Dec 112017

The last few days, while Shaun recovers from a Back Muscles Twinge injury, we have been surveying for all the Oak timber we would need for the external features of the house (and garage). We do need to do this task anyway soon, as we are nearing the completion of building the roof structure and the next job would be to install the facia and guttering before we can proceed to lay down the roof boards (because the first line of boards overlaps the facia edge).
The main external features we have to survey are gutters, windows, doors, corners, conservatory and garage. Each has a collection of different dimensions (like thickness, width and length) and we needed to do a survey and quantify what we will need and make up an order to a timber merchant who often have “rules” like minimum order pack sizes for any given thickness or length.
The list below is the approximate quantities in cubic metres as follows: (Note: the timber merchants prices this way, so just imagine a solid block of wood 1 metre wide, 1 metre high and 1 metre deep – yes big!)


  • 100 metres of Gutters – 1.0 m³
  • 12 Windows – 1.1 m³
  • 3 Doors – 0.2 m³
  • 16 Corners – 0.3 m³


  • 12 Windows – 0.5 m³
  • 1 door – 0.1 m³
  • 4 corners – 0.25 m³
  • Roof’s Hip and Ridge Beams – 0.2 m³
  • 14 Rafters – 0.25 m³


  • 11 Windows – 0.5 m³
  • 3 door – 0.25 cube
  • 4 corners – 0.1 m³
  • 38 metres of Facia – 0.2 m³


All this adds up to a grand total of 5 cubic metres of Oak Timber!
We would split the order into two parts so we don’t have large quantity of oak lying about before they were used.

 Posted by at 6:10 pm
Dec 112017

On this very wet and chilly Monday, we resumed work in our nice and warm workshop to finish off the manufacturing processes on our set of rafters to do the “H” section of the roof.

We sliced the bevel ends on all the 13 rafters we had to do, some were the full sized ones (nine of those) using our Bevel Slicing Machine, and the others only had just the 89mm CLS cut (three of them). These last were done using our usual chop saw as you can see below


This concludes the job of creating these rafters and as soon as the weather clears up later in the week, we will get them installed up into the roof structure. In the meantime, we will continue with preparation and assembly work to do the rafters for the “P” roof section over the Great Room, which is another 15 of them to do!

 Posted by at 3:41 pm
Dec 102017

During the manufacturing of rafters on Thursday, 3 days ago, Shaun suffered a twinge in his lower back muscles and had to slow down. Fortunately, we had only one session left to do to complete and by careful positioning and movement, he was able to complete the task of squeezing the rafters while being nailed together by Stephen.
But for the rest of the afternoon and for the next 3 days, it was felt that rest was called for and not risk further damage.
So we had a change of plans and switched over to quantifying the total amount of Oak timber we would need for the external features of our house (and Garage too). See separate External Oak Timber Survey report.
Shaun reports that after 2 days of rest, his back muscles are recovering well and hopefully another 24 hours rest (Sunday) will see him doing limited work on Monday. We have to cut the bevel ends on our rafters we have made as the next job before putting them up into the roof and that could be possible for Shaun.

 Posted by at 9:00 am
Dec 072017

Today, we entered into the joyous task of assembling the 13 rafters that will see the completion of the “H” section of the roof (the right hand side of the house over the Utility Room, Back door and Bedroom 3).
The first run was to put together the four smallest rafters and then a further three sessions were completed before we had a problem! Shaun suffered a twinge in his lower back and had to “go slow”, see Back Muscle Twinge but we managed to finish off the final session.

These 13 rafters are now done and waiting for the next job of having their bevel ends cut and next week, being installed into the roof.
The rest of the afternoon was spent calculating the quantity of CLS timber we would need to build up a pile of material to do the “P” section, this being 10 and 9 lengths of 89mm and 63mm CLS timber respectively and a further 24 strips of the plywood webbing. Stephen brought these into the workshop to acclimatised, ready for slicing and chopping to required sizes next week.

