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Timber Raising Photo Essay

  The day before raising takes place, the crew have worked hard to pre-assemble as much of the frame as possible while it lies flat on thedeck. These sub assemblies mean that less work has to performed at height.     The process of raising a frame involves standing up the pre-assembled pieces, temporarily bracing […]
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Click to view The day before raising takes place, the crew have worked hard to pre-assemble as much of the frame as possible while it lies flat on thedeck. These sub assemblies mean that less work has to performed at height.
   
Click to view The process of raising a frame involves standing up the pre-assembled pieces, temporarily bracing them and then installing the horizontal members. We prefer to use a crane wherever possible due to speed and safety concerns – the days of mule teams and crowds with poles are long gone.
   
Click to view The crew use come alongs and straps to pull each section tight against its neighbor, prior to intalling the hardwood pegs that secure the joinery.
   
Click to view Here, a complete roof system with double ridge beam and rafters is prepared for its maiden flight. The crew stands ready to receive it.
   
Click to view Vertigo sufferers generally don’t make it onto the the raising crew. New Energy Works policy is to have the same guys who create their frames raise them in the field, rather than rely on a local crew.
   
Click to view The frame slowly takes shape, surrounded by homes using conventional framing.
   
Click to view The roof system lifts off. A little last-minute chisel work is done on the kingposts.
   
Click to view Temporary bracing is in place to hold the kingposts in the correct relationship as the roof system flies into its final position.
   
Click to view The crew guides the assembly into the right location on the main part of the frame. This is delicate work as the joinery fits very precisely.
   
Click to view Rafters are coaxed into their housings at the top of the posts and the final shape of the frame is apparent.
   
Click to view Coordination between crew members is critical as each part of the roof must come together in the right order. The timberframer at the rear is persuading his rafter into place while his buddies keep theirs from jumping out of the posts.
   
Click to view How many timberframers does it take…
A total of twelve joints are being fitted at once, which would be a piece ofcake were it not for the 24′ drop to the deck.
   
Click to view When all else fails, use a bigger hammer. Giant mallets are used to tap recalcitrant timbers into their place in the frame. The mark of a professional is no mark at all – we only apply force to non-visible faces, or else use a sacrificial board to absorb the impact.
   
Click to view This double ridge beam has contrasting pieces of reclaimed Douglas fir and red oak that was rescued from a demolished barn.
   
Click to view Success! All the joints have been pulled into place and the roof system is almost complete.
   
Click to view Be prepared for visitors; raisings always draw interested spectators.
   
Click to view At the end of a raising, we always nail up a ceremonial pine bough. This tradition dates back to the Middle Ages and is a way of acknowledging the role the forest plays in our craft.
   
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