Frame Up

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

It's been slow going but now most of the post-and-beam frame is up.

I got most of the purlins for the house itself (i.e., not including the west gable of the house and the attached porch/greenhouse) up steadily enough.

When I tried to put the frame up for the house west gable I had a problem with the gin pole dropping too soon, similar to what happened with the third frame resulting in a crack at the top of the pole this time, running vertically down from the middle from the bolts on the bracket:

Leaving that to be replaced later I got on with putting the rest of the frame up:

Rather than assemble the last two frames lying down then lift them with the gin pole I put the posts up, assembled the tie beams with brackets on the end then lifted those using the same technique as I'd worked out for the purlins. By this point I'd got moderately slick at doing that and put up the last tie beam (in the west gable of the greenhouse) and the two purlins on its north side in one day. Previously I'd only been managing two beams per day when things went well.

That's all pleasing in a way but also the whole thing has just taken too long. When I started work for this year on March 9th I thought the frame would take three or four weeks but it's now taken three months.

That's partly because I'd misremembered how many of the purlins for the south side were ready to go up - I thought it was most of the actual house ones when it was only the two for the main bedroom and the study. Mostly, though, it's just been that I've been able to do a bit less in a day than I thought and the weather has greatly reduced the number of days I've been able to do much.

My concerns are that either I'll run out of season before the house is in a fit state to survive the winter or, if the weather continues as it has been for all but the odd week, the whole lot will rot before I get it covered over.

E.g., the bottoms of the posts have been suffering as a result of water pooling on the tops of the bracket flange plates. The really eagle eyed will notice that the stub posts are missing in the picture above. I took them off and turned them over to dry during a sunny week and have stacked them in the container for the time being.

The main posts have mostly not been out quite so long so are less of a problem but soon will be I expect. In the hope of delaying that I've stapled plastic sheeting round their bases:

…with the idea of keeping the bulk of the water out while still letting it drain downwards. It was wet and windy last night so I'll go have a look to see how that's done later.

[Update 2016-06-18 Sat: Well, that didn't work. I found that water was being trapped under the plastic so as soon as the weather was likely to result in them drying out I took the plastic off again:

After a few dry hours with light breeze and intermittent sun they were dry again this afternoon.

I did consider duct taping the tops of the plastic. That'd probably have kept the water out but I'd have been worrying about not being able to see what was happening under the tape.]