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Grindbygg Timber Framing Course: Day Two

by Tara

The morning dawns dark and wet, with torrential rains that soak our land. Thankfully, the canopy that Tyler, Peter and Amy built last night is holding up well. Without that very important piece of gear, there's no way we would be able to accomplish anything today. Down at the work site, the rain is coming down so hard on the tarp that we have to yell to one another to be heard, and it's so dark I'm using a headlamp!

Working in the Rain

Despite the grim weather, everyone seems to be in remarkably good spirits. Today is spent making flat spots on the post ears for the tie beam heads to rest on.

Tyler Sawing Post Ears Tara Sawing Post Ears Kit & Matthew Chiseling Post Ears Bruce Shaping Post Ears Bruce Chiseling Tara Hatcheting Post Ears Adnan & Rachel Chiseling Post Ears

We also carve out seats on the wall plates for the post ears to rest on...

Wall Plate Ear Seats Working in the Rain Chiseling Roger Cutting Wall Plate Ear Seats

...and pick out the knee braces that will be attached to the posts.

Tyler Envisioning Knee Braces

Peter, meanwhile, hops from question to question, helping folks grasp the challenging skill-set required for roundwood timber framing. This is so much more complex than using dimensional lumber! Peter truly is a master builder, and I feel incredibly lucky to have him here. I wish I could absorb everything going on in that mind of his, or at least come away with some basic grasp of what we're doing. Instead I mostly feel inept and humbled by the project.

Deanne & Peter Squaring Post Ears Peter

Though Peter seems optimistic, it's clear that we're making slower progress than he anticipated. Perhaps it's the gloominess of the rain that's causing my sour mood, but I'm beginning to feel hopeless about the frame. Will we actually finish it on time? I still can't visualize what the building is really going to look like, and I have a hard time seeing how the cuts and markings we're making will translate into a finished product. I hope it will make sense eventually.

Us Leveling Post Ears by Adnan

When night falls, the rain abates and we're able to have a bonfire, despite the damp selection of kindling. Some folks mingle in the kitchen tent, making late suppers, and everyone else congregates by the smoky warmth of the fire. Whatever frustrations and challenges we faced during our rainy day of building disappear into the mesmerizing flames.

Around the fire, Deanne salvages some bits of chicken fat and meat that Rachel discarded into the fire. She spears them with a stick cave-woman-style, and slowly roasts them over the coals. When the meat is done, she passes it around, and I swear it's the best chicken I've ever had. Meanwhile, Kit does a show-and-tell of her tattoos at Trent's request, and Adnan delights us all with an enthusiastic treatise on the benefits of brining.

Rachel Cutting Chicken in Outdoor Kitchen Trent by Candlelight Kit & Deanne by the Fire Tyler by the Fire Deanne by the Fire Adnan, Peter & Amy by the Fire Kit Showing Off Tattoos by the Fire

The stars come out. Beer flows. Stories are told. Laughter abounds.