 Posted by at 5:36 pm
Dec 062017

These last two days has been the task of making various bits and pieces to continue manufacturing more rafters, the main task being slicing up a further 24 sheets of 8 foot by 4 foot plywood boards into our 400mm wide strips. This was yesterday’s job, having to break into our second pile of plywood sheets, unwrapping several layers of protection: one tarpaulin outer cover, then a plastic “bag” and loads of Clingfilm off the pallet containing 75 sheets and removing 24 of them and, hey hoe, wrapping it all up again!
Today, we proceeded to chop up five lengths of 63mm CLS timber plus 7 lengths of 89mm CLS timber, to produce enough material to create thirteen individual rafters to build the “H” section of the roof, having seven of them cut with the usual bird’s mouth notches, a further three with half bird mouth notches and the other three just being single bottom flanges only. Then, using all the various left-over pieces, we went through them all to make 28 wide 89mm CLS diagonal noggings, a further 61 63mm diagonal noggings and loads of straight one (just over a hundred of them!). We only needed 24 straights, 9 wide 89mm diagonals and 18 narrow 63mm diagonals to do our “H” rafters, all the rest went in the garden shed for the next section “P” and “N” and so on.
We turned to the next task of slicing down a heap of webbing plywood strips to their required sizes, putting in the wall notches in each pair as we went along and also using further left-over pieces to try to recover more of the “waste”.
The day came to the conclusion with us cleaning the workshop of all the saw dust etc. and then filling up the glue dispenser bottle so it is all ready for a fresh and quick start in the morning on assembling and making these “H” nine rafters plus some four “odd” ones.

 Posted by at 5:33 pm
Dec 062017

This morning and yesterday, we did some maintenance work on our various structures, to repair leaks in the roof of the garden shed and the temporary plywood storage tent cover.
The plywood storage shed got another layer of tarpaulin put over the roof area yesterday, it might not be a perfect solution but it needs only to survive another month or so while we are building the roof on the house.
The garden shed got some attention this morning, taking advantage of the sunshine and we put on a couple of patches on the shed roofing felt. The roofing felt is getting old and starting to “go” crunchy but it hopefully will last long enough as it only need to survive for another year or so!

 Posted by at 11:09 am
Dec 042017

This morning, in bright sunshine but chilly air, we finished installed the last two middle rafters on the “H” section of the roof.

Installed the Last Two Middle


Then we spent the rest of the day measuring up the various sections of the roof on either sides of these middle groups of rafters on both the “H” and “P” sections. The “H” was pretty standard but the “P” had an extra O Ridge to take into account and we measured all of the positions to make sure all the sizes were known and we didn’t give ourselves any surprises. There are a total of 17 rafters on the “H” and 21 rafters on the “P” sections. These are the top few largest sections so is likely to take the whole week to prepare and manufacture for the “H” and another week for the “P” sections. We will see how we go!

P.S. Here is the picture of the P rafters we installed on Saturday (It was dark when we finished)

Installed the Last Two Middle


 Posted by at 6:09 pm
Dec 022017

Today, in a quiet and chilly but with lovely sunshine, we got most of our rafters we had manufactured up and installed into the roof  structure.
The “L” section is now complete, all five rafters were done before lunch.


Then the “P” section was finished as the daylight faded away at 4pm (no picture, too dark!)
And finally, two of the four rafters for the “H” section was installed in total darkness, apart from our powerful floodlight shining down on the scene!


On Monday, we will finish off the middle portion of the “H” section and then we can measure up the necessary distances to start manufacturing the filling in set of rafters for both the “P” and “H” triangular portions, either side of the middle bit we have done today.

 Posted by at 6:11 pm
Nov 302017

After repairing the Bevel Slicing machine, we proceeded to finish off the final two “L” rafters to have their bevel ends sliced in. So we now have five “L” rafters plus one odd pair of flanges (to fill in a large gap right up near the steel I-Beam end of the K Ridge) all ready.
To finish off the day, we went through the nine other rafters we had already constructed and tidied up the ends, especially the wall ends where our webbing wasn’t cut deep enough to keep clear of the noggin and the wall’s top-plate.
We have other commitments tomorrow (Friday) and we hope that Saturday will warm up and have melted all the snow and be dry so we can put up our 14 rafters we got ready!

 Posted by at 5:57 pm
Nov 302017

Today, while it was snowing outside, we got down to repairing our Bevel Slicing Machine which suffered from a burnt out electric motor. We had ordered another handheld circular saw off the web and it arrived yesterday. but upon inspection, we decided that it wasn’t ideally suited for the job, the construction of the metal guard plate wasn’t flat enough to be bolted onto the plywood surface.
So we looked at two other circular saws we had and one proved to be much better and easier to adapt to the requirements. After discussing the pros and cons, we sacrificed this unit and converted it into our Bevel Slicing machine.

Bevel Slicing Machine Repaired


One of the positives was the ability to change the speed of the motor and we felt that this was a big advantage, especially we felt that the previous version was operating too fast for the size of the 300mm saw blade we needed and causing the wood and the glue or the pine resin to burn.
In conclusion, after slicing the final two rafters, it does seems to be the case that slowing down the blade does reduce the burning side-effects.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm