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North House Timber Framing Workshop: Day Eight

by Tara

Today, I took a break from doing layout to make the knee-braces for our house. The tenons were quick and easy, just a few 45° cuts on the chop saw. Shaping the curves that Tyler and Peter had drawn on them was serious business, though. One false move, and I'd make them useless or ugly. Happily, I got through all 16 successfully, and apparently, I looked like I knew what I was doing, because Beth (one of the North House interns) remarked to me later, "man, you were ballin' on that bandsaw!"

Tara Cutting Knee Braces on Combination Miter Saw Tara Shaping a Knee Brace Tara Shaping a Knee Brace Tara Shaping a Knee Brace

I'm not sure if I've ever been a baller at anything in my life, so I was pretty pleased with myself! While I was busy with our braces, Tyler worked with Peter to cut the "bird's mouth" notch on our rafters—the V shaped cutout where the rafters will rest on our wall plates. Instead of cutting each of them individually, they strapped the rafter boards together for a "gang cut", sawing all of the notches at once.

Peter & Tyler Prepping Gang Cut for Rafters Tyler Gang Cutting Bird's Mouth for Rafters Bird's Mouth Rafter Layout

It's hard to believe, but we're almost done with our frame-building workshop. I'm already beginning to feel sad about returning to central Minnesota and the mosquito-and-heat onslaught that is sure to greet us. I'm going to miss this inspiring place, with its beautiful water, pretty boats, and friendly, like-minded folk.

North House Wood Shop View North House Schooner: Hjørdis


Hi Tyler and Tara!

I feel like i'm writing to celebrities right now because your journey has had such a huge influence on both my partner and I. Recently we decided we were going to sell up everything, pack our bikes and hit the road! We fly out to the UK on the 1st of June and we absolutely cant wait! Your blog has been a huge inspiration for us and we have learnt a lot from you both.

We also hope to use this trip to learn about sustainable building from whoever will teach us so we can built our own place when we get home (to New Zealand).

Anyway, I just thought I would drop you a line and let you both know how awesome you are!

Anna and Sam
Posted by Anna on May 12th, 2016 at 7:43 PM
Anna & Sam -

Thanks so much for leaving such a sweet note! Truly, it made our days. :D Best of luck on your bicycle tour-- June 1st is coming so, so soon, and we're super excited for you!! It means the world to us that we've had some small part in inspiring you to hit the road. May you have tailwinds and sunny days, wonderful adventures, and enough challenges to help you grow.


T (&T)
Posted by Tara on May 23rd, 2016 at 7:10 AM