 2 trusses cross over. This caused some headaches as the wall plates on the corner are level and on the far side they follow the gradient of the wall. So after a little guidance from the laser level (and the benefit of Saso’s experience) we adjusted the wall plates to where they should be. After this the posts went in, held on top by the dragon ties, then the slings were flown over individually and the bosses attached in the middle. By Wednesday evening all the slings were in and I was fitting the stainless steel rods which hold the bosses level.
Thursday (accompanied by a blizzard) we added the ridges, which at the ends were not attached so had to be propped up in the air ready for the bricklayers to build up around them. The last day on the project was Friday, Ryan and I went back for some final pegging, levelling up and tidying up, before walking round with a happy client, then back in time for the work Christmas party.
Some pictures I took throughout the project, showing how well the new frame fits in with the old stone barn and how the steel interacts with oak.
Me, Ryan and Saso on completing the frame after another long day's work.