Monday, November 21, 2011

I could have built my barn without going here, but I learned a lot by going!

I got a taste of what I needed to know and was able to ask as many questions as I could think of. Will gave me an audience one evening for about an hour and we discussed about twelve different ways that I could build my barn with the timber that I had, without cutting down a whole new beam list. We figured on which timbers I could salvage and sized some additional beams to ensure structural strength.
Most importantly I met Greg Searfass, an apprentice from Pennsylvania. Greg was 5’2”, 114 pounds, but had lots of experience with tools and log homes. What Greg lacked in size he made up for in inspiration and determination.
I learned that several timber framers are purists and consider it a mortal sin to whip out certain power tools or steel hardware, even if it made sense. What I liked about Greg was that he wasn’t afraid to explore alternative ideas to timber framing, such as using laminated plywood for a connecting spline instead of special milled oak. Greg was practical.


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