TFG Blog

Day 6, Sunrise Mill CBW (October 3, 2019)

Beautiful shot of the Sunrise Mill from across Swamp Creek. Unfortunately, the weather was not going to cooperate with our plan to begin the raising.

The weather and the hardwood has taken its toll on the schedule, and the rain on Thursday, day six in the workshop, confirms we're a day behind our target raising completion date. Workshop manager Dale Emde believes we'll cut a day out of the raising, completing it tomorrow (Friday), rather than today (Thursday).

So, we'll huddle in the tents with our tools, sawhorses, hemlock rafters (pretty much all that remains to be fabricated), and good spirits to complete the preparation of the timber for the raising. 

A few hardy souls - including Scott Fruchtey, a Montgomery County employee who has taken time off to participate in this workshop and has proved invaluable to our efforts; Brian Clark; and Jack Witherington - persisted through the rain to begin moving the timbers to Sunrise Mill, where we will raise the frame. 

We should also mention the hardy souls who have worked for the last couple hot days and through today's rain to complete the deck over the raceway for the mills with the running water beneath them. Michael Cuba has spearheaded the effort, which includes figuring out where the sills must be located and where the anchoring rods are located to provide guidance on where holes must be drilled by those fabricating them.

He started with the able assistance from practicing carpenters and timber framers Blain Snipstal and the Johnson brothers (Randy and Farris), who set the sills and the sleepers (joists) on the sills and attached them to foundation and sills respectively.


They were called home, so Erin Evans, Paige Heron, and Trevor Diefendorf were recruited to deck the sleepers as well as install the timber framer-quality guardrails around the oak-floored deck for the safety of the participants. The deck was extended beyond the frame, out over the creek to create a walkway for the eventual application of the siding on the stream side elevation of the frame. 

Early in the day, Neil gave a demo on the process of cutting the rafters, demonstrating the steps and techniques. Undoubtedly, there are some tired muscles and sore backs, but the switch from oak (which we've been dealing with all week) to hemlock turned out to be a pretty good way to go about the fabrication, if unintentional. In the photo below, Neil is demonstrating the first birdsmouth cut. 

While Dave Maynard finished the housings that he had kerfed the day before with a borrowed skilsaw...





...Seth Kelley finished building the shear leg for the raising in the rain. 





Below, Paige (left) and Trevor (right) spent a good part of their day riving pegs. Both brought their experience from previous workshops or training classes. 

They even brought a shave horse back to Camp Hope and set up in the lobby of the main lodge to finish the work after dinner. 

As Neil observes, Rick Coryell applies the lessons of Neil's demonstration. 

Workshop participants all applying the lessons learned on the rafters. 

Two veteran instructors, Will and Dave, kidding and working on layout for one of the few non-rafter timbers remaining.

Bruce Cowie providing input on the shoulder of the tenon to Ron.






Xavier, maybe the quietest volunteer, lets his work do the talking. He is eloquent. Here he is beginning the mortise (fork) at the peak end of the rafter and planing a small champfer (or breaking edge) on the rafter edges.

The design called for studs on the stream side wall to receive live edge siding. Below, Jim Fagan is completing the mortise. 

Dave Bowman working with Joe DeCarlo to check a tie tenon (below left). Joe makes the adjustment with his chisel (below right). The instructors have focused on the tenons to assure that raising day will go smoothly.

Local engineer Grayson, a graduate of the Heartwood School of the Homebuilding Crafts, stopped in to participate in the fabricating. He spent the better part of an afternoon helping us to fabricate the rafters. As you can see, his dress was unorthodox - business clothes and leather loafers, which I am sure he needed to clear of the accumulated sawdust when he left for the day - but he left with a smile from ear to ear. 

Visit our sponsors and support the folks who support the Guild and our wonderful Community Building Workshops Program

Click on a photo to enlarge.

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Posted Oct 5, 2019 9:27 PM PST. Edited on Oct 24, 2019 3:48

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