Raising a Large Timbered Bent...Alone


Introduction:

Raising a Large Timbered Bent...Alone

As we've already discussed in some of the previous posts I've made here I am in the process of building a timber frame alone. This has been a very rewarding experience since day one and every bent that gets stood up has its own reward.

There are some things that I have learned in this process to date that I would like to share with any of you doing the same thing or just curious about this style of building. There are a few tricks that will save you time and aggravation that I have had to learn on my own the hard way.

The above video shows the process but it needs some explaining, so stay tuned and enjoy...


Step 1:

Check Over Your Joinery

Before you start to put your bent together, you want to check each piece over for things that may have been missed while cutting the joinery. You also need to keep in mind that if you cut the joinery a long time before you are going to put it all together that it has to be checked to make sure that things have not warped or shrunk to a point that the joints won't fit together.

Once you have done this you can move onto the pegging.


Step 2:

Pegging the Bent

There are two different methods of pegging a bent, you can drill strait through both the tenon and the mortise or you can drill the mortise first, put the tenon into the mortise, make a mark on the tenon, pull it apart and finally drill it in a manner that will draw the joint together tighter as you drive the peg into the joint.

Draw boring is a good method as is the former. Both ways are good and I am doing the first. Another thing you want to make sure that you do is drill the holes strait through the joinery at a 90* angle to the face of the joint. As you can see in the video on the first page I have made a jig for doing just that.


Step 3:

Putting the Bent Together

When you are putting your bent together it is a good thing if it goes together tightly. The joinery will most likely need some persuading and it won't be easy to slide it together. You are trying to avoid slop in the joints as that can cause some structural issues down the road.

There are a few tricks you can use to make it easier, especially if doing it alone. I use rigging straps and a come along to get the joints together. When that doesn't work, I break out a BFH...I think most of you know what that means if you live in the same vulgarity that I do...

Once you have the joinery put together you need to square up the bent BEFORE drilling and pegging the bent. I use the six, eight, ten method to check square. You can also measure the diagonals to get the same results.


Step 4:

Standing the Bent

Finally we get to standing the bent. I made a special attachment for my tractor loader so that I can stand these safely. As you can see in the first video there is no way for the bent to slide off of the back of the loader or off of the front of the loader while I'm lifting it. I would also make sure that while you are doing this on your own that your children and pets are out of harms way while standing these timbers.

Each bent half I am lifting here weighs just over a thousand pounds, anything that these land on if something was go wrong will most likely not survive the meeting. While standing these you need to take your time, watch the bent carefully for joinery failure. When you are lifting these you are relying on joints that are functioning at a different load than what they were designed for. The lifting is a pretty good test of the joints you have cut.

If you are lifting these in the same manner that I am there will be times you have to get off of the tractor in order to fit the wall girts into the wall posts as well as to square up to the layout of your building. After the bent is lifted you need to keep it supported with the machine until it is braced it a way that it will not come down. This is the most dangerous phase of your project, take your time, use common sense and things should go well. With that in mind you also need to plan for the things that can go wrong.

Having somebody nearby to pull the fat out of the fire is a must. For me it is my wife. With all of that said, good luck on your own projects and stay safe.

Jim

From TheTradesmanChannel 2017




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