Timber Framing In The Kettle River Watershed

16 Questions

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Timber Framing In The Kettle River Watershed

You are about to have a timber framed outdoor classroom by your nature trail. This is a quiz to test your knowledge of traditional timber framing.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    What is meant by the word craft? Does it involve...?
    • A. 

      Your hands?

    • B. 

      Your heart, sense of wonder, passion?

    • C. 

      Your focus?

    • D. 

      Tools and skills

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 2. 
    Where do timbers come from?
    • A. 

      Trees

    • B. 

      Forests

    • C. 

      Tree farms

    • D. 

      Water sheds and bioregions

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 3. 
    What tools can you use to make a timber?They've evolved a bit since then...
    • A. 

      Hewing axe

    • B. 

      Adze

    • C. 

      Chain saw

    • D. 

      Band saw or circular saw mill

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 4. 
    But how do you join two or more timbers together? Traditionally, before we invented nails, bolts and sawmills, timbers were joined using a bunch of clever joints, the most common one being the mortise and the tenon. "Simple and strong, the mortise and tenon joint has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood... Although there are many variations on the theme, the basic idea is that the end of one of the members is inserted into a hole cut in the other member. The end of the first member is called the tenon, and it is usually narrowed with respect to the rest of the piece. The hole in the second member is called the mortise. The joint may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place." (wikipedia)Here is a picture of a mortise in a timber and a tenon on a timber ready to be joined. Can you draw a picture of one yourself?The first step to building is being able to draw the joinery that will hold your frame together.(from timberstructures.net)What is the name of this most common joint?
  • 5. 
    A series of mortise and tenon joints is called a bent. A bent allows the builder to assemble a cross-section of the frame on the ground. This is easier than raising one timber at a time into the air and joining it to the frame. Once a bent is pegged or wedged together, it can be raised with a bunch of workers, a gin pole or derrick, or a crane.Here is a picture of a bent. Can you draw one? The first step to building a frame in real space is to imagine it first and paper and pencil is great for this.(from timberstructures.net)Here is a great aerial photo of some bents ready to be raised. Notice the round timbers with roots.(from moresun timber frames)Here is a photo of a traditional bent raising.Here is a large photo of a bent being raised traditionally:It is a large image, the link is here to view it better: http://buildatimberframe.com/whatsnew.htmWhat is the name of this cross-section of a timber frame?
  • 6. 
    What is a timber frame then? Here is a 3 dimensional drawing of part of an upper-cruck frame. If you look closely you can see the 3 bents that are spaced about 8 to 16 feet apart from each other.(images from www.timberstructures.net)
    • A. 

      A series of bents or an assembly of timber posts, beams, braces, purlins and rafters joined by mortise and tenon joinery

    • B. 

      A structure to shelter and protect us from the elements of wind, rain, snow and sun

    • C. 

      A traditional way to build a house, church, school, barn and bridge

    • D. 

      A strong and beautiful use of wood that can last for 1000 years

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 7. 
    A timber frame can last for hundreds of years, even one thousand years or more, if it has a good hat and shoes! Now that’s a sustainable use of local resources. What does it mean for a timber frame to have a good hat and shoes?
  • 8. 
    With a good roof (hat) and a good foundation (shoes) a timber frame is protected from the elements of decay. What are the elements of decay when it comes to wood?
  • 9. 
    Trees are coniferous and deciduous. What does this mean?
  • 10. 
    What are the two strongest coniferous trees that grow in our local forests? Your outdoor classroom will have both of these trees in its frame.  Hint: They used to use both of these trees for posts in mine shafts because they are almost as strong as oak in compressive strength. They are also used for railway ties.
  • 11. 
    What is a unique characteristic of the Larch conifer tree?
    • A. 

      The larch plays an important role in Sami (Lapp) and Siberian mythology where it takes the place of the ash as the World-tree. Their shamans use larch wood to rim their ceremonial drums.

    • B. 

      Its needles are deciduous. They turn bright yellow and shed in the fall.

    • C. 

      Even after dead, they become favored snags for many bird species, especially pileated and other woodpeckers.

    • D. 

      Larch wood is valued for strength and rot resistance and is often used for fence poles and was once used to make shingles here in the Boundary. It is a lot like cedar in this respect yet much stronger.

    • E. 

      All of the above.

  • 12. 
    What is the job of a timber frame?
    • A. 

      To keep us dry and warm

    • B. 

      To act as the “bones” for the “skin” (walls and roof) of the frame

    • C. 

      To transfer loads of wind, snow and “dead weight” (pianos, people, pickle jars etc.)

    • D. 

      To bring the beauty and strength of our local woods into our homes

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 13. 
    What does bioregionalism mean and why is it important?
  • 14. 
    What is a daisywheel and can you draw one?Before tape measures and squares, this is how they laid out the design of a building. This website has an excellent explanation and instructions on how: http://www.timberstructures.net/timber-framing.html (also notice the great drawings on what types of timber frames are possible)What is this type of design called?
  • 15. 
    What is the golden ratio? Why is it important? These are some images of the golden ratio. Google images has lots more to give you an idea of how significant it is in the world around us.What is this ratio called?
  • 16. 
    What are the four seasons and what is an equinox and a solstice? One of these is coming up soon.