Author Topic: A good day's work!  (Read 23283 times)

Offline Limberly

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How did I miss this topic?   Very impressive!  Both the stonework, so far, and the hand-hewn logs.  A lot of hard work put into this project, I can see that.  Look forward to seeing the final result. 

Offline Sverre

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One year later, and the dry stone wall is still not completely finished... :nervous: We're at a stage where the house/timber frame can be raised though, and according to the plan, we'll start work on that in a few days. Hopefully, that means I should have lots of new pictures to share with you later this week.

Offline Velvet Revolver

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Looking forward to seeing them Sverre


Offline Sverre

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Don't have the time to write anything now, but here are some pictures from last week's work on the project:




















Offline Velvet Revolver

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Wow...very impressive Sverre!


Offline Sverre

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Trying something a little bit different for the fascia/gable boards. Using a japanese adze, or chouna, to make a distinctive "kikko pattern":



I don't get the same smooth and consistent finish seen in the work of japanese master carpenters. Probably partly due to insufficient practice and a less forgiving type of wood to work with. Or at least that's what I like to tell myself :P Still, I'm very happy with the result, and since they're made of pure pine heartwood, they should last for hundreds of years :)

Offline Velvet Revolver

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That's a great finish.  You did an excellent job!

Offline Sverre

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Here in Norway, and at least in this application, I think it's pretty unique, and even though this project is deeply rooted in local tradition, that's never a bad thing!

Offline Velvet Revolver

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I don't recall seeing it done here.  That's still fantastic that you taught yourself how to do it. 

Puts my drilling holes into bottles without breaking them or hurting myself to shame.   :lol:

Offline Sverre

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The last couple of weeks I've mostly been preoccupied with preparations and planning of the building's green roof, which we hope to finish sometime next week. In-between all the research and e-mails, I've still been able to get some much needed work done on the dry stone wall though.

So here's a quick look into the process behind a section of the wall which has bugged me for a "while"...

Picture from october 28 last year:



Two days later, I made a mock-up of a few possible sollutions, using a graphics editor (External url (7MB)). Then winter came and the dry stone wall was put on hold.

Now, ten and a half months later, I finally completed the section today, but before I reveal the result, it would be interesting to hear how you would have done it, and which sollution you think I went for?
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 04:50:29 PM by Sverre »

Offline Velvet Revolver

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I would have used cement.  Lots and lots of it so it wouldn't fall over.

Staggering the stones is a must for it to be sturdy.  Perhaps doing a row occasionally facing the opposite direction.  Or maybe I should pay as much attention to Yard Crashers as I do the Bath and Kitchen Crasher shows on hgtv.

Offline Sverre

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Cement... :lol:

"Tracing" stones, where the stone's longest axis (strength) runs along the wall is something which should be avoided. There's no denying that it is a much faster, cheaper and easier way of building a wall though. The exception to this rule, as seen in the picture above, is the traced stones (depending on your perspective) often seen at corners/ends.

Offline Velvet Revolver

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This is why I don't build walls.  I hire people to do things like that.   :lol:

Offline Sverre

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I'll try to take a picture of the section of dry stone wall we finished last weekend soon, but today, I have something else to show you.

Yesterday, I got up at 5 AM to unload the components for the green roof we had ordered, and after a LOOOONG and hard day of work, the roof is almost done:





The first sedum roof on a traditional trestle frame house? Possibly, but according to some historic references, it has actually been a local tradition to plant certain sedum species on turf roofs. The origin of this practice is not clear, but folklore suggests that the belief that sedum plants had magical properties which, among other things, warded against fire and lightning strikes could hold the answer :lol:

If you compare it to a homegrown turf roof, it wasn't exactly cheap. And since the house isn't attached to the foundation, the need for extra ballast on the roof presented a difficult problem as well. In the end, we ended up with a custom solution with almost 2 tons of gravel placed in ground reinforcement mats underneath the layer of sedum mats. Personally, I think it was well worth it though, and I can't wait to see what it will look like in full bloom :D

Offline Velvet Revolver

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That's the first sedum roof I've seen.  It's nice!  How does it handle cold weather?  Do you have to water it if there's a drought? 

Please post pictures when it is in full bloom!

Offline Sverre

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Cold weather shouldn't be a problem as long as we don't get temperatures below the freezing point in the immediate future. Sedum is supposed to be able to withstand long dry spells, but this spring, summer and autumn it would probably have needed a little bit of watering from time to time. Usually, the climate is so humid here that watering shouldn't be necessary though, even with such a steep pitched roof.


Offline Sverre

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Another quick little update:

First, a couple of pics showing the section of dry stone wall I was talking about a few weeks back...





As you can see, I went for a solution based on mock-up number 7. Without the aid of these mock-ups, I highly doubt I would have ended up with such a good result :)

Any plans to treat it, if at all?

We're still debating that. The natural patina of untreated wood would look totally wicked on a building like this, and both the spruce and pine (most of the sapwood has been hewn off from the posts) we're using should be able to last for generations without treatment provided that they are allowed to dry up once in a while. The damp coastal climate and the fact that our house and garage have been stained in a brownish hue speak in favour of staining it though...

This is STILL a topic of heavy debate, especially since we (I) have decided to go for vertical instead of horizontal siding. That means whole walls would have to be replaced if it starts to rot, instead of just one or two planks at the bottom. While researching different types of stains and oils this weekend, I stumbled across something really interesting though. An ancient Japanese technique of preserving wood, called shou sugi ban/yakisugi. Here seen on a small piece of (plain and boring) spruce:


Offline Velvet Revolver

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Looks nice Sverre.  I like how that method of preserving looks.

Offline Sverre

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Ordered a bigger blowtorch today, so if it doesn't rain too much, we'll start to burn the siding this weekend... :smoking:

Offline Velvet Revolver

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 :lol:  New tools are awesome.  Same applies to cookware and craft supplies.

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Offline Sverre

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That's a really good question...

Weather and real life stuff have made it difficult to work on the siding these past couple of months, but last weekend we finally had a chance to start on the siding for one of the gables.

Since we've decided to try to avoid battening the gaps between each board, the live edges first had to be adjusted to match the one on the adjoining board. This turned out to be quite a tricky task, but eventually, we found a decent - but still VERY time-consuming - way of doing it. If I remember it, I'll try to document the process once we start on the next gable.



Here's the rig we used to char the siding. The side walls are there to keep the heat/flame more concentrated on the work piece. Next time, I think I'll try a steeper incline in an attempt to harness more of the chimney effect though...



And here's the result after charring, brushing and washing:



This week, the plan is to apply linseed oil to the charred boards as an additional preservative, and after a week or two of hardening/polymerisation indoors in a controlled environment, the first batch of siding should be ready :lol: