We were recently contracted to design the timber frame for a resort in Central America. The project was fairly complex due to the building’s proximity to the ocean, the area’s seismic activity, and the function of the building. The design, with hipped trusses, also added to the complexity of the job.
Although we were willing and able to travel to help with the installation of the frame (who could say no to the Caribbean?) the client was confident in the abilities of his local carpenters to be able to fabricate the pieces, put the timbers together, and install the trusses.
We were able to use our cutting edge software to come up with detailed shop drawings that showed precisely where each of the notches, mortises, tenons, etc. were located on each piece. The timbers are Santa Maria, a tropical hardwood.
With our full set of drawings the crew was able to order the timbers from a local mill. They then laid out each piece according to our shop drawings and fabricated them on site.
Although the carpenters didn’t have any timber frame experience per se, they were able to cut each of the pieces to the precise dimensions that were on our shop drawings.
The end result is one of which we would be proud. The team of carpenters can now put a feather in their cap for a job well done!
Let us know what you are thinking of for your timber project, whether it is in the tropics or not! We encourage you to get in contact or share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Nice blog post Mike! It is a very cool job.
Unique project, great post Mike, thanks for sharing!
Would a authority be able to fill out a waiver for carpentry?
We are excited to be working with a home builder to build our home, and we decided that we want timber frames. It is good to know that cutting edge software can tell you where each of the notches, mortises, and tenons are located on each piece of timber. It was also convenient for you that you were able to order timber from a local mill. We will have to look into where we will be getting our timber, thanks.
If only it were so easy. We custom design all of our joinery using a sophisticated software package called CadWork. It is very powerful and very expensive. There are some great books on the subject, and the Timber Framers’ Guild is always a good resource for finding a local timber framer. Cheers, Doug