Japanese Timberframe Part I Stones and Sills

Using large square to find stone locations A hole is drilled at post location to accept plumb bob Its important to remove all organic matter, down to mineral subsoil Wide flat stones are wedged in first, then covered with clean smaller gravel. The Sumi ink will mark stone or wood, and once dry, wont wash off in the rain. Very important to ensure the large square is level while dropping the points down. My new Korean style scribe tool, very simple to make and use! The post is held level according to its center lines whilst being scribed. Saw off as much as possible before chiseling. Extremely hard and dry virginia pine, feels like oak! A few different size gouges will let you match any shape of the stone. Smooth and hollow the inside out, you don't want it to touch anywhere but the outside edge. This took me roughly 1 hour for each post, including the layout and scribing. 4 of the posts took one try, 2 needed one more to get a good enough fit. Nice to be able to move these small posts to a bench! Best to saw what you can see from each side, then meet in the middle.

A chamfer helps it go together. Halfway from each side! A 15 degree bevel makes an amazing paring chisel… One half of the joint complete, now I just need 13 more! Ill take a whimble brace over a boring machine most days. Burning, the best wood preservative. Imagine a termites surprise at the first bite! Yuck!!! Pine tar, canola oil, citrus solvent, equal parts Compressing the wood to ease insertion. It will expand again in time to become tighter. These are 5×9 white pine beams, and 5×5 virginia pine posts by the way. Theres one side! Had to use all my blocks on this one! I wish I had one extra hand right about now haha. The "Watari Ago" joint… A bit of body weight helps these go together. Someone asked "what holds that joint together?" The difficult part would be removing it! These are horizontal bracing members, known as "nuki" to the Japanese. 1/8" offset "draw bored" square riven chestnut oak pegs…say that a few times… Once wedged up tight, these offer a huge amount of rigidity and strength to the frame, while still being more flexible if needed during an earthquake.

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Our base timbers complete! A small breezeway joins the house and addition.

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