The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Raising the frame: day two, September 3, 2007

On Monday, September 3, 2007, we continued with the raising. We were blessed with the help of eight people. My goal for the day was to get the rafter sets up. We accomplished that. Here are some photos of our work:

We have the first rafter set (the set includes two rafters, two posts, and a collar tie) assembled and are getting the rigging attached to raise it.

The first two rafter sets are up!

Another view of the first two sets raised. We completed this by lunch time.

The same thing from another angle.

It rained for ten minutes in the early afternoon. We were working on the second-floor floor joists and got rained on a bit. We took a break until the rain stopped.

We lifted the floor joists with straps on either end. Once we had them up, we set them in their mortises.

We had the floor joists in and then inserted wedges in the dovetail joint to tighten them up.

Our third rafter set up. We used the gin pole on the middle two sets. The outer sets we lifted by hand and some help from the ground via a rope.

We lifted the pieces for the rafter sets up with straps like we did the floor joists. Four people were able to lift the 16 foot 6x8 rafter. One of the posts is being lifted in this photo.

A view of the rafters from below. Just a cool photo.

We're lifting the last rafter set. We secured the ladder and attached a block at the top to help with the lifting. There were three people on the rope. Their job was primarily to help keep it up once it was vertical.

After the rafter set was up, we lifted the girt into place. We had to lean the rafter set on the right out in order to get the tenons in their mortises. Then, we pulled it back together and pegged the girt and braces.

I'm driving a peg into the rafter foot. we used a come-a-long to pull it down so that we could get the peg through the hole. I had also draw-bored (or attempted to) the joints which does put a lot of pressure and pull them together.

Our work for the day. The rafters are all up! There is a second floor!

Another view from the front. The gin pole stands in the middle of the house, waiting to be removed later. No purlins yet, but the rafters weren't inclined to move anywhere.

I took this photo early the next morning. The sun shining through the morning fog added a nice touch.

This is what we accomplished in two days of work! Everyone that helped has a right to feel proud of their work. I am extremely grateful for all of the help!!


Clinton J said...

Wow, I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to wake up every morning to that kind of beauty! It's pretty flat up here in NW Ohio and I sure miss those hills of Kentucky!

dp said...

I'm not a general contractor for others - just for my own house. I do general handyman work and small building projects for others.