The ‘Shed’

 

This structure was designed and built as an example piece that primarily illustrates some of the techniques used to construct traditional (oak) timber frame buildings. The proportions are based upon a standard sizing of construction sheet material, such as plywood (2440mm x 1220mm). This makes it effortless to to finish, with very little wastage.

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The timber used is 100% English green oak. To be specific, it’s actually from Suffolk. Sourced locally from our usual supplier, pieces have been carefully selected that show interesting grain patterns and the inclusion of bark and waney edged sapwood is intentional, enhancing the character.

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These unusual details cannot be replicated using the ‘pattern cut’ techniques that many larger businesses use. A traditional British scribe technique was used, which allows joints to be cut in timbers that may not be square or have straight edges (look at the close-up pictures).

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The entire structure can be assembled with just the provision of draw pegged mortice and tenon joints. Some of the other jointing techniques include face-halfed scarfs, dovetails and tension resisting half-lap joints.

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A natural Y-shaped branch was selected and milled specifically for this frame, the Y shape is not only unusual but provides lateral bracing within the wall. Also the tie beams that run across the structure are traditionally ‘cranked’, this is where they become thicker in the middle section. Three curved braces provide very solid lateral bracing in the cross-frames, these timbers are air dried to minimize shrinkage over time.

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The frame could be finished either simply with weatherboarding and a simple battened and tiled roof. Or you could insulate the outside and make a ‘snug’ for the garden!

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Maximum length of any timber is 2040mm (sole plates). There are 33 pieces in total, making up a pile that exceeds ½ a ton (ish). The pegs used to the secure the joints are hand drawn octagonal. For the collars in the trusses, square pegs (yes in a round hole!) are used.