Monday, September 28, 2009

Framing fiercely

Our concrete set up well and was ready for stress by last Monday, and so we fired up a college truck and trailer, ran up the road to the old Grange hall the college uses for storage, and pulled out those fine frame sections that last year's class spent so many hours preparing.

All that careful preparation paid off and the frames flew up in record time, so much so that by Friday at noon the main frame of the building was up and the plates and wind braces all in place.

Pictured are Meghan, Kaley, Rory, Matt and myself all engaged in framing tasks.

Now it's time for heavy timbers.

A 30' wide building needs either an expensive truss system, or interior framing, to hold up its roof. Trusses are also used to hold up the ceiling between the first and second floor.

But we will need to put hay in the second floor or attic space, and so trusses can't be used because they will make the hay storage space inaccessible.

Old fashioned rafters must therefore hold up our roof, and so posts must hold up the hay floor. This means we must use post and beam construction techniques for the next few weeks to create that hay floor. This interior post system will also penetrate the hay floor and hold up a rafter beam, which will reduce the necessary weight of the rafters themselves.

This is all an excellent opportunity to learn a few things. Carpentry, physics, math, teamwork, leadership, and coordination: all will be needed to get these frames up and the roof on the building before snow flies.

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