Timber Frame Raising

The timber frame arrived at Bunny Vista on Thursday. Aaron Tammi drove to Jordan Finch’s workshop in Mountain Jackson early in the morning and came back to Swoope at midday with a trailer full of house wood, shaped and ready to be made into a timber frame room. Jordan and his assistants Justin and Mike arrived at about the same time.

At last--the timber frame arrives at Bunny Vista

At last--the timber frame arrives at Bunny Vista.

Jordan’s crew and Lewis’s crew spent the rest of Thursday assembling the frame and all day Friday raising it. Kelley’s brother Garry worked with them on Thursday, and our neighbor Emerson Willard worked all day Friday. Kelley and Erin and I took hundreds of photos of these two dramatic days. The photos tell the story much better than I can. I hope they give you a sense of how dramatic, exciting, and moving these two days have been.

The crane lowers the very first part of the frame onto the deck--the pine top plate for Wall A. It is about 35 feet long.

Kelley helps position the very first part of the frame onto the deck--the pine top plate for Wall A. It is about 35 feet long.

The crane lowers a post onto the deck. The top of the post is at the left of the photo.

The crane lowers one of the posts onto the deck.

The crew joins the posts to the top plate and the braces to both top plate and posts while the wall lies flat on the deck.

The crew has joined the posts to the top plate and the braces to both top plate and posts while the wall lies flat on the deck. Wall B is on the left, Wall A, which will be raised first, is on the right.

Amel Blanton, Kelley's father, oils the white oak pegs that will be used in the mortise and tenon joints.

Amel Blanton, Kelley's father, oils the white oak pegs that will be used in the mortise and tenon joints.

Timber Frame joinery

This is an example of the precise and perfect joinery. Jordan, Mike, and Justin cut all the joints at Jordan's workshop in Mount Jackson.

Mark drives some of the many pegs that draw the joints together and hold them tight.

Mike drives some of the many pegs that draw the joints together and hold them tight. He is working on Wall A.

The crew drilled a steel plate into the bottom of each post. When the walls are raised, they will screw the plates into the decking.

The crew drilled a steel plate into the bottom of each post. When the walls are raised, they will screw the plates into the decking.

On Friday morning, the crew began to raise the timber frame. The first part to go up was Wall A, lifted and lowered into place by the crane. Jordan directed the men as they positioned the posts onto the marks they had made earlier.

On Friday morning, the crew began to raise the timber frame. The first part to go up was Wall A, lifted and lowered into place by the crane. Jordan directed the men as they positioned the posts onto the marks they had made earlier. Jordan is partly visible at far left, directing the crane operator and the crew.

Wall A is up, temporarily braced by two x fours

Wall A is up, temporarily braced by two x fours

After Wall A, the floor beams for the loft went up. Slots are cut in the beams for the joists.

After Wall A, the floor beams for the loft went up. They are braced by "dead men" until Wall B goes up.

The crane lifted Wall B, turned it around in the air, and lowered it into place.

The crane lifted Wall B, turned it around in the air, and lowered it into place.

Once the walls were raised, the work of joining the loft floor beams and the sling braces began.

Once the walls were raised, the work of joining the loft floor beams and the sling braces to the wall posts began.

These four massive braces are called sling braces. They were cut from a curved cherry tree.

These four massive braces are called sling braces. They were cut from a curved cherry tree.

After much maneuvering, the first sling brace slid into place.

After much maneuvering, the first sling brace slides into place.

With the first set of sling braces in place, Braxton, Aaron, Mike, and Justin position a principal rafter. Jordan directs the crew and the crane operator.

With the first set of sling braces in place, Braxton, Aaron, Mike, and Justin position a principal rafter. Jordan directs the crew and the crane operator.

One more bent to go.

The view from under the loft. Too beautiful. Too beautiful.

The timber frame is almost complete, with the remaining rafters to be added Monday.

The timber frame is almost complete, with the remaining rafters to be added Monday.

Bunny Vista has a fancy new look.

Bunny Vista has a fancy new look.

Watching the raising of the timber frame was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Jordan’s craftsmanship, selection and use of materials, design, planning, and execution of this project have been nothing short of brilliant. Like the stonework and the log house, the timber frame is a work of art that we will always treasure. It will be a pleasure to live in this house and a pleasure to remember the building of the house.

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5 Responses to “Timber Frame Raising”

  1. Robin Blanton Says:

    Is this the most beautiful thing ever? I think so! We are Blown Away. Fantastic pictures, too!

  2. Matthew Shull Says:

    That is fabulous! Congratulations on this big step!

  3. Robbie Lawson Says:

    Spectacular!!! And it’s so cool that your family is so involved with the project. Keep the pics coming-they are great!

  4. Martha Says:

    The cherry pieces are BEAUTIFUL!

  5. Daniel Says:

    I see some metal plates from Valley Precision in these pictures! That is outstanding! What a wonderfully constructed home!

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