This week in the Daily Dispatch, a beard disappears, tools get sharp, and the tub of epoxy comes out.
Diving back into the timber frame after poring over Issue Thirteen for weeks was a little bit jarring. It took a couple hours of head-scratching and maneuvering timbers to remember exactly where we were in the process. But soon enough, we began fitting wall braces and laying out a big post-foot repair. It’s good to get moving again.
Tuesday started out drizzly and wet – perfect weather for sharpening. A fresh edge makes a world of difference, and it feels good to bring a newly sharpened kit to the worksite. After the weather improved somewhat, Joshua and Nevan took down two big red pines by the house site. These were quite twisted and gnarly, adding an element of challenge to the process. But it was nothing that an axe and a truck in 4WD-Low couldn’t handle.
We were startled by the clean-shaven appearance of “Kevin” (formerly Nevan, but apparently now much younger) midweek, but we were able to persevere in our work despite the shock. Some of the timbers are now in full-blown repair mode, which has us scrambling to fix rot pockets, evict rat nests, and debating endlessly about conservation methods for these centuries-old frame members. We want to preserve the original visible surfaces as much as possible, which makes some repairs quite complicated. But it will be worth the effort.
And repairs dominated the remainder of the week’s work on the frame. Utilizing our new timber cart, we wheeled tie beams out onto sawhorses and started cutting into the areas of rot and splitting. Epoxy, stir sticks, and clamps – hardly traditional timber tools but very necessary for preservation – peppered the worksite.
And at week’s end, we invited everyone in the Dispatch forum to share photos of the undersides of their antique furniture. As we all know, that’s where the interesting stuff is – layout lines, tool marks, writing, even tree bark. It’s the “book” to read that tells the story of every piece of handmade furniture.
Until next time, that’s the latest from the M&T Daily Dispatch.